evote Q & As
Election Q & As
The government's Bill 78 will change the makeup of the Council of the Ontario College of Teachers. If passed, the legislation will have a significant effect on the 2006 Council election. As part of the legislative process, former Minister Gerard Kennedy informed the College of other changes he expects will be made through regulation.
Kennedy indicated that he expects Bill 78 to come into effect by June 1st.
The College must open nominations for candidates by June 24th and we expect to issue a call for nominations in a special edition of Professionally Speaking. The special edition will contain a nomination form along with more complete information on being a candidate or nominating someone to run in the election.
The questions and answers provided here are based on current information at the time of publication. In the event that the government's legislative deadlines are not met, nomination information will change.
The special edition of Professionally Speaking will be posted to the College web site as soon as the magazine is mailed.
If you are considering running in the election or nominating someone to stand, you will need to begin as early as possible the process of obtaining the right nominators, completing your nomination form and sending it to the College.
You will be able to obtain information and nomination forms on the College web site at www.oct.ca on June 24th or earlier. The College will also send election information via Your College and You to all those who have signed up to receive it. If you are not yet a subscriber you can sign up in your Members' Area account.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible to stand for election for the College Council?
A: If you are a member in good standing of the College, reside in Ontario and meet the specific eligibility requirements for any position, you are eligible to run.
Candidates for the 19 regional and system positions must be employed by their board as regular teaching staff on a full-time basis (most positions) or a part-time basis (some positions). Elected council members may not hold or be seconded to any other position.
Q: Can I run for more than one position?
A: No. You can stand for nomination in only one category.
Q: How many positions are available and what are the eligibility requirements?
A: There are 23 positions in all. Four positions are reserved for supervisory officers, principals/vice-principals, faculties of education and private schools. This is unchanged from before. Six regional and seven system positions will be open to full-time regular teaching staff. Six regional positions will be open to part-time as well as full-time regular teaching staff.
Q: Are there exceptions to the eligibility requirements?
A: Yes. Employees of the Ontario College of Teachers are not eligible to stand for nomination.
Candidates for the 19 regional and system positions who are employed by or hold an elected or appointed position in one of 13 specified federation, professional or government organizations at the local or provincial level must sign an attestation that they will resign from that position if elected to Council. These organizations are listed on page 70.
Q: Can I be a candidate if I am a College member in good standing and I am retired or teach occasionally?
A: If you taught 20 days in the 18 months preceding July 14, 2006, you are eligible to seek nomination for one of the five regional positions open to part-time teachers.
Q: How do I get nominated?
A: If you wish to be a candidate you must send a completed nomination form to the Registrar by 5 PM on July 14, 2006. A nomination form will be included in a special election edition of Professionally Speaking, which will be mailed out June 24th. The Call for Nominations and nomination form will also be posted on the College web site as soon as they are available. You will need the signatures of 10 College members who, at the time of signing, are eligible to vote for the position you are seeking.
Check the College web site regularly for early access to the nomination form. Or sign up for Your College and You, our e-mail newsletter. The College will notify members through the newsletter when the nomination form is available.
Q: When will I know if I have been confirmed as a candidate?
A: The Registrar will respond to your nomination in writing within five business days.
Q: As an official nominee, can I circulate campaign information through the auspices of the College?
A: Nominees must submit biographical information that will appear in the September issue of Professionally Speaking and on the College web site. All candidate information will be available in English and French. The College will translate this material.
You may also have an opportunity to provide information via e-mail to College members who have supplied the College with an e-mail address. The College will also provide additional opportunities to be outlined at the end of June in a special edition of Professionally Speaking and online at www.oct.ca.
Candidates will be required to supply information about their teaching experience, current teaching assignment, federation experience and involvement, if any, other education-related activities or memberships, participation in professional development and personal professional interests, plus a statement describing their understanding of the duty to serve and protect the public interest.
Q: What is the time commitment for Council members?
A: The Council serves as the College's board of directors and is responsible for the management and administration of the College's affairs. Council members attend a minimum of four Council meetings a year. Members also serve on a minimum of two of the Council's statutory, standing or special committees. Chairs of Council committees usually have additional responsibilities. Council members will require a minimum of 30 days' leave per school year.
Q: Are elected Council members paid an honorarium?
A: No, but if you are an elected Council member and you are on a leave of absence to attend a Council or committee meeting, the College will reimburse your employer for salary expenses incurred in the hiring of a temporary replacement. In addition, the College reimburses members for expenses incurred while on College-related business.
Q: How long is the term of office?
A: The term of office for Council is normally three years. At the request of the Minister, the Council agreed to postpone the upcoming election for six months, which is expected to reduce the term of the incoming Council to two-and-a-half years.
Q: When would I assume responsibilities as a Council member?
A: If elected in October 2006, you would take office at the first meeting of the new Council on November 9th, 2006. You would be expected to attend a two-day orientation session sometime between October 26 and November 8.
Q: How can I get further information as a potential candidate?
A: If you are thinking about seeking a Council position, please visit the College's web site at www.oct.ca for the latest election news, or call the College at 416-961-8800 (or toll-free in Ontario at 1-888-534-2222), ext 682.
Information about the Council election is as up-to-date as possible. As this issue goes to press Bill 78 is still in front of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and is subject to change. If the bill is not approved by the legislature by June 1st, Council election information may be subject to significant change.
Regulations required to conduct the election are also still under discussion between the College and the Ministry of Education and so are also subject to change.
For the most up-to-date information, refer to the College web site at www.oct.ca and look for the logo.