Important Change in SmartFind/SEMS

As per our recent tentative agreement, a change has occurred in how you declare your availability in SmartFind/SEMS.  Previously, you had 12 municipalities in Niagara for which you could specify your availability.  Now, that list of twelve has been reduced to the four "Areas" that the DSBN splits itself into administratively.  What this effectively means is that in order to help prevent unfilled jobs, there's an expectation that everyone be available to at least a moderate geographic area rather than for instance only one municipality.

These four areas are:
Area 1: Fort Erie, Niagara Falls
Area 2: Pelham, Port Colborne, Thorold, Wainfleet, Welland
Area 3: Beamsville, Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, St. Catharines
Area 4: Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines

Note: You may also see "1000 - Elementary" instead of the four separate areas.  This is equivalent to having yourself available for all areas.

When you log into SEMS, in the menu bar you'll see Schedule, and in that is Locations.  You can check your current availability settings in there.

If your availability is incorrect or needs adjusting, you can email or call to make changes.  Lisa's extension is 54264, and the SEMS Help Desk extension is 54230.  For a complete list of schools by municipality, click here.

ETFO Wins Bill 115 Charter Challenge!

April 20, 2016

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and other education unions have won a major court victory at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice today. The court found that the Ontario government’s Bill 115 imposed in the fall of 2012 was a violation of the collective bargaining rights of education unions.

In his decision, Justice Lederer ruled that the passage of the Putting Students First Act infringed upon union members’ rights to meaningful collective bargaining under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He also determined that the process the government engaged in was “fundamentally flawed.”

“This is a total vindication of our pursuit of democratic rights on behalf of our members,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “ETFO and its legal counsel acted as the lead in launching the Charter challenge in the fall of 2012 because, by imposing the terms and conditions of our members’ contract, the Ontario government abrogated teachers’ collective bargaining rights, including their right to strike.”

Bill 115 blatantly interfered with lawful collective bargaining activities in the education sector for three years. It put the actions of the government beyond the review of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, outside the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and even above the courts. In response, the Charter challenge was launched by ETFO as well as the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

Justice Lederer did not comment on a remedy for the parties. The parties are now required to meet to determine a remedy. If they are unable to reach agreement on a remedy, the matter will be referred back to Justice Lederer for a decision.

You can read Justice Lederer's decision here.

Ontario College of Teachers Surveys

There are 2 surveys from the Ontario College of Teachers currently being conducted.   Members of ETFO are advised not to participate in either survey.

Members' Survey Regarding Coroner's Jury Recommendation on Attestation

The Ontario College of Teachers has sent emails to some members with the subject line “Members' Survey Regarding Coroner's Jury Recommendation on Attestation”. The College is requesting participation in a survey related to the Coroner’s Jury recommendation that the OCT consider having its members attest annually that they have reviewed materials issued by the College relating to their duty to report abuse and/or neglect of children and youth to a children’s aid society or child & family services agency pursuant to the Child and Family Services Act.

Please be advised that ETFO as well as OTF and the other affiliates have already been consulted by the College on this matter, and all are in agreement that it is not within the College’s mandate to have members provide an annual attestation to the College in this regard.  As such, members of ETFO are advised not to participate in this College survey.

Professionally Speaking Reader Survey

The Ontario College of Teachers has circulated an intrusive marketing-type survey that asks personal questions which are well outside the role of the OCT (e.g., vacation habits, household income, number of cars, recreational activities).

Members of ETFO are advised not to participate in this College survey.

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