Together we are #ETFOstrong

The General Secretary’s Report

General Secretary Sharon O'Halloran


ETFO General Secretary Sharon O’Halloran delivered her Supplementary Report to the Annual Meeting on Tuesday morning, which provided a synopsis of the financial management, membership details, and the programs and services offered to members to support them in their professional lives.

Since last August ETFO staff have been working to develop programs, materials, resources and public campaigns, and to train local leaders and members to protect the high-quality public education system that educators have helped to build. O’Halloran noted it was an incredibly busy 12 months given the election of the Conservative government in June of 2018.

“I am proud of the work that we do each and every day to promote social justice and equity in education and the broader society. We are a leader in this area. It is at the core of everything we do,” said O’Halloran.

A few of the highlights in the report noted the following ways that members were serviced and how ETFO’s work was strengthened:

  • An environmental scan of all policies, programs, and resources was conducted;
  • The ETFO Anti-Black Racism strategy was launched that involved the creation of a member brochure, anti-black racism policy, a conference for members, training for ETFO staff, and the development of a poster, workshop and curriculum resource to be launched later this year;
  • Leadership development, conferences, training and webinars that reached over 550 members;
  • One-hundred and ninety-seven workshops were offered by Professional Relations Services that supported over 7,300 members;
  • Collective Bargaining held a conference with over 260 leaders in March, conducted an online survey, a phone survey, and focus groups to help establish bargaining goals;
  • Over 250 members and local leaders participated in bargaining, enforcement and mediation skill development through a variety of Collective Bargaining Services courses;
  • Equity and Women’s Services held 25 provincial programs and launched Calling it out: Taking Action on Anti-Black Racism conference, and Level III of Women in Action;
  • Fifty-three equity workshops were also organized and delivered to locals;
  • The multi-year strategy on violence in schools established two new workgroups, one focused on Special Education and the other on the root causes of violence;
  • Health and Safety also held two conferences, two regional workshops, and five women’s program regional workshops and launched a new health and safety website;
  • Communication and Political action focused on the public campaign that included advertising in communities and an online strategy that has reached millions of Ontarians and translated into action to push back against government cuts;
  • Ten government submissions were submitted, 40 media releases, two media conferences, 130 print stories quoting the ETFO President, and ETFO led Twitter trends across Canada with the #HandsOffFDK campaign, #Fordisfailing and the April 6 rally that used #CutsHurtKids;
  • From the Building Better Schools website more than 100,000 emails were sent to MPPs on class size; and
  • More than 40,000 members signed a pledge card to commit to engage and act as part of the Building Better Schools campaign.

And this is only a snapshot of the work undertaken.

O’Halloran concluded by offering her thanks.

Together, members, local leaders, provincial executive members, and our staff have helped build organization from the ground up. For the past two decades, you have proven that working through together as a collective makes us strong.

It is this collective strength that will help to keep #ETFOstrong as we defend public education.


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