25 union activists from the Waterloo Region teacher local travelled to Toronto last week for the Annual Meeting of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. In addition to over 800 public elementary school teachers and education professionals, your local representatives helped to set policies and directions for the coming year during the Federation’s annual democratic forum.
Some highlights of the meeting included:
- ETFO President Sam Hammond spoke about the incredible developments over the last year and looked at the year to come. View the video of President Hammond’s speech on Youtube.
- This year’s social justice speaker on Wednesday was Canadian defense lawyer Dennis Edney who served as defense attorney for Omar Khadr and is the recipient of human rights awards from the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights among others. Mr. Edney contributed signifiant time and his personal money to this case – placing a considerable strain on his family. Annual Meeting delegates and the provincial executive showed their support by contributing over $10,000.
- A variety of important motions were debated and voted upon throughout the week. The ETFO Annual Meeting website includes a detailed account of the motions presented this year with updates about which were approved.
- The Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley brought greetings from the broader labour movement and shared about the importance of our Federation’s win in the Supreme Court Challenge of Bill 115.
- Unifor President Jerry Dias rallied the delegates on a break from his unions bargaining with General Motors at the hotel.
Throughout the meeting, many of your Waterloo delegates spoke about motions at the microphone on a variety of issues. In addition, our local president Greg Weiler was an active participant during the meeting as a member of the Provincial Executive.
Delegates are nominated by members throughout January and approved at the Winter Business Meeting in February.