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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - March 30, 2009

An OECTA Agenda was sent out last week with a summary of many of the highlights from this year’s AGM in Toronto over the March break.   We had a delegation of 17 teachers, several of them first-timers, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all for giving of their time and representing us well.  They were:  Barb Carroll, Mary Carty, Dale Fobert, Rob D’Alessio, Steve Dionne, Mireille LaPointe, Scott McCormick, Ann McGahey, Mark Melville, Marlene Merezzi, Dawn Morva, Ken O’Brien, Patrick O’Shea, Daniele Rae, Jim Roy, and Francis Scholten. 

As was reported in the Agenda, an increase of membership fee was passed.  The base fee will remain the same for all teachers (regular, continuing education and occasional), but an additional 0.12% of grid salary will be applied as well.  This will help to offset the cost of legal defense which have risen greatly over recent years, to hire one additional staffer at provincial office, and to address some long-standing priorities such as leadership training, computer upgrades and PD Summer courses.  There had been no increase to membership fees for four years.

Art for AIDS
One of the exciting announcements made at the AGM was that St. Mary CHS in Brockville was drawn from among OECTA high school applicants across the province to be twinned with an African high school.  This prestigious honour will see students at St. Mary’s participate in two collage workshops run by Art for AIDS International.  The best students’ works will be selected to produce prints for sale to raise money for communities touched by the Aids pandemic.  Congratulations to Paul Matte, Art teacher at St. Mary’s, who will be helping coordinate this initiative.

Important Dates

  • March 31st is the deadline for nominations for Unit Elections
  • April 1st is the deadline for Teacher-Requested Transfer applications
  • Teachers on a leave of absence without pay are to indicate to the Board by April 1st their intent for the next school year
  • Also by April 1st, teachers wishing to request an assignment for the next school   year are to submit such a request to their principal
  • Eastern Unit Committee applications, for the Elementary and Secondary Staffing Committees, the PD Committee, and the Benefit Committee are due by April 17th

Professional Development
Arising from the Provincial Discussion Table agreement in the recently concluded round of collective bargaining is a common understanding around teachers’ professional development and in-service:  professional development is job-embedded, informed by research and done in partnership with colleagues.  Furthermore, professional activities for teachers during Professional Activity days and CPLC’s should be consistent with the learning goals identified by teachers in their Annual Learning Plans. 

Professional Development is teacher-directed.  If PD opportunities are offered outside of the school day, they are strictly voluntary.  PD opportunities during the instructional day, such as CPLC’s, shall not cause teachers to lose prep time, nor shall “homework” be assigned to teachers. 

Teacher in-service that is mandated, that is when teachers are required to incorporate new practices, must be made available to all teachers, and thus must be job-embedded during the instructional day.

The Joint Board-OECTA PD Committee will be analyzing teacher-identified learning goals and best practices in CPLC’s to make recommendations and report back to teachers and principals alike.

Aboriginal Flag Day Contest
Students between 12 and 17 years of age are invited by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network to submit a flag design showing the richness and diversity of all of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.  For more information see www.atpn.ca.

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