What is happening?
ETFO has negotiated a 2022-2026 tentative central agreement for its teacher and occasional teacher (T/OT) members.
This T/OT tentative central agreement applies to approximately 80,000 ETFO members who work as teachers or as occasional teachers. The T/OT tentative central agreement does not apply to ETFO’s 3,500 education worker members who voted on and ratified their central agreement on October 23, 2023.
Does this mean there will be no strike action for T/OT members?
If the T/OT tentative central agreement is ratified by teacher and occasional teacher members, there would be no central strike action during this round of bargaining.
Who is able to cast a ballot in the T/OT tentative central agreement ratification vote?
Only active ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members may cast a ballot in the ETFO 2022-2026 T/OT tentative central agreement ratification vote.
ETFO Education Worker members cannot participate in this ratification vote because the T/OT tentative central agreement applies only to ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members. Education Worker members already have a ratified central agreement.
What is an active member?
For occasional teachers, an active member is an ETFO member who has paid ETFO dues within the last 120 days.
For permanent teachers, fees must be deducted from every pay, unless the member is on a board-approved leave, in which case active status continues for the duration of the leave (i.e. sick leave, pregnancy/parental leave or another collective agreement leave).
When can members vote?
The online vote to ratify the ETFO 2022-2026 T/OT Tentative Central Agreement begins on Monday, December 11 at 9:00 pm (i.e., immediately after the final telephone town hall information meeting). Voting ends on Friday, December 15 at 8:00 pm.
Times are listed in Eastern Standard Time; voters in Central Time Zones need to adjust times accordingly.
How are T/OT members voting?
The ratification vote is online.
Where can T/OT members find the voting site?
The URL for the voting site will be posted on the home page of ETFO’s collective bargaining website (etfocb.ca) during the afternoon of December 11, 2023.
The voting site opens at 9 pm on December 11, 2023, immediately after the T/OT telephone town hall information meetings. T/OT members will receive a phone call from ETFO on Wednesday, December 11 inviting them to participate in the telephone town hall meeting.
Is there advance/late voting?
No. The voting website will be active only during the online voting period. Once the voting period ends on Friday, December 15 at 9:00 pm (EST), members can’t cast their ballot.
But members will be able to vote for the entire time that the online voting site is active – “24/7”.
Can someone vote on my behalf?
Unless there are accessibility issues requiring accommodation, ETFO does not recommend sharing private information, like your ETFO number, with others or giving permission for another person to cast your vote.
How do T/OT members get to the voting website to cast their ballots?
The voting website address and voting instructions will be provided to T/OT members in a CB eNewsletter sent to them on Monday, December 11. The same information will be posted on the home page of this collective bargaining website.
Local T/OT presidents will also be provided with the voting information and encouraged to share that information through local communication channels.
What information do T/OT members need to vote?
In order to participate in the vote, you will need to input your ETFO member ID number and your last name.
I can’t remember my ETFO number. What do I do?
If you can’t remember your ID number, or you’re not sure what last name ETFO has on file for you, contact ETFO Member Records at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Is my online vote anonymous?
Yes, it is anonymous. No one at the ETFO provincial office, on the Provincial Executive or in any ETFO local has access to a member’s voting data.
Is my vote secure if I decide to vote through a public computer (e.g., a computer at school, the public library)
Yes, it is secure. Members can vote through any device, in any location, and be assured that their online ballot will not be tampered with, seen or altered.
I’d like to review the information contained in the online voting site and take a day or two to think about how I will cast my ballot. Can I do that?
Yes. You may enter and exit the online voting site as many times as you need over the duration of the voting period in order to view (and review) the videos, documents and audio files contained in the site. All you need to do is log out of the site.
NOTE: Do not vote until you have completed your review of the information in the voting site. Once you cast your ballot, you will not be able to re-enter the voting site and review the information.
When will ETFO announce the ratification vote result?
Friday, December 15 at around 9 pm EST.
RATIFICATION VOTE IS BY ‘DOUBLE MAJORITY’
How is the vote outcome determined?
The T/OT tentative central agreement is ratified on the basis of a double majority vote.
What is a double majority vote?
It is a two-step majority voting process. A double majority for ETFO would be:
- a majority of ETFO T/OT members who participate in the vote. The individual votes of T/OT members are calculated as an overall total (i.e., “one member, one vote”);
- a majority of ETFO T/OT locals. In order for a local to be deemed to have voted in favour of ratification, a majority of voting members of that local must have voted in favour of ratification.
Why is ETFO using a double majority process to ratify the tentative agreement?
In September 2014, the provincial Executive considered ETFO Annual Meeting resolutions about double majority ratification vote processes, and then passed motions concerning collective bargaining. The provincial Executive determined that a double majority voting process should be implemented for ratification of any central collective agreements.
Does a double majority vote fulfill the ratification requirements required by legislation?
Yes, the double majority process complies with ratification requirements in the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act and the Labour Relations Act.
What does the double majority vote process look like for ETFO members during a central tentative agreement ratification vote?
For the T/OT central tentative agreement ratification vote currently taking place, a double majority comprises:
- the overall majority of eligible T/OT members who cast a ballot (“overall vote”); each ETFO T/OT member is able to vote once in the overall vote;
- the majority of T/OT locals (“local vote”); this means ETFO T/OT members who belong to more than one local are able to vote once in each of their locals.
If the double majority is achieved (i.e., a majority of the overall vote and a majority of the local vote supports acceptance of the terms of a central tentative agreement), then the 2022-2026 T/OT Central Tentative Agreement would be ratified and would form part of ETFO T/OT members’ collective agreements.
I am a T/OT member who belongs to two ETFO locals. Does the double majority process mean I get to vote in each local?
ETFO has a list of T/OT members who belong to multiple locals. If you are on this list, you will receive a special email from ETFO with instructions about how to vote within the double majority process.
Does that mean these members get to vote multiple times in the voting website?
No. To preserve the integrity of the overall vote, members who belong to multiple locals can:
- vote once in the main online voting site (same system as for members who belong to one ETFO local); and
- cast any additional ballots in the secondary online voting site.
Members who belong to multiple locals will be emailed instructions from ETFO early in the voting period that will allow them to cast their additional ballots in the secondary online voting site.
So does this mean these ETFO members are voting two or more times in the overall vote?
No. In the overall vote, ETFO members who belong to multiple locals can cast only one ballot, just like any other eligible voter.
In the local vote, these members are not “voting twice” but simply voting once in the overall vote, and also voting in each local in which they are eligible.
An equivalent analogy is:
- In Ontario municipal elections, a voter is eligible to vote in each municipality in which they own or rent property. That means they are allowed to vote once in each of those municipalities.
- However, that same voter can only vote once in a provincial or federal election.
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