Your Member News
August 26, 2021
Election Fever 
Last week more than 650 delegates representing locals across Ontario attended the Annual Meeting. Along with debates on policy positions and resolutions, members elected the provincial Executive to represent you for 2021-2023.
Toronto teacher Karen Brown was elected President; she has served as ETFO's First Vice-President since 2015 and was first elected to the provincial Executive in 2009. After being acclaimed on the first day of the Annual Meeting, Brown told delegates, “To effectively confront the Ford government’s agenda and defeat them in the next election, we must strategically build community power that puts people first. We must partner with parent groups, communities, and our labour and education partners from the childcare sector to post-secondary. Working together, we will affect the necessary changes to create a public education system rooted in equity and social justice so that every student and ETFO member can thrive.”
The election of Karen Brown is an important and historic moment. She is the first Black president to be elected to a provincial teacher affiliate union in Ontario and in Canada, and all five education unions: AEFO, CUPE – Ontario School Board Council of Unions, OECTA and OSSTF - in Ontario, are now represented by five women.
A complete list of the entire provincial Executive can be viewed here.
Position on Mandatory Vaccination
As we enter a new school year amidst a brewing fourth wave, many of our members have questions about vaccination protocols in school boards. ETFO has prepared this Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet to help answer your questions about the Ministry’s plans and ETFO’s position. As always, please reach out to your local or to the provincial office if you require support or accommodation.
Download the FAQ on Mandatory Vaccinations. And to view the united statement issued by the four educator unions on August 20, click here
Federal Election 
Justin Trudeau triggered an election, and in a few weeks, you have an opportunity to vote for the kind of government and pandemic recovery that we need for a better future. Save the date of Monday, September 20 because it is election day. Advanced voting occurs on Friday, September 10 through to and including Monday, September 13. Learn about advanced voting options at

Already we have seen that the Conservative playbook during elections never changes.

If Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole really wanted to support workers, he might want to reverse some of the damage he’s already done. Here’s his record:

  • he proposed a law that would allow corporations to walk away from their pension obligations, and voted to make it harder to refuse dangerous work;
  • during the pandemic, he said the government should give more money to big businesses and less to working people;
  • as a Harper-era cabinet minister, he voted to weaken unions and make it harder for workers to join a union; and
  • he supported unfair trade deals that cost thousands of manufacturing jobs. 

We’ve weathered the pandemic by sticking together, now we have to vote together.
Register for Student Vote Canada
Start the school year with a memorable and authentic learning experience with Student Vote.
The program uses the federal election, scheduled for September 20, 2021, as a teachable moment and brings democracy alive in the classroom. After learning about the election, students cast ballots for the official candidates running in their riding.
Student Vote is offered free to schools by CIVIX in collaboration with Elections Canada. Participating schools receive ready-to-use learning materials to teach about government and democracy and encourage research into the parties and candidates. Ballots and ballot boxes are also provided for the coordination of Student Vote Day. Join thousands of elementary and high schools across Canada.
Register at or by calling toll free: 1-866-488-8775.
Bill 115 Remedy 
ETFO and the government agreed to meet with Justice Lederer over two days in June to review our respective positions on a remedy resolution for ETFO members who were impacted by Bill 115. Prior to the meetings, the parties provided the Justice with a supplementary record, a compendium of material from the initial proceedings, extensive written arguments, and legal authorities in support of their positions.
The parties had agreed to participate in these discussions with the understanding that additional submissions might be required but that Justice Lederer would ultimately have the authority to issue a final decision on the remedy issues.
At this point, the process has been completed and we are still waiting for Justice Lederer’s decision. Your union will communicate the ruling as soon as it is available. Please continue to check your email. 
ETFO Fee Rate Reduction 
We would like to inform you of the ETFO fee rate reduction for the upcoming school year. The rate for the 2021-2022 school year was set by delegates to the 2021 Annual Meeting. The rate is 1.4 per cent of earnings – this is down from the 2020 rate which was 1.6 per cent of earnings.
Professional Learning Events
Heading Back to School Safely
Staying informed and asserting your rights is the key to staying safe. Health and Safety Services has assembled information on workers’ health and safety rights that has been shared over the last year. This includes a tip sheet, a COVID-19 checklist, information on work refusals and the OFL COVID-19 Guide for education workers.
A collection of information and resources on infectious diseases, with a focus on COVID-19 is also available on our website. The most current government documents and guidance from ETFO and other trustworthy organizations are linked.
Back-to-School Supports
As members prepare for the new school year, four webcasts have been uploaded to the ETFO website with three accompanying lesson plans for each. The topics of the webcasts include:

In addition, six virtual workshops will be available to locals in the fall. Like the webcasts, three lesson plans were created to accompany the workshops. The lessons for the workshops are also available to be downloaded from the ETFO website. Topics include:

  • Environmental Action/Climate Change
  • Now What? Tips for using primary learners’ identities to enhance learning
  • Re-energizing Your Early Years/Primary Class with Practical Projects
  • Re-energizing Your Junior/Intermediate Class with Practical Projects
  • The ART of Getting Through!
  • What is PLAY: Shifting Experiences in the Kindergarten Learning Environment
Land Acknowledgement Resource 
Are you looking for a curriculum resource to share a meaningful land acknowledgement with your students this September?
ETFO has great tools for educators on the site, plus you will want to check out our Starting from the Heart: Going Beyond Land Acknowledgement curriculum guide.
Member Services
New products on ShopETFO
ShopETFO has added two new items to its product catalogue: a mug and water bottle with the new ETFO logo. The mug can be viewed here and the water bottle will be available on the ShopETFO site in the next few days. 
Humanity Fund 
The ETFO Humanity Fund uses the resources of ETFO members to support children and their teachers around the world, enriching their lives and the lives of their communities.

The ETFO Humanity Fund was established in 2003. Since that time, it has made many donations to numerous charities. 
Click on this PDF link to see just a few of the amazing projects in Ontario, and around the world, that ETFO members are supporting through donations.
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The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
represents more than 83,000 teachers and education professionals.