Your Member News
January 26, 2022
Black History Month Poster
The 2022 ETFO Black History Month Poster is a visual representation of the importance of knowing your history, learning from it, and building on that knowledge to create a brighter future.

The poster features the portraits of trailblazers that are being celebrated because they have shaped Canadian society and the lives of the Black diaspora through their activism and political endeavours.  The use of Afrofuturism provides a glimpse into a society where the glass ceiling no longer exists.  

As the Nelson Mandela quote captures: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Get a copy of the poster to share online from
Bell Let's Talk Day: Mental Health Resources for ETFO Members

January 26 is this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day to bring awareness and raise money for mental health initiatives in Canada. On January 26, Bell will donate five cents for each text, call, tweet or TikTok video that uses the hashtag #BellLetsTalk

To learn more, please see In addition, here are links to two documents that ETFO has created with additional information and resources: Mental Health Supports for Educators, Parents, and Students during COVID and this PRS Matters Bulletin - Mental Health and Wellness Tips for Members During the Pandemic.
Mental Health is an Education Issue 

Despite the incredible support ETFO members have provided to students and their families, navigating uncertainty amidst a pandemic has exacerbated a mental health crisis that already existed among Ontarians. ETFO has been calling for improvements to public education that would help ease the mental health crisis among students.

Download the ETFO Fact Sheet: Member and Student Mental Health and find out how you can join the movement to elect an Ontario government that will prioritize the well-being of educators and students by ensuring a strong public education system.

Download the Tip Sheet here as a PDF here, or as a Word document here.
What's At Stake? - Member Town Hall
February 16 at 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Get involved in making positive change in the next provincial election!
Join ETFO’s What’s At Stake? Member Town Hall Meeting on the evening of Wednesday, February 16, 2022 (6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET). It’s time to get involved and encourage others to join in a collective effort to elect a government that cares about high-quality public education. Let’s talk and strategize together! 
Registration details will be sent to ETFO members in a Special Edition – Ontario 2022 Election e-newsletter on February 3, 2022.
Identifying and Connecting with Community Allies 

In June 2022, Ontarians will choose their government and it’s important that they elect representatives that support strong public education.

ETFO members across the province are mobilizing, speaking to friends, family and colleagues. In this week’s pre-election Tip Sheet, we’re talking about bringing together the strength of all Ontarians who know that public education is essential for a strong province by identifying and connecting with community allies as we mobilize to protect public education in Ontario.

Download the Tip Sheet as a PDF here, or as a Word document here.
Mental Fitness Live Training Sessions for Educators

In December 2021 ETFO was delighted to announce our partnership with Starling Minds, a digital mental health program to help you build resilience to stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression. 

The initiative is called, "Mental Fitness Live Training Sessions" and it will be hosted by Dr. Andrew Miki, a renowned psychologist within the education community, and Tara Achkar, our Mental Fitness Coach. 

The goals of the live training sessions are to provide you with a deeper understanding of mental health to help you develop your own toolbox of strategies to increase your mental fitness, and to guide you through Starling Mental Fitness Program and use it alongside the live training sessions.

Be sure to register for Starling Mental Fitness at using the access code: ETFOMEMBER

Date: Weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Mental Fitness Live Training sessions will start on January 17, 2022. Sign up now:

ETFO in the News

Over the past several weeks, ETFO President Karen Brown has been interviewed by local, provincial and national media on a number of issues, primarily related to the measures required to ensure a safe return to in-person learning. 

joint statement with other teachers’ unions about the government’s decision to move forward with reopening schools on January 17 also garnered media coverage. 

Here are some highlights:

View ETFO’s media releases and statements, including ones issued jointly with other unions and/or organizations.
Holocaust Remembrance Day
January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, we commemorate the tragedy of the millions of Jews and many others who were murdered during WWII. With education, we can ensure words to action. Never again!
Part of ETFO's mission is to be a positive influence for change at a societal level. An important way we can do that is by learning, sharing and educating to stop all forms of hate, including antisemitism.

Antisemitism can take many forms, ranging from individual acts of discrimination, physical violence, vandalism, and hatred to more organized and systematic efforts to destroy entire communities and genocide. This longstanding form of creed-based prejudice and discrimination continues in Ontario today. 

Resources to help you address and eliminate antisemitism are available here.  
National Day of Remembrance & Action on Islamophobia 

January 29 is National Day of Remembrance & Action on Islamophobia and this year marks the fifth anniversary of the Quebec City Mosque Attack. 

Islamophobic discrimination and violence goes far beyond simply name-calling and verbal attacks. It comes in the form of physical attacks, attacks on property and institutions, hate propaganda and demonstrations. The intersectionalities of race, class, sexuality and gender also exacerbate the issues of Islamophobic attacks. Through gendered Islamophobia, Muslim women are disproportionately targeted in incidents of gender-based violence.

ETFO remembers the victims and survivors of this violent event and calls for action against Islamophobia on this day and everyday. 

Resources to support you in addressing and disrupting Islamophobia can be found here.
Professional Learning Events
From Charity to Justice 2022 
March 30 and March 31
ETFO Provincial Office

Charity work is an immediate and short-term response to social issues. When justice is integrated, identifying systemic causes and long-term strategies becomes the focus. This women’s conference will address how members can connect their community involvement with social justice, social movement unionism, and labour’s role in the current climate justice movement. 

Contact Punita Bhardwaj at [email protected] for more information.

Read more.

Registration opens February 2 and closes February 16 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Allyship: Advocating for Change 
March 9 and 10 
Virtual Event

This program will provide members, who identify as women, with the opportunity to explore concepts such as identity and positionality, privilege and marginalization, intersectional identities and allyship. 

Read more by viewing this flyer

Registration opens on January 27 and closes on February 10. 
Become a Women in Action Facilitator
Are you interested in supporting women to engage in a leadership journey? Have experience with adult facilitation and want to join the Women in Action facilitator team?

Apply to be a member facilitator with this ETFO women’s program. 

To select women identified members, the Selection Committee will review application responses and consider equity representation.

 Applications are due on February 1, 2022. 

Apply here.  
Member Services
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) Update – A Win to Celebrate – The Purchase of Pension Credit for Some Periods of Reduced Workload

ETFO, along with the other teacher affiliates, through the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) has been actively pursuing a plan amendment to allow members to purchase pension credit for periods of reduced workload due to disability and childcare responsibilities. This has been a hard-fought battle that has gone on for more than a decade and a recognition of additional member rights. The plan co-sponsors, the OTF and the Ontario Government, recently announced a plan amendment that will allow members to purchase service (matched by employers) for periods of reduced workload due to disability or childcare responsibilities. It is a great new benefit for members. This change becomes effective on September 1, 2022.
Members who are eligible can purchase credited service for periods of reduced workload ending on or after September 1, 2017. It is important to note that members will not be eligible if they have started a pension or terminated plan membership and taken a lump-sum payment as of September 1, 2022. For additional information about eligibility, visit the OTF website.
The OTPP is developing the application process. They do not have additional information to share with members at this time, so there is no need to call them. Members can go to their website to see updates as they become available.
Offord Centre for Child Studies Research Paper

Dr. Magdalena Janus and her research team from the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University, conducted a research study titled, "From Full Day Learning to 30 Minutes a Day: A Descriptive Study of Early Learning During the First COVID-19 Pandemic School Shutdown in Ontario". The study looked at Kindergarten educator’s well-being and their perspective on children’s learning in the context of the initial COVID-19 pandemic shutdown from March to June of 2020.

As part of the research, ETFO members, as well as members from the other affiliates, were invited to participate voluntarily and anonymously in a survey that asked questions about the pandemic’s impact on students, on their learning, and on educator well-being. The study has just been released and can be accessed here.
Educator Blogs
  • In Restorative Circle Activities, Gary Stewart writes that Teachers and Education Workers can help students process their thoughts and feelings so they can better handle their situations and be more present in class.

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The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
represents more than 83,000 teachers and education workers.