PA/PR Briefing: Summer 2016

We hope that you have enjoyed your well deserved vacation this summer and are excited to return to school in a couple of weeks.

PA/PR Briefing will be published on our website blog throughout the school year and will include information about local, provincial and federal politics of relevance to educators and union/labour movement news. For more information or questions about any of the topics covered, please contact Vice President Jeff Pelich.

Throughout the summer, a variety of Political Action/Public Relations related issues and events have occurred.

  • The Wilfrid Laurier University custodians and trades workers (CUPE 926) were on strike in early July. ETFO Waterloo members showed their support by attending a variety of rallies and pickets before/during the work action.
  • The Ontario Federation of Labour’s Make it Fair campaign continues to be in full swing. ETFO-WR members are encouraged to join workers from across the region and the entire province as we Rally for Decent Work on Saturday, October 1st. Free bussing to Toronto is being provided by the Waterloo Regional Labour Council and will be leaving from the Wabanaki Labour Park (Unifor and ETFO Offices) at 600 Wabanaki Drive. RSVP here! 
  • Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed MPP Mitzie Hunter to Minister of EducationThe Toronto Star sat down with the new Minister to discuss her priorities. As well, Minister Hunter attended the ETFO Annual Meeting Gala in August and we are hopeful to have a more positive relationship with her.
  • The WRDSB Board of Trustees is considering a policy that allows parents to supervise extra-curricular activities. Luisa D’Amato commented on the policy in The Record in July.
  • “The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is coming under criticism for a plan to outsource 108 technology jobs. The move will outsource 35 bargaining unit positions, 12 management roles and 61 contract jobs to Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. The affected roles, which will continue until Jan. 1, 2017, are in Ontario Teachers’ enterprise technology service division that oversees data management and security. Some positions will move to Tata’s Ontario facility, with others sent to India. Some will remain at Ontario Teachers’ offices as well.” (“Ontario Teachers’ to outsource 108 IT positions” – Sara Tatelman, Benefits Canada)  ETFO Provincial has strongly opposed this move and has sent a letter to OTPP stating our concerns.
  • The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and Canada Post continue to negotiate as the union’s strike-mandate nears completion with little progress being made in negotiations. For more information about you can support our postal worker sisters and brothers, please visit CUPW’s website. In addition, a federal government review of postal services visits the region at the end of September. ETFO Waterloo Vice President Jeff Pelich will be representing the Waterloo Regional Labour Council as a delegation during this meeting. (UPDATE Aug 30/16: CUPW and Canada Post have an agreement in principle.)