President’s ReportMay 13, 2014
Wow, I can’t believe it was two years ago that I read my first speech as President-Elect. If you would have asked me what my job would entail then and asked me again now, I would have two completely different answers! During that speech, Istated that I would increase communication with members and I am happy to say we only have about 250 members’ email addresses left to obtain to have a full database! In addition to the database, we have Facebook and Twitter, newsletters, and an updated website where you can find the answers to most of your questions.
That being said, you should have all been receiving consistent updates through a variety of media in the last two years. I communicate with members via email along with theON CALL newsletters sent to your home addresses and or/emails and have also created a page on the website that contains all emails sent to members this year. In addition, all Executive reports are available online as well and I don’t want to repeat myself or keep you here all night soI will simply give you the latest update since the April ON Call, along with a short summary of the changes that have occurred since I took this position.
Provincial Elections will be held on June 12thand we need a strong voice in the polls! Get your friends, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances and Facebook friends out to vote and ensure that we keep the Conservative government out of the ridings! We need to be strategic in the way we face the ballot boxes this year and we need to let the government know that we are about building better schools for our futures, not taking away from them! If you wish to discuss this further, come out to our discussion meetings, join our Political Action Team or come talk to me and we can help our profession move forward! Please tell your friends and colleagues to join us as well!
Unfortunately, as you can see from the turnout, we don’t have a lot of members coming to these meetings and,quite often, it’s the same thing with voting! The same people do and the same people don’t. WELL, we want to know what we could do to get more members to come to these meetings?To go and vote? Either/Or? BOTH!! Please offer suggestions, ideas, activities, or BRIBES that may get more people involved! This really is YOUR union, your province and your lives and it’s THEIR’s too… so what can be done to get people involved and to truly have a say in what goes on?
Speaking of government, they recently passed a new legislation that introduced a new two- tiered collective bargaining act. This means central items (mainly financial or cost items) will be decided upon by provincial ETFO and the central table and SCEOT will be negotiating local items. A Collective Bargaining survey is available online until tomorrow for members to have a voice in what we present in our preliminary submission this year! We will be compiling the data and using it to help create our preliminary submissions for the Simcoe County District School Board. To see more on the Act, the link is available on our website through the April ON Call.
Last week, I was in Montreal for the Canadian Labour Congress convention and it was quite thrilling! We discussed Together Fairness Works, debated resolutions, heard from different panels of speakers and took part in the most amazing and exciting elections I have ever seen! We had a Presidential change--the first in 15 years--with only 40 more votes cast for the successful candidate. We canvassed, cheered, chanted and rallied and had a great week!
Regulation 274 is also a new legislation that came into effect once I began this position and it has its pros and cons. We are awaiting an update from the Ministry that we are hoping will clarify the many ‘unknowns’ when it comes to the Reg. and we will communicate any information we have as soon as we have it. ETFO does have to agree with changes before the regulation can be amended. That being said, the posting for LTO roster interviews will be out tomorrow with interviews taking place the last week of May and first week of June in hopes that the list is updated prior to LTO postings going out for the 2014-2015 school year.
Directory Advisory Committee Meetings or DAC involve the working conditions, software programs of schools and other issues that affect all union affiliates and staff. During these meetings, OT Board emails have been put on the agenda by SCEOT since long before I began attending and the lack of emails for OTs has been raised as an issue by myself at everyDAC meeting I have been to. I am so happy to say that ALL SCDSB Occasional Teachers now have an email account to communicate, network and collaborate! If you have any questionsabout the new email addresses, please direct them to the IT Helpdesk at SCDSB.
Here are a few number updates for you and don’t worry, I will be printing this in the May ON CALL
* # of members on the LTO list335
* # added to supply list 2013-2014143
* our current cap at this time (40% FTE)981
* # of contracts obtained during 2013-201462
* # of OTs on the list957
* # of members on leave of absence30
* # of members on mat leave15
* # of members with FSL qualifications on the list99
If you have any questions about any of these numbers, please feel free to ask.
The last topic of my report is to express my gratitude to those who helped out on the Executive for the past two years and helped achieve many successes for both current and future SCDSB OTs. I truly thank you guys! While we are lucky enough to have many of our current Executive back with usfor the next two years, we will be saying good-bye to two of our Executive. Ariana Whitman was with us for the past two years and did a wonderful job hosting Environmental workshops, LGBT conferences, and Occasional Teacher picnics! We can’t forget her ability to get as much money from ETFO as was physically possible!! Ariana will be embarking on new adventures overseas and we wish you the best of luck! Have a blast, be safe, and remember to visit home at least once in a while!
Doug Brandon is also saying good-bye after this term to the SCEOT Executive and we will be sad to see his knowledge of content, history and political prowess leave our team. He has helped make leaps and bounds in negotiations and always kept the membership informed and at the forefront of his priorities. He is a mentor to our young members and he possesses excellent diplomacy skills that we can all learn from. Doug was a contract teacher, local president and has been around since before ETFO was ETFO! Doug has great stories and a wealth and knowledge and even though he may not have run for this year’s Executive, rememberDoug, we have your phone number Thanks so much for the time and dedication you spent with our union and the education sector as a whole! I am positive that your family, the farm, and especially your cows will appreciate your extra time and energy as much as we did!
It has been a pleasure to represent all of the SCEOT members and I look forward to continuing the work I do to ensure our Collective Agreement is upheld, our members are knowledgeable of their rights and obligations and that their working conditions and health and well-being are of our concern! Within this, I will continue working toward a better OT future, opening more doors and paving a way that we are all proud of and happy to be involved with!