What's New?

ETFO Provincial Election Page

We are 44 days away (and counting down) from the June 7 election. Are you ready?  Make sure your voter registration information is up to date by checking the Elections Ontario list, contact the Niagara Local to see how you could help support ETFO election activities, and sign up to volunteer for the candidate of your choice.  Even a few hours could make a difference.  ETFO has released a new Provincial Election page to help get you ready.  It includes ETFO’s updated election agenda that promote policies to improve elementary education, a summary report of an ETFO public opinion poll on education issues conducted in January 2018, links to the four main political parties, and ETFO resources that promote information about the election.  

If you have any questions, please contact the ETFO Niagara office.

Gender and Sexuality 101:  An Equity and Social Justice Workshop - Tuesday May 8, 2018

What’s the difference between gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality? Find out what they are and why they are different on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, from 4:30 – 6:00 PM. The workshop will take place at the ETFO Niagara office. This workshop will examine ways for participants to increase their understanding of what being transgender means. Participants will have opportunities to learn new terminology and create safe and inclusive classroom space for gender independent/transgender children. The workshop will use personal stories and provide resources and strategies to use in the classroom. Participants will be engaged in purposeful and meaningful conversations and dialogue. To register for the event, please visit https://etfoniagaragands1718.eventbrite.ca. For more information, please view the poster by clicking here.  If you have questions, please contact Jim Brigham, Equity & Social Justice Chair, (jbrigham41967@gmail.com).

ETFO Spring AGM - Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The ETFO Niagara Spring Annual General Meeting is slowly creeping up. It will take place on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Amici's in Thorold, from 4:30 – 6:30 PM. During the aforementioned meeting, constitutional amendments will be debated. Adhering to the guidelines set forth in our Local Constitution, the items to be debated need to be shared with members 7 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. This means that any constitutional amendments need to be submitted to the ETFO office by Monday, May 14, 2018 at 4PM. The Constitutional Amendment form by clicking here. Should you have any questions, please contact Brian Barker at vp1@etfoniagara.ca. To register to attend the meeting, please sign up online via Eventbrite at https://etfoniagaraspringagm2018.eventbrite.ca

ETFO Niagara Retirement Dinner - Friday, June 8, 2018

Are you ready to send off your colleagues with happy memories and a lot of laughs? Get your calendar out and circle Friday, June 8th – that is the night we will be holding our annual ETFO Retirement Dinner. This year, "Escape to Retire-itaville" will have a tropical theme to celebrate our colleagues as they “surf” into their next adventures. Dust off your leis, and enjoy this party, as we wish our colleagues well, helping them “hula” into retirement. Tickets cost $33. To sign up, please register at https://etforetdinner1718.eventbrite.ca, however you will need to send your money directly to the ETFO Niagara office.  Cheques should be made payable to ETFO Niagara.  Just a friendly reminder that cash should not be sent through the courier.  For more information, view the poster by clicking here.  If you have any more questions about the event, please contact Brian Barker (vp1@etfoniagara.ca).

ETFO Charter Challenge Update

On, Friday, April 13, 2018, ETFO filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board against the Government of Ontario. In its complaint, ETFO details how the government discriminated against ETFO members when it:

  • made  payouts worth tens of millions of dollars to unions and employee bargaining agencies that did not challenge and, in fact, cooperated in the Liberals' agenda to strip education sector workers' collective agreements during the 2012 round of education sector bargaining under Bill 115;
  • engaged in coercion and reprisals, and discriminated against ETFO members because their union successfully challenged the violation of its members' constitutionally protected rights under Bill 115; and  
  • bargained in bad faith during 2014 education sector negotiations by consistently representing that all four of Ontario's teacher unions would be receiving substantially identical financial settlements for their 2014-2017 collective agreements.

The Government’s conduct only recently came to light when it confirmed that two of four teacher unions, as well as other employee bargaining agencies, will be receiving financial settlements from the province totalling tens of millions of dollars, essentially for their non-participation in the Bill 115 charter challenge.

For additional information, visit http://www.etfo.ca/DefendingWorkingConditions/BargainingAndAgreements/Pages/OLRBapplication.aspx.  

To view Sam Hammond’s take, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG8rx2DeEQI&feature=youtu.be

ETFO Niagara Elections Update

The results of the ETFO Niagara Elections are in for the 2018-2020 ETFO Niagara Executive:

Thanks to the Elections Committee (Wendy Bateman, Kristen Friesen and Rikki DaCosta) for their hard work for overseeing this election process, and to all the candidates that put their name forward for consideration.  To see the election results, as reported as % of votes, please click here.

Changes to OTIP LTD Plan - March 1, 2018

Over the last couple of weeks, ETFO members should have received an email from ETFO Provincial regarding changes to the LTD plan, effective March 1, 2018.

What is the ETFO Long Term Disability (LTD) Plan?

The ETFO LTD Plan is a valuable group benefit for full-time and part-time teachers administered by the Ontario Teachers’ Insurance Plan (OTIP). It replaces a percentage of your salary and provides protection for your pension plan should you be unable to work for a prolonged period of time because of illness or injury.

Why is the ETFO LTD Plan being changed?

Since 2014, the ETFO LTD Plan has experienced an accelerating increase in the number of disability claims made by ETFO members. The overall length of time that members are remaining on disability has also increased significantly. As a result, the ETFO LTD Plan has been under considerable financial pressure for some time.

ETFO needs to ensure that appropriate income replacement continues to be available for members who may experience an illness or injury that prevents them from working. That means changes need to be made to maintain the ETFO LTD Plan’s long-term financial stability.

This situation is not unique to ETFO.

What changes are being made to the ETFO LTD Plan?

As of March 1, 2018 two changes will be made to the ETFO LTD Plan:

Income replacement level: Currently, members on an LTD claim receive 55% of gross salary (tax free). Members who apply for LTD coverage as of March 1, 2018 will receive 50% of gross salary (tax free).

Termination of LTD Coverage: Currently, LTD coverage ends at age 70 or when a member is able to receive a 62% unreduced pension from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). As of March 1, 2018, LTD coverage will end at age 65 or when a member is able to receive a 60% unreduced pension from OTPP.

What does the March 1, 2018 LTD premium rate look like?

Currently, the premium rate that each member contributes to maintain the ETFO LTD Plan is 1.39% of salary. As of March 1, 2018, the premium rate will be 1.58% of salary.

This table shows the additional contribution required under the 1.58% premium rate:

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.24.14 AM

Is ETFO the only teacher union implementing changes to its LTD plan?

No. The LTD plans of other teacher unions (e.g., OSSTF, OECTA) are also experiencing more disability claims and lengthier claim periods. Those LTD plans are introducing similar changes to income replacement level, termination of coverage and premium rate as of March 1, 2018.

If I reach 65 or am eligible for a 60% unreduced pension and am still teaching, can I remain in the ETFO LTD Plan?

No. As of March 1, 2018, once you reach age 65 or are eligible for a 60% unreduced pension your ETFO LTD Plan coverage is terminated and you can no longer make a disability claim. If you find yourself in this situation, you can stop paying for LTD.

If you have any questions about this, don't hesitate to contact the Local, or email ETFO Provincial (LTD@etfo.org)

ETFO Niagara Exclusively Endorse OTIP

At the Winter 2015 AGM, ETFO Niagara passed a motion to end their exclusive agreement to enter into a new exclusive arrangement with the Ontario Teachers’ Insurance Plan.  To find out more information about the great things that OTIP offers teachers, click here to view the endorsement letter.  For more information, please feel free to visit www.otip.com/ETFO_Niagara

© ETFO Niagara 2013