What's New?

Winter General Meeting - February 15, 2018

The ETFO Niagara Winter General Meeting is slowly creeping up. It will take place on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at Amici's in Thorold, from 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Since this is an election year, candidates running for Executive positions will be speaking to the membership. Also, during the aforementioned meeting, resolutions for the Provincial AGM will be debated. Adhering to the guidelines set forth in our Local Constitution, the items to be debated need to be shared with members at least 7 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. This means that any resolutions to the Provincial AGM need to be submitted to the ETFO office by Thursday, January 25, 2017. The Resolution Form can be found online at www.etfoniagara.ca, under the “Forms and Documents” tab. 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 by clicking here.

Second “Wellness For Educators” Session Added for Spring 2018

This year, a joint initiative between ETFO Niagara and CBT Niagara has led to the creation of a “Wellness For Educators” workshop. The goal of this 6 session course is to gain skills to support students experiencing a range of mental health and personal challenges. Additionally, this course will provide participants with strategies to manage one's own well-being and health, and prevent burnout, in order to maintain the ability to provide the highest level of care and compassion to one's students and family. Due to an overwhelming demand, a second session has been added. The tentative dates of the second session are the following Mondays: March 19, 26, April 9, 16, 23 and 30.

There are only 10 spots available, which will be on a 'first come, first served' basis. To participate, please register via Eventbrite by clicking here. If you have any questions, please contact Jada Nicklefork (pres@etfoniagara.ca). 

 Call Out For Committees

ETFO Niagara has several standing committees that plan programs and activities to serve our local membership. Below is a list of the local standing committees along with the elected committee chair:

Committee Chairpersons:

Public Relations: Sarah Gohm

Political Action: Lindsay Brennan

Professional Development: Melanie Brown-Robson 

Status Of Women: Sharon Ethier

Social: Kristy VanSoelen

Males in Education: Troy Garrah 

Equity and Social Justice: Jim Brigham

Constitutional Committees

Budget Committee – establishes the operating budget for the local

Elections Committee – oversees the election of the local executive and delegates to the Provincial Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Resolutions Committee – to help examine, review and create motions that Niagara delegates would like to bring to the floor of the Annual Meeting

If you are interested in serving on either a standing committee or a constitutional committee, please contact Brian Barker 

PD Fund Is Open

  • P.D. Fund requests must be submitted and approved at least one full day prior to the P.D. Event
  • Please give five days for your form to be delivered via courier or, fax forms to 905-892-9733.  They can also be emailed to pd@etfoniagara.ca.
  • P.D. request forms can be found on the ETFO Niagara website under the “FORMS and DOCUMENTS” tab.
  • Please look at the Operating Procedures to learn about what’s covered, how to apply and the reimbursement process.
  • Due to volume of applications as well as other business of the local, please allow at least 2 weeks for the application to be processed 

Questions?  Contact Brian Barker at vp1@etfoniagara.ca.

ETFO’S New Strategy for Reporting Workplace Violence

ETFO has released a new video outlining reporting procedures for violence in schools and describing the important role that ETFO members play to ensure that workplace violence incidents get reported. Please take a few minutes to check it out.

Also, for more information on about ETFO's multi-year strategy for dealing with workplace violence, please visit www.etfohealthandsafety.ca. Look for hard copy of the information through the school courier. 

Bill 115 Charter Challenge Remedy Update

Recently, the ETFO Provincial Executive voted to bring the Bill 115 Charter Challenge back to Judge Lederer for a decision on a remedy.  For more information,  watch the following video from president Sam Hammond:

For a more extensive FAQ, please click here.

Pension Update:  Restoration of Inflation Protect/Contribution Rate Reduction

The Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF) and the Ontario Government, joint sponsors of the $175.6 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Plan), will use a portion of the $11.5 billion surplus in the Plan (as of January 1, 2017) to complete the restoration of inflation protection for teachers who retired after 2009. As well, the contribution rate for the Plan's active members will be reduced by 1.1%. Both changes are effective January 1, 2018.

Pensioners who retired after 2009 will receive a one-time increase in January 2018 to restore their pensions to the levels they would have been at, had full inflation protection been provided each year since they retired. They will also receive a slightly higher inflation increase next year for the portion of their pensions earned after 2009. Cost-of-living increases for this portion of pension credit will equal 100% of the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), up from the current level of 90%. Pension credits earned before 2010 remain fully inflation-protected.

Active Plan members will enjoy a 1.1% reduction in the contribution rate they pay to the Plan.
Last March, Teachers' reported its fourth surplus in a decade. A preliminary funding valuation showed that the Plan was 105% funded at the beginning of 2017, based on current benefits and contribution rates. 

Meshed Collective Agreement Now Available

The meshed 2014 - 2017 Collective Agreement between ETFO Niagara and the District School Board of Niagara is now available.  It is available in the DSBN Portal under the “Education Centre” folder —>”Human Resources” folder —> “Collective Agreements”.  Alternatively, it is posted on the ETFO Niagara site, under the Resources tab.

Professional Judgement Resources Available

ETFO negotiated a definition of professional judgement into the 2014-2017 Central Agreement. This was a significant advancement for teachers. The May 2016 Stewards' Mailing included copies of a flyer designed to support ETFO members as they act upon and advocate for their professional judgement. Now, ETFO is pleased to announce a new resource series for teacher members entitled Professional Judgement Matters. The first two issues in this new series are now available on the ETFO website:

  • Diagnostic Assessment and Professional Judgement
  • Professional Judgement and the Individual Education Plan (IEP)

New issues in the series will be posted to the website later in the school year. To view these amazing resources, please visit http://www.etfo.ca/adviceformembers/professionaljudgement/Pages/default.aspx 

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