ETFO develops bargaining goals for each round of collective bargaining for its teacher, occasional teacher, Designated Early Childhood Educator, Education Support Personnel and Professional Support Personnel members. The goal-setting process is dictated by the ETFO Constitution and Bylaws. In this article, we’ll examine the process ETFO took to arrive at the goals for the 2022 round of bargaining.
The ETFO goal-setting process for this round began in October 2021 with the launch of the collective bargaining survey. The survey was promoted on social media, by email, text and robocalls to members.
All ETFO members were invited to provide information to ETFO about their priorities through an online survey that was emailed to members. In addition, some members were selected at random to participate in a telephone survey. ETFO also used focus groups to reach targeted segments of the membership and ensure that the input we received was detailed, fulsome and representative of diverse voices.
ETFO engaged Strategic Communications (Stratcom), a research firm, to conduct the surveying process in conjunction with ETFO’s Collective Bargaining researcher and provide ETFO with a thorough and detailed report about members’ bargaining priorities and concerns.
ETFO’s Collective Bargaining Standing Committee, a group made up of representatives from each of ETFO’s teacher, occasional teacher, DECE and ESP/PSP member groups, received a bargaining survey report from Stratcom. The committee was tasked with reviewing the data and distilling it into two draft sets of goals for the 2022 round of bargaining – one set for teacher and occasional teacher members and one set for DECE, ESP/PSP and other education worker members. Once the committee had drafted goals, they were referred to the ETFO Provincial Executive. ETFO’s Executive is the governing body of the Federation that is elected every second year at Annual Meeting by the general membership. This group of 14 members represents the membership and makes decisions for ETFO between Annual Meetings. The Executive received the 2022 draft goals and referred them to ETFO’s Representative Council.
Representative Council is an advisory body that meets three times a year and is comprised of elected leaders representing all the ETFO locals across the province. The size of the local determines the number of Council members each local can send. Council members debate the goals and, if they feel it is necessary, make amendments. Representative Council reviewed the draft goals for the 2022 round of bargaining at its February 2022 meeting. Representative Council voted to approve the ETFO 2022 Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker Collective Bargaining Goals without amendment.
At this point the ETFO 2022 Bargaining Goals were considered final.
As you can see, the ETFO 2022 Collective Bargaining Goals are the result of a rigorous process of surveying, consultation and analysis involving ETFO members, locals, provincial leadership and staff. They reflect the Federation’s priorities during bargaining – they are the targets we are working towards on your behalf.
The ETFO 2022 Bargaining Goals are listed below. The goals are broad. They are meant to encompass the detailed feedback provided by the membership through the surveying process, but also to provide central and local bargaining teams with the flexibility to respond to government and school board proposals while remaining faithful to the direction the membership provided. Of course, the final check is the ratification process of the final central and local agreements, once they are reached.
ETFO Launches Its New Collective Bargaining Member Communications Campaign: Our Schools, Our Future
Keeping members well-informed about and actively engaged in negotiations is a vital feature of ETFO’s collective bargaining strategy. That’s why ETFO develops an easily accessible, member-oriented communications campaign exclusively about negotiations for each round of collective bargaining.
For the 2022 round of collective bargaining, the communications campaign slogan is Our Schools, Our Future. The campaign was introduced at ETFO’s 2022 Annual Meeting in August. The Our Schools, Our Future campaign highlights the crucial investments and supports required to ensure a strong publicly-funded public education system in Ontario into the future.
Members will be receiving print materials about the 2022 round of collective bargaining on a regular basis at their schools and work sites. Information will also be sent by email and by post.
The Our Schools, Our Future campaign features online communication tools that make it easier than ever to get bargaining information in a timely way.
- ETFO’s updated collective bargaining website can be found at etfocb.ca. The website contains a wealth of bargaining information and materials.
- ETFO’s Collective Bargaining eNewsletter will deliver bargaining news to our more than 76,000 members quickly and conveniently by email.
- Fans of social media can get up-to-the-minute collective bargaining updates on ETFO’s Twitter accounts, including @elementaryeducators, @ETFOpresident, and @ETFOcb.
- Members can join colleagues in discussing bargaining issues in ETFO’s Collective Bargaining Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/ETFOCB.
- ETFO’s public-facing Facebook page will provide regular updates at facebook.com/ ETFOprovincialoffice.
In any bargaining round, an informed and engaged membership is the key to success. Please take time to review the various features of ETFO’s 2022 collective bargaining communications campaign.
Heather Aggus is a member of the ETFO executive staff.
ETFO's 2022 Collective Bargaining Goals
That the Teacher and Occasional Teacher collective bargaining goals for 2022 be to negotiate:
- class size caps and composition in all grades;
- improved supports for students with special needs;
- improvements to compensation;
- fair and transparent hiring practices;
- improvements to workload and working conditions;
- improvements to health and safety protection; and
- supports for the return to in-person learning for all students.\
That the Designated Early Childhood Educator, Educational Support Personnel and Professional Support Personnel collective bargaining goals for 2022 be to negotiate:
- increases to hourly wage schedule;
- improvements to compensation;
- improvements to workload and working conditions;
- additional supports for students with special needs;
- the establishment or improvement of long-term disability plans;
- increased job security; and
- improvements to health and safety protection.
ETFO Bargaining and Lobbying Milestones
2004: Following extensive lobbying by ETFO, the government introduces a cap on primary class size of 20 students.
2005: ETFO negotiates 200 minutes of preparation time and caps on supervision time in every teacher collective agreement.
2009: ETFO successfully lobbies for a DECE and full-time teacher in Full-Day Kindergarten.
2011: ETFO organizes and welcomes 10 DECE locals into its membership.
2013: ETFO negotiates the elimination of the two percent salary penalty imposed by the government during the 2008 round of bargaining.
2015: ETFO’s Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement enshrines teachers’ rights to use professional judgement in assessment and evaluation of students.
2016: ETFO wins its Charter challenge with a court finding that Bill 115 violated members’ rights to meaningful collective bargaining.
2017: ETFO negotiates a cap on Kindergarten class size and ensures class size averages for grades 4 through 8 do not exceed 24.5 students in all school boards.
2017: ETFO negotiates investments in Special Education and a Priorities Fund to hire more teachers to provide support for early years special education, Indigenous students, at-risk students and English language learners.
2019: ETFO negotiates an agreement that preserves the Full-Day Kindergarten model and includes the continuation of funding to support students.
2022: On February 2, Justice Lederer issues his decision on the ETFO remedy for Charter violations that stemmed from the provincial government’s imposition of Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act in 2012. After a 10-year fight, ETFO is awarded the highest sum of remedy, $103 million.