If you’re a teacher who likes to gamble, your odds of winning election to the College Council this year may be better than ever. An increase in the number of seats available to working teachers – 23 up from 17 – makes it so.
And it’s a sure bet that, as an elected Council member, you can influence the teaching profession for years to come by setting policies and influencing regulatory changes for improvement.
The September 5th to October 24th College Council election this year is special. It follows new provincial law and corresponding regulatory changes designed to increase member participation.
Bill 78 adds six new regional positions to Council for classroom teachers, ends the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test as a pre-condition for certification and establishes a New Teacher Induction Program. Corresponding regulations put an end to the need for provisional certificates and introduce an oath of office that all Council members must take to assure their duty to serve and protect the public interest.
To provide time to move the legislation through, the Minister of Education asked the existing Council to extend its term of office by six months. As a result the next Council’s term has been shortened to a bit more than two-and-a-half years. And preparation for this election is particularly tight.
To help ensure a fair election and to provide College members with available information as quickly as possible, Council approved this special edition of Professionally Speaking. Inside you will find information on voting jurisdictions and categories, the objects and functions of the College, the nature of the issues that Council members address and their job responsibilities, as well as compensation policies and expected time commitment.
You will also find eligibility requirements and other information related to nomination.
You have until July 14th to file for candidacy or to nominate a colleague. To qualify, you’ll have to get supporting signatures from 10 colleagues who are eligible to run for the same position. You can only stand for one position and nominators can only nominate one person per position.
Candidate profiles, photos and attestations will appear on the College’s web site as of September 5th and in the September issue of the magazine. An information hotline will also provide details about the election and the College mandate.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to create a private Members’ Area account on our web site. After September 5th, you’ll need a private account to cast your votes on an electronic ballot customized just for you.
If you are employed, elected or appointed to the executive of any of a number of provincial organizations or serving as the president of an affiliated local office (see the list on page 5), you would be precluded from serving on College Council. You may run for election, but upon winning must agree to resign your current post before taking a Council seat.
To seek office you must reside in Ontario, be a College member in good standing, meet the eligibility requirements, attest to providing accurate information on your nomination form and swear an oath of office.
Those who win must swear an oath to faithfully and impartially, and to the best of their knowledge and skill, perform the duties of a member of Council and any of its committees, knowing that their guiding duty is to serve and protect the public interest.
Does that sound like you? If so, step up. It’s your College. Your profession is calling.