Fruit Tree Trail Project

Our Local has joined with Greening Niagara and other community partners in a project called the Fruit Tree Trail--Niagara's first urban food forest project. It will take a few years to complete, and will span the entire Green Belt of the Niagara region where fruit trees will be planted and their fruit harvested to be donated to local food banks.

We participated in tree-planting on April 26th, and planted native fruit-bearing species such as gooseberry, raspberry, blackbery, currant, hickory, pawpaw, and others.

There's more work to do, though!  There will be another planting session on May 3rd at the same location (bring a shovel if you have one), and Greening Niagara plants trees frequently enough that you can plant trees pretty much any time you want.

When: Saturday, May 3rd, 10am-12:15pm
Where:  The project is along Dick’s Creek, a tributary of the 12 Mile Creek system.
Take Oakdale Ave ST CATHARINES to Disher St.  Turn right on Disher, then turn right onto Moffat and park at end of the street. Dick's Creek info (Search "Disher St" on Google Maps and it's clear where it is).

April 28th Day of Mourning

April 28th is the National Day of Mourning for workers who have been killed, injured, or made ill on the job.

There are a variety of ceremonies in Niagara to mark the day listed on this poster.  For further information, contact Bruce Allen at 905-934-6233.

Health and Safety

When in doubt, contact the Local President.  Remember, if you don't report, it didn't happen! 

All the appropriate forms are linked on this page under "How to Report".  Call your union if you need help with the paperwork, the Local President is always available to help you out.

There are three main categories of health and safety items you'd report:


An Incident is an injury to an employee that does not require medical attention beyond First Aid, and that does not result in time lost from work.

An Accident is an injury to an employee that requires medical attention and may have resulted in time lost from work.


Workplace Violence is defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker.  This can include physical force, as well as threats to exercise physical force.  Violence and harassment under the OHSA includes all sources in the workplace (students, parents, members of the public, and colleagues).


Workplace Harassment is defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

In any case where you've been injured or are reporting something related to health and safety, please notify the Local President as otherwise we probably won't know about it.  We can also provide advice and guidance on many situations.

The forms below should be available in the office of any school, and any reports should be submitted to the Principal as soon as possible.  Always keep copies for yourself.

Incidents and Accidents are covered under Administrative Procedure 5-02 and reported using the forms from Appendix A1 and A2.

Violent Incidents are covered under Administrative Procedure 5-27 and reported using the forms from Appendix D.

If a student is involved in a violent incident, then the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form (AP3-26 App M Part 1) must also be completed.

Workplace Harassment is covered under Administrative Procedure 5-26 and reported using the forms from Appendix A and B.  In cases of workplace harassment, please contact the Local President for guidance.

WSIB Forms

If you have been injured at work and either lost time from work or sought medical attention, you will also need to fill out a WSIB Form 6.  If this form is not provided to you by the school or DSBN, you can download it here and mail it in to WSIB.

Even if you don't feel you were badly injured, please submit all the requisite paperwork!  If an injury turns out to be worse than you thought it was (which may not be apparent for months, or even years) you want to have created a record so that you're eligible for any coverage you may need.  Creating records of injuries also helps us track what injuries are occurring in our workplace so that we can work towards preventing similar injuries in the future.  Workplace insurance is no-fault.

There are three main forms for WSIB:
Form 6 - Filled out by the worker.
Form 7 - Filled out by the employer.
Form 8 - Filled out by a doctor/medical practitioner.
Note that only page 2 of Form 8 is submitted to the employer.

You are required to give a copy of Form 6 to the employer, and likewise the employer is required to give you a copy of the Form 7 that they submitted.  Your health professional should give you a copy of Form 8.

Note that Form 6 inquires if you're a member of a union, and has a checkbox to authorize the union to represent you regarding any WSIB claim arising from the injury, as well as to disclose verbal claim status information to the union.  Please check these boxes, as it will simplify things for us if you need representation with WSIB.  Your union name and local is "ETFO Niagara Occasional Teachers".

Additional Health and Safety Resources

ETFO Provincial H&S Site

WHSC Resources for Workers

OHCOW Helpful Resources

DSBN H&S Training

In the Staff Portal, go to Resources, then under the Training column choose Health and Safety Training

Sam Hammond on the Passage of Bill 122

Here's a link to the final version of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act that received Royal Assent today: PDF

ETFO is pleased with the bill, as the vast majority of amendments which ETFO proposed were incorporated into the final version.  It's expected that this will be a big step forward for bargaining, as the informal central bargaining that began in 2004 and continued in 2008 and 2012 has not been in the best interests of members.  Now that we won't be operating in a landscape of unwritten rules, bargaining should be much more effective.  That being said, a new operating framework is undiscovered country... there'll probably be hiccups along the way, but hopefully none of the surprises of the past two bargaining rounds.