First Steps

ETFO is looking for 10 observers from designated groups to attend the 2024 Annual Meeting as part of its First Steps program.

This year’s meeting will be held August 12-15 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. Selected participants will learn about Robert’s Rules of Order, get to know Annual Meeting operating procedures, and observe what it is like to be part of the democratic process of the Federation.

For details, see the flyer.

Registration closes on June 5, 2024.

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ETFO holds advocacy day at Queen’s Park to call for urgent action to address rising violence in schools

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is holding an advocacy day at Queen’s Park on May 14 to call for urgent action to address increasing violence in schools. ETFO local presidents from across the province are bringing our concerns on this issue directly to members of provincial parliament (MPPs).

“Rather than moving inadequate funding from one envelope to another, the Ministry of Education must reverse its cuts to school board funding and address increasing violence in schools. The safety and well-being of students and educators are non-negotiable priorities,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “The government’s lack of support for struggling students puts staff and students at unacceptable increased risk of harm.”

Read more: ETFO holds advocacy day at Queen’s Park to call for urgent action to address rising violence in schools
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EQAO Advisories

May 8 is the first day of the 2023-2024 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) administration window for the Primary and Junior division assessment. The test will conclude on June 12, 2024.

ETFO continues to advise members:

  • NOT to participate in the voluntary EQAO teacher questionnaire;
  • NOT to complete online EQAO voluntary training and webinars unless release time is provided;
  • NOT to participate in EQAO marking exercises

Members with questions are asked to contact the Local office.

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Provincial code of conduct changes made after ETFO demands improvements to school safety

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) responding to today’s provincial government announcement that includes revisions to Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 128 – The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct: 

“During recent central bargaining between ETFO and the government, ETFO fought for improvements that would address increasing violence and disruption in schools – a key priority for our 83,000 members. As a result of our strong advocacy at the bargaining table, several new measures were agreed to in bargaining, including publicly facing school  signage that communicates behaviour expectations for everyone, as well as a revision of PPM 128 to address behaviour, consequences, and safety.  

Read more: Provincial code of conduct changes made after ETFO demands improvements to school safety
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ETFO applauds National School Food Program, calls on Ford government to allocate funds efficiently

TORONTO, ON – Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s first National School Food Program. This significant federal investment of $1 billion over five years will provide meals to 400,000 more children every year, beyond those served by existing school food programs.

“By investing in this program, the federal government is demonstrating its commitment to the well-being of Canada’s youth and the nation’s prosperity,” says Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown. “However, for the program to be successful, the funds must be administered efficiently and effectively. Ontarians cannot afford another failed implementation by the Ford government akin to its mismanagement of federal child care funding, which led to delays and frustration.”

Read more: ETFO applauds National School Food Program, calls on Ford government to allocate funds efficiently
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ETFO Scholarships and Bursaries Program

The ETFO Scholarship and Bursaries Program offers financial incentives to:

  • members and non-members entering faculties of education;
  • members studying at the graduate level; and,
  • members upgrading their qualifications at publicly funded universities/institutions in Ontario.

This includes bursaries for members of designated groups, including Black and Indigenous educators, and bursaries for children of ETFO members.

The application window for ETFO Scholarships and Bursaries is open. The deadline to apply is April 30.

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Ford government fails Ontario’s students once again by refusing to allocate new education funding

TORONTO, ON – The Ford government has failed Ontario’s students once again by shamefully refusing to allocate new funding to adequately support a high-quality public education system. The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO):

“By once again neglecting to allocate adequate funding in today’s provincial budget, the Ford Conservative government has chosen to perpetuate a crisis that continues to undermine public education. Despite a growing need to invest in Ontario’s education system, the government persists in depriving it of the resources and supports it desperately needs. This callous disregard is a damning indictment of the government’s priorities.

Read more: Ford government fails Ontario’s students once again by refusing to allocate new education funding
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Members’ Rights Regarding EQAO Withdrawal

It is ETFO’s position that EQAO be eliminated. ETFO believes that ongoing daily assessment by teachers is far more meaningful and effective for students and parents.

All students in publicly funded schools are legally required to write the provincial tests unless formally exempted. In Ontario, there is no legal way to withdraw students from EQAO.

Parents can request that their child not participate in any part of the EQAO testing. More information can be found here.

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OTF declines Ministry of Education’s request to amend 50-day re-employment rule

The Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) has declined the Ministry of Education’s request to support the amendment of the 50-day re-employment rule to 95 days for some retired teachers and administrators for the 2023-2024 school year.

In each of the last three school years, OTF has reluctantly agreed to the Ministry’s request to temporarily increase the limit to help address some of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amending the rule was only ever envisioned as a short-term measure. Deflecting responsibility onto retired teachers is neither a sufficient nor a sustainable option to address staffing challenges. Changing the rule for retired members neither encourages working teachers to remain in the system nor does it attract prospective candidates to join the profession.

Read more: OTF declines Ministry of Education’s request to amend 50-day re-employment rule
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ETFO 2023-24 All-Member Survey

ETFO is conducting its 2023-24 All-Member Survey. The survey takes approximately three minutes to complete and closes on Friday, March 29. Upon submission of your survey, you will be automatically entered into a draw for one of ten iPads.

The information is confidential to ETFO and is collected for statistical and programming purposes. If you did not receive your survey invite, please reach out to the team at gro.o1716226102fte@s1716226102droce1716226102rrebm1716226102em1716226102 and they’ll be happy to send you one.

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