ETFO Protocol Concerning Members’ Self-Identification
1. Current practice
Self-identification for ETFO members is voluntary and confidential.
Since 2000, ETFO has invited members to self-identify as a member of one of the following designated groups on all application and registration forms:
Members are also invited to self-identify on ETFO’s annual member information survey. Beginning in 2007, members who elect to self-identify on the survey will have two options: to self-identify for statistical purposes only, or for statistical purposes and for outreach (including direct mail) regarding ETFO programs, including leadership programs, focus groups, writing groups, standing committees, etc.
2. Personal identity
Many people bear identities that have been imposed upon them by those around them. These identities are often based on stereotypes, and can result in social marginalization.
Voluntary self-identification provides individuals with autonomy in defining their identities at a particular time and according to their own criteria. These criteria can include race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, personal history, culture and tradition, and social and political knowledge.
Since identities are multiple and shifting, the process of self-identification is never straightforward or clear cut. The objective is not to categorize people, but to increase our collective knowledge of the identities of ETFO members in order to meet their needs better.
3. Why has ETFO chosen to collect self-identification information only for these particular “designated groups”?
With one exception, ETFO’s "designated groups" are the same groups identified in Ontario's Employment Equity Act (enacted in 1994 and repealed by the Harris government in 1995) and in Canada’s Employment Equity Act (1986, still in effect). The LGBT group has been added to ETFO’s “designated groups”, as this group has in recent years been identified by courts throughout Canada as a key equity-seeking group.
These “designated groups” are identified in ETFO’s “Statement on Social Justice and Equity”, approved by the provincial Executive in 2002.
4. Why is ETFO collecting this information?
ETFO’s constitutional objects and current priorities include commitments to social justice and to member involvement.
Collecting and reporting self-identification statistics is one way ETFO holds itself accountable to members for those commitments.
Members’ self-identification information enables ETFO to reach out to members from equity-seeking groups, to alert them to relevant programs, and to seek their input and assistance in developing inclusive services and programs.
Self-identification helps to ensure that all of ETFO’s policies and practices are inclusive, reflective of our diverse membership, and reflect our priorities.
ETFO Priorities for 2014-2015
5. ETFO’s Commitment to Members’ Privacy
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is committed to respecting members’ privacy and protecting members’ personal information.
The handling of all personal information by ETFO is governed by Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA or FOIPOP).