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Tuesday, May 15

Thursday, May 10

  1. page Local Struggles & Strengths edited ... Ottawa Carleton Occasional Teacher Local {OCEOTA-Banner.jpg} OCEOTA-Banner.jpg Ottawa Occas…
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    Ottawa Carleton Occasional Teacher Local
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    Ottawa Occasional Teacher Local Provides Top-Notch PD to Members
    The Ottawa-Carleton Occasional Teachers’ Association (OCEOTA) has long worked to provide high quality professional learning opportunities to its members. This has proven to be a challenging, yet worthwhile endeavour. One hurdle has been the fact that many members find it difficult to come out to workshops and events that are held in the evenings, so for the past seven years OCEOTA has held a Professional Learning Conference each fall. Traditionally, the Professional Learning Conference was held on a PD day, when occasional teachers wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to participate in professional learning. Over the year, the event has consistently had a turnout of 50-60 members.
    At this conference members have enjoyed a networking breakfast, followed by a plenary session where the local president has given members information about key local and provincial issues. Participants then broke out into smaller groups for their choice of workshops on topics of particular interest to the union local, such as how the call-out system works, health and safety, and how to have a successful assignment as a daily occasional teacher. For the rest of the day, participants attended sessions dedicated to curriculum and equity topics, that they have selected form a list of 8 or 9 different topics. At noon members gather together for a delicious hot lunch, and spent more time getting to know their fellow OTs. This event has always been a great day, with very positive feedback from attendees.
    In bargaining for the 2014-2017 Collective Agreement, a sum of $10 000 was negotiated to be paid to the local by the board for professional learning. The result of this new money was that OCEOTA was able double their budget line for Professional Learning, and also free up the money that they had previously allotted here to meet other budget pressures. It was hoped that the increase to the Professional Learning budget might allow OCEOTA to grow and improve their PL Conference, or possibly even expand to offer this event twice annually, once on a PD day in the fall and again on a PD day in the spring.
    Despite these plans, the landscape of professional learning for occasional teachers in Ottawa changed when the provincial extension agreement required that the board provide a full day of PD to each occasional teacher, starting in the 2017/2018 school year. Because the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board employs 1000 to 1100 daily OTs (in addition to about 350 in LTO assignments, who participate in PD days in the schools,) the board did not have the capacity to offer professional development to all OTs on a single PD day. The board decided to instead offer sessions for OTs on each of their PD days in the hopes that all OTs would sign up to participate in paid PD on one of these days. With this new arrangement in place, OCEOTA felt that it would be unfair to ask OTs to come for PD during the day on a voluntary basis, while the board was paying those who attended their sessions, and holding the annual Professional Learning Conference on a PD day when it would be competing with the board’s offering seemed less than ideal. The decision was made for the 2017 Professional Learning Conference that the event would be held on an instructional day and that members would receive a half day’s pay for attending.
    Although members in attendance appreciated the professional learning opportunity and the offer of pay, this was not a perfect solution. Even with the expanded Professional Learning budget, the conference registration needed to be capped at just under 60 participants due to costs. While it would be great to expand the conference, this will likely not be possible if participants are being paid to attend. It would be difficult to expand the conference with the board’s blessing if the event continues to be held on an instructional day, due to concerns about the availability of occasional teachers to fill assignments on that day. This is especially important since OCEOTA’s ability to run the conference relies upon free use of a board facility. Plans for next year will depend upon the availability of the facility on a PD Day which will depend on the plan OCEOTA and the Board work out for meeting the requirement for one day of paid PL for each member which is in the extension agreement for next year.
    The take-home message here is that in the world of a teachers’ union local, circumstances are constantly changing, often in unpredictable ways. The challenge for locals is to roll with these changes and find ways to continue to meet the needs of their membership. Although OCEOTA is unsure whether their Professional Learning Conference will continue to be held annually, and if so, in what form, what is certain is that this local will continue to pursue their goal of providing members with an abundance of top-notch professional development opportunities.

    2017 has been a year full of successes and struggles for OCEOTA (Ottawa Carleton Elementary Occasional Teachers Association). Some of our successes include having offered some wonderful PD, including a Professional Learning Conference in October which offered OTs a full day of many exciting workshops offered by local OCDSB and visiting ETFO presenters.
    One of the big struggles that we faced this past year has been the move to our new location. We were formerly located on Antares Dr. in Ottawa and we are now located at 1150 Morrison Dr. in Ottawa. During the transition, this past year, we were given space in the OC-ETFO office. We are so very appreciative and grateful for their generous offer and welcoming into their space. We were there for 10 months. We just took possession of our new office in September 2017 and when we took possession it was an empty space. The construction of the office including: a kitchenette, photocopy/storage room, 3 private offices as well as a reception and an open/central meeting space all had to be configured and then constructed. Some additional challenges included the finances of the construction as well as the office setup due to an ever-changing list of challenges and surprises. And, needless to say, during this transition, we still needed to serve our members. Thankfully, we had the foresight to use our budget surplus each year to create a $50K Moving and Renovation Fund, in anticipation of a move, which covered most of the construction costs.
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    3:24 pm

Friday, March 30

  1. page Local Struggles & Strengths edited ... {FullSizeRender-2.jpg} Our Local was able to impact positively on the health and safety of o…
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    Our Local was able to impact positively on the health and safety of our members and students in our classrooms. When complaints or concerns are raised about potential for mould, the board now takes it seriously. It also mobilized parents in support of teachers and our fight for healthy and safe schools.
    A special thank you to Laurel Liddicoat-Newton, LKETFO President, for sharing her knowledge and files for this entry. (January, 2018)
    Ansara, S., & Pynaert, J. (2016, May 25). Mould in Schools: A Continuing Health Concern. http://etfovoice.ca/node/179
    Mould Problems Confirmed in Lambton-Kent Say Teachers. https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/mould-problems-confirmed-in-lambton-kent-say-teachers-533499971.html

    Lambton Kent ETFO – Seniority Based Hiring and Mid Year Hire Challenges
    In the fall of 2008 a challenging situation arose whereby the Mid Year Hiring procedure (MYH) was being interpreted differently by the two parties involved. The Board was taking the position that “School Needs” superseded anything else. For instance, qualifications were entirely moot. If an individual would agree to become qualified then that meant they were considered by the Board to be qualified. In a pool of applicants qualified people could be overlooked for someone with no qualifications that the principal deemed as meeting “School Needs”.
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  2. page Local Struggles & Strengths edited ... Lambton Kent Teacher Local Mould In Lambton Kent Schools ... were overreacting. {FullSiz…
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    Lambton Kent Teacher Local
    Mould In Lambton Kent Schools
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    were overreacting.
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    With support
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    were filed.
    Throughout
    Throughout this, parents
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    healthy schools. {FullSizeRender-4.jpg} {FullSizeRender.jpg}
    In 2007 a settlement was mediated by William Kaplan. The settlement stipulated that a mutually agreed-upon independent consultant – Echo Management Inc., under the direction of a highly renowned environmental specialist Dr. Om Malik – would conduct a thorough assessment of all Lambton Kent elementary schools. It also provided for the remediation of any issues that Dr. Malik found during the course of his assessments. All 55 schools went through an assessment and teachers at each school were given the opportunity to speak with representative of Dr. Malik about their concerns. Mould abatements were performed where necessary.
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    Our Local was able to impact positively on the health and safety of our members and students in our classrooms. When complaints or concerns are raised about potential for mould, the board now takes it seriously. It also mobilized parents in support of teachers and our fight for healthy and safe schools.
    Lambton Kent ETFO – Seniority Based Hiring and Mid Year Hire Challenges
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  3. page Local Struggles & Strengths edited ... (one copy of this document to be filled out for each teacher on staff) Name of School - ...…
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    (one copy of this document to be filled out for each teacher on staff)
    Name of School -
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    of Teacher-
    When is IL delivered to your students? (e.g., 1st period, last period, before lunch, etc.)
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    3:00-3:40, etc.)
    Is

    Is
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    another classroom?
    Does

    Does
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    IL class?
    Who

    Who
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    Is

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    IL program?
    Who

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    IL program?
    Who

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    Any other extra duties required of the teacher related to the IL program (e.g., report cards, filing, etc.)
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    How

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    are teaching?
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    to add?
    Note: Please obtain each teacher’s 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 timetable.
    The Executive Office spoke to the Superintendent about the teacher concerns, data forms were returned to the Executive Officer and the concerns and information provided were presented to the Elementary Concerns department of the TDSB. Subsequently a grievance was filed and has now gone to arbitration.
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    Lambton Kent Teacher Local
    Mould In Lambton Kent Schools
    In 2005, after a complaint from a staff member about air quality, mould was found in eight portables at Lansdowne Public School. The Lambton Kent District School Board publicly stated that although mould was present the classrooms were safe, then proceeded with clean up of the portables. Teachers had complaints of hives, coughs and other medical ailments for two years after the clean up. Mould issues were also reported at Queen Elizabeth II Public School in Petrolia and Tecumseh Public School in Chatham. As complaints of mould and mould related health issues continued, the board was adamant that teachers were overreacting.
    With support from ETFO Provincial, a media campaign (paid media as well as media releases) ensued, complaints were filed with the Ministry of Labour and the Ontario Labour Relations Board, (including a work refusal at Lansdowne headed by resource teacher Laurel Liddicoat-Newton), and grievances were filed.
    Throughout this, parents and community members were mobilized in support of healthy schools.
    In 2007 a settlement was mediated by William Kaplan. The settlement stipulated that a mutually agreed-upon independent consultant – Echo Management Inc., under the direction of a highly renowned environmental specialist Dr. Om Malik – would conduct a thorough assessment of all Lambton Kent elementary schools. It also provided for the remediation of any issues that Dr. Malik found during the course of his assessments. All 55 schools went through an assessment and teachers at each school were given the opportunity to speak with representative of Dr. Malik about their concerns. Mould abatements were performed where necessary.
    Our Local was able to impact positively on the health and safety of our members and students in our classrooms. When complaints or concerns are raised about potential for mould, the board now takes it seriously. It also mobilized parents in support of teachers and our fight for healthy and safe schools.

    Lambton Kent ETFO – Seniority Based Hiring and Mid Year Hire Challenges
    In the fall of 2008 a challenging situation arose whereby the Mid Year Hiring procedure (MYH) was being interpreted differently by the two parties involved. The Board was taking the position that “School Needs” superseded anything else. For instance, qualifications were entirely moot. If an individual would agree to become qualified then that meant they were considered by the Board to be qualified. In a pool of applicants qualified people could be overlooked for someone with no qualifications that the principal deemed as meeting “School Needs”.
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