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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Monday January 3rd, 2005

We hope you had a restful and joyous Christmas holiday and we extend warm wishes to each of you as you begin 2005.

Urgent Action Appeal: Tsunami Relief Program
30 December 2004

At a time in which we are returning to our schools and classrooms, we are compelled to consider those who have suffered so with the devastating effects of the Tsunami. It is at this time that we look to ways that we can show our support for the victims of this unspeakable tragedy. Education International has issued an urgent appeal and provided the following information to teacher organizations throughout the world. EI has launched an urgent action appeal for donations to its Solidarity Fund. The aid program, called the EI Tsunami Relief Program, aims to collect funds for the humanitarian aid for the more than 10,000 teachers in the countries which have fallen victim to the recent tsunami disaster. An undersea 9.0 scale earthquake sent giant tsunamis to all the coasts of the Indian Ocean from Malaysia to eastern Africa. The tidal waves have already claimed more than 150,000 lives and many more lives will be lost due to resulting communicable diseases. On 28 Dec, EI has allocated 30,000 euros in aid of affected teachers in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. But more funds are urgently needed. While conveying its support and condolences to all affiliates and partners who lost friends and family in the tragedy, EI calls upon all member organisations to contribute actively to the Solidarity Fund to aid teachers and their family affected by the tsunami disaster. Read EI's Urgent Action Appeal dated 29 Dec 2004. The Unit Executive will consider ways in which we can show our support for our colleagues.

Legislation passed to eliminate PLP

On December 15th, The Professional Learning Program Cancellation Act, 2004 was passed into legislation. This Act eliminates the requirement for teachers to take 14 courses over a five year period or lose their teaching certificate. The PLP cost the Ontario College of Teachers approximately $10 million to administer and this was subsidized by teachers paying an increase on their annual COT fee. As of January 1, 2005 the College fee was reduced. We applaud the Minister for eliminating the PLP program.

Important Dates to Remember:

Individual P.D. Fund Grants: Deadline for applications for February conferences/workshops is Friday January 7, 2005.

Staff Reps in-service will take place next Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 1pm the Community Centre in Kemptville. A map and agenda will follow in the next days.

Executive Meeting: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 9:00 am at the Unit Office.

Annual OECTA Curling Bonspiel: Saturday February 5th , 2005 Contact Bev Lee at St. James, Smiths Falls for individual/team entries.

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