Wondering what you might be involved in and the difference you’ll make as a member of Council? Here are a few examples of the issues, activities and decisions that influence the direction of teacher professionalism in Ontario.
Since publication of the election call in the September issue of Professionally Speaking, many members have called or written to seek additional information to help them decide whether to run or nominate a colleague for one of the 23 elected positions that will be contested this coming spring.
Among more specific, individual questions, you wanted to know:
Are Council positions paid?
No. Your commitment to serve on Council is a commitment to serve the public interest. That said, the College will compensate your employer for release time and cover travel, accommodation and meals related to the work of Council and its associated committees. Election has other rewards, including the ability to participate in debate and decisions governing the future of teaching in the province, networking with like-minded certified professionals and public appointees, and professional growth and leadership opportunities. If you have to attend a meeting during the summer, you will receive an honorarium of $150 per day of service or $75 for meetings or preparation time that are less than three hours.
Am I able to run even though I am not employed full-time by a school board?
You must have worked at least 10 days in a classroom for a district school board in the year preceding the election to be eligible for a part-time or full-time regional position. Elected part-time members must remain employed and provide proof of teaching a minimum of 10 days each year to remain in office.
What does being on Council entail in terms of a time commitment?
The time you spend on Council business and related committees will depend to some degree on the work of the committees themselves. There are at least four Council meetings during a calendar year. Two days are set aside for each meeting and Council members are compensated for the time required to prepare. In addition, Council members typically serve on at least two of Council’s statutory, standing or special committees. As an elected Council member, you will require between 20 and 60 days of leave per school year, on average. On occasion, work may occur on weekends and during the summer.
I’m eligible for two positions. Can I run for both?
Although it’s possible to be eligible to run in more than one category, you can only stand for nomination in one. You must also have signatures from at least 10 colleagues who are also members in good standing and who are eligible to stand for nomination in the same category.
Know Your candidates
Make your vote in the 2015 Council election an informed one.
An election forum and individual candidate blogs will be available online at oct.ca on January 7, 2015. Get to know what the candidates think and where they stand on education issues, and ask them specific questions.
You can also access the forum and blogs from your mobile device via the College’s new app available for free on iPhone, Android and Windows phone platforms.