• made sure Individual Education Plans (IEPs) created and/or revised within the fi rst 30 instructional days of the school year will serve as the IEP update and distribution for the progress report card.


This year is going to be challenging for educa- tors and for public education. All education sector collective agreements

– including those of ETFO members – expire on August 31, 2019. Teaching and non-teaching staff salaries and benefi ts make up 75 percent of the Ontario public education budget, so we need to be prepared for the possibility that the government will want to discuss savings at ETFO’s 2019 central bargaining tables. The Ford government has already begun

cutting public education as part of its goal to fi nd four cents on the dollar in savings across all public services. This goal would mean a devastating $1 billion in cuts for our schools. Given the willingness of the current govern- ment to reshape curriculum, eliminate fund- ing for school repairs and downsize programs for students without consultation, the upcom- ing bargaining round is going to be a challeng- ing one for ETFO members. But this won’t be the fi rst time that ETFO

members have faced a tough round of bargain- ing with the Ontario government and emerged stronger and more united. Take a look at the sidebars accompanying this article and you’ll see what your union and its predecessors have accomplished for ETFO members past and present. ETFO’s goals for the 2019 round of central

bargaining have been developed based on the responses that tens of thousands of members submitted during the member survey con- ducted last November. Those goals can be found at, where you can also fi nd other information to keep you informed, en- gaged and mobilized during the 2019 round of bargaining. You can check out the member campaign as it unfolds by reading ETFO’s Collective Bargaining eNewsletter and visiting ETFO’s bargaining website at


ETFO and its members have always worked together in times of adversity to stand up for high-quality public education. As we saw during our fi ght against Bill 115

and our opposition to the repeal of the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum,


ETFO Bargaining and Lobbying Milestones

2004: Following extensive lobbying by ETFO, the government introduces a cap of 20 students on primary class size.

2005: ETFO negotiates 200 minutes of preparation time and caps on supervi- sion time in every teacher collective agreement.

2009: ETFO successfully lobbies for a DECE and full-time teacher in Full-Day Kindergarten.

2011: ETFO organizes and welcomes 10 DECE locals into its membership.

2013: ETFO negotiates the elimination of the two percent salary penalty imposed by the government during the 2008 round of bargaining.

2015: ETFO’s Teacher/Occasional Teach- er Central Agreement enshrines teachers’ rights to use professional judgement in assessment and evaluation of students.

2016: ETFO wins its Charter chal- lenge with the court fi nding that Bill 115 violated members’ rights to meaningful collective bargaining.

2017: ETFO negotiates a cap on Kin- dergarten class size and ensures class size averages for grades 4 through 8 do not exceed 24.5 students in all school boards.

2017: ETFO negotiates investments in special education and a Priorities Fund to hire more teachers to provide support for early years’ special education, Indige-

when ETFO members stand together for fair- ness and stand up for students, we win public support. That can go a long way in advancing public education issues we all believe are im- portant for the future of our profession and our students. ETFO’s power to affect positive change

comes from the collective strength of our members. Your professionalism, your willing- ness to stand up for the rights of educators and students, your advocacy in your school and community and your voice in defending the conditions that make Ontario’s education sys- tem one of the best in the world are what have made the difference. Some call it solidarity. Others call it stand-

ing together for what’s right. Whatever you call it, it’s about acting and speaking with a com-

nous students, at-risk students and English language learners.


ETFO’s predecessor organizations, the Fed- eration of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario (FWTAO) and the Ontario Public School Men Teachers’ Federation (OPSMTF) worked throughout the 20th century with the Ontario Teachers’ Federa- tion (OTF) and other labour groups to win signifi cant gains for educators.

1928: A standard contract for public school teachers.

1944: Mandatory membership in FWTAO and OPSMTF.

1946: OTF approves a pay equity policy for women and men. Ontario passes the Pay Equity Act in 1987.

1955: OTF endorses a maternity leave policy. Ontario legislation follows in 1970.

1973: After 100,000 teachers walk out, Ontario passes an act giving teachers the right to free collective bargaining and the right to strike.

1981: FWTAO helps achieve equality guarantees for women in the new Cana- dian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

1991: Teacher demonstrations lead to an equal teacher-government management partnership for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

mon purpose. That’s why for ETFO’s twentieth anniversary this year, we’ve adopted a slogan submitted by one of ETFO’s 83,000 members: “United. Inclusive. Strong.” As we enter into collective bargaining this

year, ETFO will work to ensure that your pro- fessionalism and collective agreement entitle- ments are respected. Whether it’s through col- lective bargaining, political advocacy or the promotion of social justice, ETFO will con- tinue its efforts to build better schools and an exemplary public education system. Ask what you can do this year when called upon by your union to be a key part of these efforts. It’s your future. We invite you to play a vital role in shaping it during this bargaining year. n

Valerie Dugale and Teresa Morrison are executive staff members of ETFO.

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