Important Labour Update

Reposted from an email received.

October 23, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are writing to update you about the continued impact of the ongoing, province-wide legal job action currently being undertaken by members of three unions:

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) which represents elementary teachers

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which represents school support staff including custodians, school office staff, Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators and others

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), Professional Student Services Personnel Unit which represents education workers (not teachers) including Attendance Counsellors, Child and Youth Counsellors/Workers, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists and others

These unions are currently in contract negotiations with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. Details of the duties and services no longer being performed during this job action can be found at

During these exceptional times, we continue to focus on keeping schools open and safe for students and staff and ensuring that learning continues. We are closely monitoring the condition of our schools and assessing any health and safety implications for students, staff and visitors.

Continued withdrawal of services by ETFO and CUPE is having an impact on the normal operations of our schools. It is simply NOT possible for elementary principals to perform the many duties and tasks that nearly 11,000 elementary teachers and 15,000 CUPE support staff are not doing during this labour action.

As ETFO has directed its members to NOT prepare report card comments or complete or package progress reports, we are unable to issue Kindergarten to Grade 8 elementary progress report cards between November 6 and 12, as previously scheduled. Should a tentative agreement be reached with ETFO, we will revisit the situation.

In addition, ETFO has directed its members to NOT conduct parent/guardian interviews that are related to progress reports unless the teacher identifies a concern about a student’s progress.

We also regret to inform you that ETFO has recently announced that beginning Wednesday, October 28, they are directing elementary teachers to withdraw from all voluntary extracurricular activities (e.g. sports and clubs).

At this time, OSSTF education workers (not teachers) are providing services and supports to students and parents/guardians only during regular school hours.

It is also important to note that if the current partial withdrawal of services by elementary teachers and school support staff is prolonged or escalated, it may have an impact on some daytime school activities, as well as evening programs and after-school permits.

TDSB is in contact with child care administrators who operate out of TDSB schools. Every attempt will be made to preserve access to licensed child care programs in our schools, however, modifications may become necessary (e.g. changes in hours of operation, limited access to alternate rooms except in an emergency, change in entry practices etc). Please contact your child care centre for more information.

We remain hopeful that collective agreements with these unions can be achieved in the very near future to bring an end to the labour action and return schools to normal. As always, we are committed to keeping you informed. Please continue to check and monitor local media for any developments, including the latest on province-wide contract negotiations.

Robin Pilkey

Donna Quan
Director of Education

Some Important dates next week

October 19
Federal Election (Polling station in the library – library closed to students)

October 20
Photo Day

October 23
Pizza Lunch
Pizza lunch orders will be taken next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the school lobby in the morning before school starts (8:30am to 8:45am).

Extra-Curricular events, sports and clubs

With the Work To Rule, extra-curricular events are limited, but there are a number of sports and club in progress or about to start. These include Cross Country Running, Slo-Pitch Baseball, Toronto Police Sports Program, Intermediate Indoor Soccer Intramurals, Karate Kids, Read Up Club and soon to be starting Grade 5 and Grade 8 Boy’s Volleyball with Mr. Poon.

The Cross Country Area meet was held on October 8 at Ashbridge’s Bay with a great showing and a number of students advancing to the Conference Finals on October 16. The City Finals will be held on October 22.

The Toronto Police Community Response Unit is running an after-school sports program for Roden Grade 8 students on alternating Tuesdays in the gym and on the other Tuesdays, Mr. Lam and Mighton are running an after-school intramural soccer league for their Grade 7 and 8 students.

Slo-Pitch baseball is well underway on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, coached by Mr. Lasso and Bradley Nicolaou. A decision to host or attend a tournament is still to be decided.

Karate Kids is taking place every Tuesday at lunch with about 50 participants in Grades 1 to 5. They have had three classed so far with total of 12 classes for this session.

Read Up Club, a free after school reading club for Kindergarten to Grade 3, takes place every Tuesday from 3:30 to 4:30 in the library. Students arrive with parents or guardian, check out a bag of books at their skill level and read with a volunteer for about 15 minutes.

Second Annual Fall Fundraiser: Get Outside! at Roden’s Great Outdoor Adventure

Roden’s biggest annual fundraiser is coming THIS FRIDAY! Students have been working hard to get sponsors and win some BIG prizes!

A few reminders to make this event a success:

· SPONSOR ENVELOPES must be returned by Thursday morning this week in order to win prizes.
· All students must return their SPONSOR ENVELOPE to the school even if they don’t receive any sponsors.
· This event will take place rain or shine, so please ensure your child dresses appropriately.
· Show some Roden spirit by having children wear their Roden t-shirts!

In addition to all of the INDIVIDUAL PRIZES, a CELEBRATION PARTY will be awarded to the two classes who raise the most funds (one for JK/SK to Grade 3 and one for Grades 4 – 8) and FOUR TOP PRIZES will be awarded to the highest fundraisers in each of the kindergarten, Grades 1-3, Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-8 class groups. Prizes will be announced during the closing ceremony on Friday, October 16 at 1 p.m.

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Second Annual Fall Fundraiser: Get Outside! at Roden’s Great Outdoor Adventure

On Friday, October 16, Roden’s annual Walkathon will be replaced with a challenging outdoor obstacle event, due to the current teacher’s work to rule. The Great Outdoor Adventure, Roden’s biggest fundraiser of the year, will be held on school property to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all. It’s coming up in just ONE WEEK!

Last year’s Walkathon was a tremendous success raising over $10,000 and our goal is to do that all over again! All proceeds will go towards classroom field trips and outdoor education opportunities.

We are asking that each child strive to raise more than last year so we can surpass our goal! Sponsor Envelopes must be returned on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before the event. Those returned on Tuesday will be entered into a draw for an exciting prize!

Parents are encouraged to volunteer on the morning of the event or help your child’s class go through the fun and challenging obstacle course. The course will include a tire jump, string maze, haystacks, pumpkin sweep races and much more!

Please sign up to volunteer by returning the green form to the office or online here: by Tuesday, October 13.

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