April 9, 2021
Memo From ETT President Jennifer Brown: We Are One Union
Thank you for the dedication and hard work you have shown during this incredibly challenging time. I know this week has not been easy, but I want you to know that you are valued, and your efforts are greatly appreciated by all of us.
I am reaching out to ensure you are kept informed of matters impacting our membership. You may already be aware that pursuant to a motion passed at the ETT Executive Meeting on March 24, ETT made a request to the TDSB for a list of ETT members in virtual school in order to directly reach out and provide additional support to these members during this difficult time.
Historically, ETT has successfully made similar data requests in order to better advocate for our members. This is in no small measure based on an assumption by the TDSB that the requests are made in good faith. Our members and stewards understand this principle and recognize that effective relationships at the school level are based on mutual goodwill between staff and administration. The spirit of this is captured in the Collective Agreement under Clause A 1.1 “mutually satisfactory relations.” The Board has no Collective Agreement obligation to provide this information and where it is provided, it is a result of the positive working relationships that have been fostered over time. This dynamic is no different at the system level and requires a certain amount of mutual goodwill with the TDSB to make progress while always firmly enforcing the Collective Agreement and defending our members’ hard-won rights.
While our recent request to the Board was made in good faith and characterized by the same transparency that has always accompanied such requests, we have learned that the Board was also made aware of an alternative “narrative” on social media based on the posts of elected ETT Executive members that created the perception of a different “ETT” position than that shared by the ETT President, as the official spokesperson for ETT.
The Board has let us know that this action has damaged the good faith that has been fostered to date. They have also notified us that they will be unlikely to accommodate such requests going forward as a result of the damage done by alternative “ETT” messaging on social media. ETT Stewards are elected/selected to be the official representatives of ETT at the worksite level and should not be responding to requests or directives from any other body or group that is not ETT sanctioned.We are one ETT, elected by you to represent your interests and demonstrate the collective responsibility and solidarity that is necessary to advance the priorities of all of our members. We are not a union within a union, and if social media posts masquerading as ETT policy continue, this will have a corrosive impact on our ability to advocate and lobby effectively on your behalf.
Despite this setback, we will continue to work as hard as possible to represent you and to rebuild goodwill. We appreciate your support and hope you know that we will always be in your corner.
Yours in solidarity,