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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Annual General Meeting

The OECTA A.G.M. took place in Toronto on March 12 – 14th. Sixteen delegates and two alternates from our Unit took part in this democratic process that guides our Association in its goals, objectives and financial plans for the coming year. Thank you to all of our delegates who sacrificed part of their holidays for this worthy activity.

Discussion of the October 6th Provincial Election and the imperative of electing an education-friendly government dominated the meeting. OECTA’s Political Action plan was presented to the membership. Economic woes in the United States, in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida, have provided the far right with an opportunity to attack public servants and their unions, stripping collective bargaining rights, introducing teacher merit pay, doing away with seniority, and rolling back benefits and pensions. Fears are, that depending on the election outcome, similar attempts may be made here against teachers in Ontario. Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario NDP, and Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education, representing the Ontario Liberal party, addressed OECTA delegates, pledging support for education in the province. The Progressive Conservative party declined OECTA’s invitation to speak to delegates.

In support of OECTA’s Political Action Plan, delegates voted in favour of a sixty dollar fee increase, with over $45 of this going directly to political action in the 2011-2012 school year. With all but one OECTA collective agreement due to Box 220, Kemptville, Ontario K0G 1J0 Phone: 1-888-250-3799 1-613-258-0841 Fax: 1-613-258-0842 Website: www.easternoecta.ca expire in August 2012, and depending on the political climate, the next round of bargaining has the potential of much conflict and unrest.

Another duty of the AGM is to elect the Provincial Executive and OTF Governors for the next year. The following were the successful candidates:

President - Kevin O’Dwyer
First Vice President - Chris Karuhanga
Second Vice President - Ann Hawkins
Third Vice President - Warren Grafton
Treasurer - Sonia DiPetta
Councillors - Andrew Donihee and Louie Trinchi
OTF Table Officer -Julie Pauletig
Past President -James Ryan

OTF Governors: Tom Doyle, Ann Hawkins, Marshall Jarvis, Chris Karuhanga, Reno Melatti, Kevin O’Dwyer, Julie Pauletig, James Ryan, Richard Schrader, Michael Wozniak.

Congratulations especially to Andrew Donihee on his re-election as a Councillor. Andrew is one of our members, teaching at St. Joseph’s CSS in Cornwall.

OECTA is an association that is deeply committed to social justice. Delegates at the AGM listened to a presentation by Sally Armstrong, human rights activist, journalist, author, and former teacher. Sally calls on all teachers to recognize their role in empowering students to affect social change. Sally has risked her life to witness and attest to “Human Wrongs” in countries where women and children are raped and maimed in the name of war, religion and superstitious beliefs, and where women are barred from work and girls from an education. But her message was one of optimism: positive change is on its way and everyone can help.

Win an iPad Contest: Double the Fun!

Copying is the greatest form of flattery! Having seen the “Win an iPad” contest that our Eastern OECTA Unit has initiated as part of its political action plan, Provincial OECTA has decided to follow suit, with two iPad’s being drawn in a similar contest. Please see the attached form to enter to win an iPad from Provincial. (You still have lots of opportunity to enter our local contest: the deadline is May 31st, and the odds of winning are probably much better!)

Unit Elections

Just a reminder that nomination forms and biographies for Unit Executive Elections are due to the Unit Office or Chief Electoral Officer, Ann McGahey, by March 31st.

OECTA Spring AQ Courses

The fee for Spring AQ registration at the $600 rate ends March 30, 2011. An additional $50 fee is applied after the March 30th deadline. Courses begin the week of April 11, 2011 and are offered face to face and online. Attached is a flyer with further information.

OECTA Bursaries, Scholarships and Fellowships

Each year, three memorial postgraduate scholarships and three religious study fellowships of up to $10,000 may be awarded to members. Deadline for application is April 1. In addition to these, OECTA provides Joan Kamps Memorial bursaries of up to $1,000 each for undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development courses. The application deadline for bursaries is May 15. Applications and further information can be found on-line at www.oecta.on.ca.

Collective Agreement Dates

Teachers wanting to transfer are to submit their transfer request form by April 1st. Teachers returning from an unpaid leave of absence are to notify the Board by April 1st of their intentions for the following school year for staffing purposes.

Teachers have the opportunity to submit to their principal by April 1st their assignment preference for the next school year. A form that can be used for this purpose is attached.

Retirement Workshop

The Unit will be holding a retirement workshop on Wednesday, April 20th, after school. The location of the workshop will be decided depending on where the majority of interested participants come from. Supper will be provided. The presenter will be Joe Pece from Provincial office. Please call the Unit Office if you are interested in attending.

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