April 26, 2018 — Every year beginning the first Monday in May, Ontario celebrates Education Week. This year, Education Week is from May 7 to May 11.
The theme of Education Week 2018, Public Education – It’s for Everyone, recognizes a publicly-funded education system is perhaps the province’s most important asset, and that we must continue to ensure that we meet the needs of all who rely on it in a rapidly growing and changing Ontario.
The celebration of Education Week was established by OSSTF/FEESO in 1930 to recognize and celebrate the essential role public education plays in the lives of communities all over the province. Within a few years Education Week was being celebrated across Canada, and today, thanks to OSSTF/FEESO’s initiative 88 years ago, it is officially recognized in Ontario and observed by education stakeholders throughout the province.
As part of Education Week, we celebrate Support Staff Appreciation Day on Wednesday, May 9. This is a day to recognize and celebrate the many and varied contributions that the team of secretaries, technicians, educational assistants, instructors, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, attendance counsellors, early childhood educators and the many others in education, make to Ontario’s publicly funded schools and universities as well as to Ontario’s students of all ages
Kevin Smith was presented with the Jennifer MacLean Health & Safety Award at AMPA 2018. Shown in picture are Pierre Cote (OSSTF General Secretary), Kevin Smith, Laura Turner (Provincial Health & Safety Committee Chair)
March 8, 2018 — Every year on March 8, members of OSSTF/FEESO join with women’s organizations, other unions, and workers around the globe to mark International Women’s Day.
It is a day on which we celebrate the immeasurable social, political, economic and cultural contributions and achievements of women in Canada and around the world, as well as the many significant advances in women’s rights brought about by the tireless work of activists throughout the years.
Many of those advances have come through gains made by unions. Provisions for pregnancy/parental leave, family care leave and pay equity all point to the important role that unions have played in improving the lives of women and their families.
But even as we celebrate these gains, we recognize that an enormous amount of work remains to be done. Wage discrimination persists, women are still disadvantaged by inadequate childcare programs, and in our legislative bodies, as well as in the world of business, women are still significantly underrepresented in leadership roles. As the recent Me Too and Time’s Up movements have dramatically underscored, sexual harassment and sexual assault are common experiences for far too many women, both in their workplaces and in their communities. Equal rights and formal protections may exist in legislation and in collective agreements, but as long as sexist and misogynist attitudes are allowed to persist, there will always be much more work to do in the struggle for true equality.
As education workers, OSSTF/FEESO members have always played a key role in advocating for and advancing the rights of women and girls. The first Federation motion supporting the principle of equal pay for equal work, in fact, was passed at our second annual meeting in 1920. Since the early 1990s we have paid specific attention to the issue of sexual harassment through the production of resources like The Joke’s Over and Still Not Laughing. And through our partnerships with organizations like the White Ribbon Campaign and coalitions advocating for pay equity and better childcare, as well as our involvement in campaigns such as Sisters in Spirit and Women’s Memorial Marches, we continue to advocate in our communities for women’s rights and equality.
Please join me today as we celebrate the achievements of women, and stand in support of the ongoing quest for women’s equality.
February 28, 2018 — Today the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, return to their classrooms for the first time since the horrific mass shooting there on February 14.
OSSTF/FEESO strongly supports the movement that has arisen since the shooting, led by those very students, advocating a sane approach to gun control, and a legislative regime that places the lives and the safety of students above the perceived rights of gun owners.
On March 24, March for Our Lives will converge on Washington DC. The March aims to bring together youth and allied adults to demand that the lives of students become a priority and that governments work to end gun violence and mass shootings, especially in schools.
OSSTF/FEESO members who wish to support March for Our Lives can find more information, leave messages of support, or make donations through marchforourlives.com.
January 15, 2018 — Applications are now open to all members of OSSTF/FEESO for appointments to provincial standing committees and councils. Any member in good standing is encouraged to apply for one of our many provincial committees and councils for term and cooption positions.
Vacancies are available on the following Committees and Councils:
The APPLICATION FORM is available online and will require you to login in to the Registered User section of the website. The online form will migrate your member information from our database automatically.
If you have not yet confirmed your account on our website, you will be prompted to do so by using your email address. If you have any issues with confirming your account, please contact Membership Database at Provincial Office (416-751-8300 or 1-800-267-7867). If you encounter any issues with the online application form, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for on-time applications is March 1.
December 6, 2017 — On December 6, 1989, fourteen women at École Polytechnique in Montreal were targeted and killed simply because they were women.
Every year now, December 6 is observed as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. We honour the lives of the Montreal Massacre victims, and we remember all the women whose lives have been lost or impacted because of gender-based violence. It is also a day on which we renew our commitment to taking action.
“OSSTF/FEESO members have always taken an active role, both inside and outside of the classroom, in creating dialogue about gender-based violence,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof. “In recent weeks sexual assault and sexual harassment have been prominent in the news, but we know that those high-profile stories are just a small indication of a much wider problem – a problem that affects countless women whose stories will never be told on the national stage.”
“Twenty-eight years after the Montreal Massacre,” continued Bischof, “gender based-violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault still plague women in their workplaces, in their homes, and even in public spaces. That is why we must always work to keep the conversation going and change attitudes about violence against women.”
“Today, OSSTF/FEESO members across the province will be participating in events to honour the victims of the Montreal Massacre and all victims of gender-based violence. And they will continue to work with students throughout the school year to implement initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality, confronting sexism and misogyny, and preventing violence against women and girls,” concluded Bischof.
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