Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

President's Memo

Most Current President's Memo

1. Strike Vote - MASS MEETING: There is a very important all-member meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 30th at Sikorski Hall, 1551 Stevenson Road, North in Oshawa. The meeting is set to start at 4:30pm, and is expected to run to 6pm. Representatives from Provincial Office will be in attendance to provide information on contract negotiations, and our efforts to reach a fair deal for our members. There will be opportunity for questions after the presentations.

Strike votes will take place at your work site on Thursday, October 31st and Friday, November 1st. Voting will also be available at our District Office on Thursday, Friday and Monday, November 4th 8:30-4:30pm. OTBU members are able to vote at a school if they have an assignment there or at the District Office. As well, OTBU members can visit a nearby high school to vote. Please contact the Branch President of the school or the District Office in advance to arrange this option.

A strike action is any organized, collective action that varies from sanctions such as not taking work home to a full walk out. Calling for a strike vote is a normal part of the bargaining process.

You will have the opportunity to vote for a Central Strike and a Local Strike. Please make time to come to the Mass Meeting so you can be well informed before you make your decision to vote.

2. OSSTF PD Day - The OSSTF PD day will take place on November 15th, 2019 with a wellness theme, “Better Together”. The sessions are open for viewing in PD Place. Registration begins on October 23th. The last day for registration is November 1st. Please sign up for a morning session (8:30 – 11:00) and an afternoon session (12:30 – 3:00) or a full day session (8:30 – 3:00).

3. BMS Training – We encourage our teachers to participate in this training if it is offered. However, while it is useful and informative to know how to put a student in a hold, we strongly advise our members NOT to do this. Teachers should not be putting students in a hold. Or touching the students at any time in any capacity. Participation in the de-escalation section part of the training is the most valuable for our members.

4. Class Size Surveys - If you have not already done so, please complete your class size survey as soon as possible and return to your Branch President or CBC rep. There is the option of completing the survey online. You will find the link the link at the bottom of the front page of our website. If you choose this option, just let your Branch President know so they can check you off on their list. We must be ever vigilant in protecting our class size language by ensuring that no one is being asked to pierce the class size maxima.

5. Sharing marks – A reminder that no member should be sharing the marks of any student that is not their own with a parent without the explicit permission of the teacher. The principal is the only one granted the ability to share marks under our collective agreement as long as the teacher is informed. 

6. Public comments about your employer – Members are reminded that any comments in public that are negative in nature and directed to your employer could cause you to face discipline. In these times of public battling against Cuts to Education, we encourage our members to make their opinions known about the Ford government and the cuts they are making. However, we would remind you not to direct any negative criticism towards your principal, superintendent or Director in a public manner.

7. Student Achievement Awards - Each year our Federation hosts a writing and creative arts competition open to all public secondary school students in Ontario. Intended to encourage the intellectual development of our students, this year's Student Achievement Award theme is One Strong Woman.

Schools must submit their winning entries to local district offices no later than November 15, 2019. Judging will be held at the school, District, Regional and Provincial levels. Nine provincial winners will be awarded $1000 each in prizes and will be invited to our Annual General Meeting in March where a video showcasing their work will be screened.

Guidelines and entry forms for the Student Achievement Awards are available online at
http://www.osstf.on.ca/studentachievementawards.

8. Pension Workshops: OSSTF offers a pension-specific workshop for members presented by a member of the OSSTF Provincial staff on November 15th 2019 PD Day. To register, sign up using the regular PD Place registration process.

OTIP, in conjunction with Educators Financial, offers a workshop about retirement benefits and finances. This workshop is open to members and spouses.  It covers valuable information that will be useful to all those planning to retire within the next five years. 
  
Wednesday, November 13th 2019 at Ajax Convention Centre from 4:30pm - 7:30pm; a light dinner will be served for this evening event and District 13 Benefits Officer, Nicole Bléau will be there to answer questions as well.  To register, follow this link: www.otip.com/events.
 

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