The Awards Committee shall work to enhance the image of teachers and the Federation within the school community by recognizing the contributions that teachers make to the school system, the community and the Federation. The committee will also promote member awareness of ETFO Provincial scholarships and awards.

The Awards Committee will also recognize schools that support our members by a special “Awards of Recognition” to schools in the North, East and West at our Spring Annual Meeting.

Donna Bethune, Chair

The Goodwill Committee is responsible for sending special occasion cards and sometimes gifts to members. Please let us know if you are aware of a member celebrating a joyous occasion such as getting married, having a new baby, celebrating a milestone event. Please also advise us if a member is suffering a serious illness or loss. We will endeavour to show our support on your behalf.

Donna Bethune

Committee Chair


The mandate of the Health and Safety Committee is to promote safety in the workplace. As such, we inspect schools in the system and report unsafe conditions to site supervisors and the Board’s Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC).

We both attend JHSC meetings as representatives for the Elementary Occasional Teachers’ Union six times/year and contribute ideas and recommendations for the improvement of health and safety to the committee and to the membership.

We agree to maintain confidentiality of personal information gained through incident reports and investigations.

Al Bero and Nicole D’Angelo

JHSC OT Representatives


For more Health & Safety information, please refer to:


What Should You Do if You are Injured at School?

You need to complete a confidential Employee Incident Report (EIR), even if it is a minor injury or a near miss.  Completion of this report is absolutely vital in all incidents of injury, no matter how small.

Please note that there are two types of EIRs.  The EIR-A form should be used if your injury involves aggression or violence.

The other EIR form is utilized for all other types of injuries, such as slips, trips or falls.

It is important that an EIR is completed in case your injury worsens and a WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) claim is needed.    What might appear to be a minor injury could become a bigger one a few days (or even months) later.

You can find the form on myhdsb or get it from the school office staff.  After you complete your portion of the form, there is another part for the school admin to complete and sign.

Make sure to keep a copy of the EIR for yourself.  In addition, please send a copy to Al Bero and Nicole D’Angelo by email or by courier to the HEOT office, as the Board has changed its policy and no longer informs the union of all OT EIRs.  Thank you!



Do you get keys and a swipe card each time you go into a school as an OT?

Believe it or not, this is guaranteed by your Collective Agreement, Board policy and Ministry directive. When you sign in at the school, make sure that you are provided with these keys so that you are prepared for whatever happens.

Just think, if the school is in the middle of a lockdown on a day in which you were there and you had no keys to secure your classroom, you and your students are at risk.

If the school is unable or unwilling to provide you with keys, please phone or email Bette Anne Stevenson so that this situation can be rectified.  Also, please remember that it is your responsibility to return the key and swipe card to the school office at the end of the day—don’t forget!





Standing on Chairs – A Big NO NO!

As an ongoing pursuit to reduce accidents by workers our board is proactive in their steps to protect workers.

Each school has been provided step ladders to be used by staff when they need to work at levels that require minimum height. ALL STAFF ARE ADVISED THAT YOU SHOULD USE A STEP LADDER TO REACH HIGHER PLACES AND THAT YOU ARE NOT TO STAND ON A CHAIR. Standing on a chair will place you at risk of a fall and a possible injury.No member should be working at a height that exceeds 10 feet unless they are properly trained to work at that height.


Keeping That Voice in Top Shape

The following article appeared in the Toronto Star on Friday, December 15, 2006. It is good advice for all those that use their voice and particularly good advice for Occasional Teachers.


  • excessive loud laughing, cheering or screaming/shouting, constant throat clearing and coughing, straining of voice,changes in pitch and loudness
  • speaking in noisy places without proper amplification
  • speaking with an upper respiratory infection, sore throat or when losing your voice-mouth breathing in cold weather highly spiced foods


  • filter out the dust and maintain proper humidity levels in home and work environments. If dry, use a humidifier- stay in smoke and dust-free environments
  • make sure medications do not dry your throat
  • substitute skim milk and ice milk for whole milk and ice cream
  • rest your voice regularly-use sugarless gum and sugarless candy to relax the system and to create saliva
  • drink warm liquids such as herbal teas and water regularly
  • drink water frequently- work on your voice and train it, with guidance from professionals
  • practise breathing and relaxation exercises
  • open your mouth and move your lips and tongue to speak; speaking with your lips closed muffles the sound
  • practise good posture
  • find the maximum resonance in your face and chest to produce your fullest sound. Then soften it to find different tones. Treat your body as your instrument.

Occasional Teachers know how to have fun and stay connected.  You know this if you have ever attended one of our functions.

Recently, we   enjoyed an evening together at our Festive Open House . It was fun to chat with old and new colleagues.

Your HEOT social planning committee is open to your special suggestions.

Please join us this year for fun and networking by attending some of our 2017/18 social events!

Gay Ahmed, Social Chair

 Christmas presents for our adopted family!

The mandate of this committee is to advise the Executive on ways of enhancing the status of women in the teaching profession and in society.

To this end the committee shall:

  • investigate and inform members of social and equity issues pertaining to women;
  • develop and promote programs that enhance the health and well-being of women;
  • fundraise for community groups that focus on women and children;
  • sponsor programs to inform and educate staff, students and the community about relevant issues;
  • provide advice on the content, delivery, and design of status of women programs for locals;
  • advise the Executive on how to promote opportunities for networking, leadership, and professional development for women members.

Mary Kebalo-Plata, Status Chair

Have a great day, everyone!

ETFO invites any women members that self-identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

ETFO invites 28 First Nations, Métis and Inuit women members to participate in this third annual, two-day leadership gathering at the provincial office in February. Members will learn about the Federation and union leadership, courageous conversations, and will be inspired as they hear from two active union Indigenous members. To register, visit the ETFO Events Management System at and click on the FNMI Women Leadership Symposium tab. The deadline to register is January 7, 2018.

Miigwetch – Thank you

Rachel Mishenene

Executive Staff, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

136 Isabella St., Toronto, ON  M4Y 0B5

416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836 ext: 2256

Fax: 416-928-5336  | E-mail:

Website:  | Twitter: @RMishenene

FNMI resources:




Welcome back to another exciting year of PL for Occasional Teachers for 2017/18! I I am Megan Andrews and will be your new PL Chair! We are now on Google under the umbrella of the Halton District School Board. We have allocated more money to our subsidies !

We will continue to register the majority of our workshops online due to its overwhelming success.  The workshop listing will appear on HDSB Occasional Teacher Elementary Talk on Google  approximately 3 weeks in advance. You will be directed to link with another website,, to sign up there. No holding cheque will be required BUT you will be requested to pay a $10 forfeit charge if you do not attend. Remember to bring in your new planner and it will be stamped if you wish to keep a record of workshops attended. All of our workshops are included in the planner.

We allocated more money to our subsidies last year and will continue to offer this valuable resource to our members! You have access to an Individual Professional Learning Subsidy (up to $150 per school year), this can be accessed for more than one event now BUT can only be processed once, in other words you would hand the paperwork for all events attended, in together. We recommend Wendy Harrison and Marilyn Turner as facilitators, for Tribes Training if you are interested even though the Board no longer requires it some schools still use many of its guidelines.  We now cover AQ courses as well (conditions outlined on form). An Educational Resource Subsidy (up to $50), is also available. Both of these subsidies close May 15th or when the available funds are exhausted. For more details and application forms please visit our website: under forms.

We now have a Dependent Care Subsidy available for all PL events. You will find the form to fill out under “forms” on this website. Details are under Member Resources.

Also, remember to check the ETFO Provincial website,  for exciting Professional Learning opportunities. ETFO also has a site especially designed for Occasional Teachers ETFO Occasional Teachers – offering advice, instructional tools and curriculum resources. Visit it today!

You can also access HDSB PD through PD Place on Twenty percent of the spots in each Board workshop are available to daily OTs.

We look forward to working with you and meeting  all new Halton OTs!

Megan Andrews,  PL Chair