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How the Union Works


The business of the union involves a variety of bodies, events, departments, committees, elected officers, staff members and volunteers. Together, these institutions and individuals work to implement the objects and priorities of the Federation on behalf of all its members. 

Annual Meeting

ETFO’s Annual Meeting is held in August each year. Each local sends a minimum of two voting delegates to this meeting as well as additional delegates calculated on the basis of one per every one hundred and twenty members of the local. The local may also send alternate delegates and observers to the meeting.

The Annual Meeting ratifies the priorities of the organization, elects the Executive, approves the budget and fees, amends the Constitution, votes on resolutions, and fulfills a variety of other responsibilities.

Provincial Executive

The Executive at the provincial level consists of fourteen members who are elected to two-year terms by the delegates to the Annual Meeting:

  • the president,
  • the first vice-president,
  • two vice-presidents (one position open to women only),
  • the ETFO representative to the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, and
  • additional executive members as necessary to complete an executive of fourteen (four of these positions are open to women only).

 The Executive meets regularly and is responsible for:

  • carrying out the business of the federation,
  • receiving reports and recommendations from committees,
  • authorizing legal support for members in employment-related cases, and
  • carrying out a variety of other responsibilities.

Representative Council

The Representative Council is composed of the president of each local and additional representatives based on the size of the local. The Council meets three times a year and is responsible for

  • reviewing the proposed annual budget,
  • recommending policy to the Executive or Annual Meeting,
  • recommending actions to the Executive,
  • approving ETFO’s bargaining goals,
  • and other activities.

Standing Committees

ETFO has a number of Standing Committees such as:

  • Annual Meeting
  • Anti-Poverty
  • Anti-Racist Education
  • Arts
  • Awards
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Disability Issues
  • Early Years
  • Education Support Personnel /Professional Support Personnel /Designated Early Childhood Educator
  • English as a Second Language
  • Environmental
  • French as a Second Language
  • Health and Physical Education Committee
  • Human Rights
  • Indigenous Education
  • Intermediate Division
  • International Assistance
  • Labour
  • Library
  • Men's Focus
  • New Members
  • Occasional Teacher
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Pension
  • Political Action
  • Professional Development/Curriculum
  • Professional Relations and Discipline
  • Special Education
  • Status of Women
  • Teacher Education/Faculty Liaison
  • Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Plus (2SLGBTQ+) Members

The members of these committees are appointed provincially and they meet during the year to carry out their assigned tasks and make recommendations to the Executive.

Task Forces and Work Groups

From time to time, task forces and work groups are established to deal with specific issues and topics. Members are appointed to task forces and work groups by motion of the Executive.

ETFO Locals

There are 76 locals in ETFO. For the most part each local is also a bargaining unit with a boundary corresponding to that of an employing school board. However, in some of the school authorities there may be two or more bargaining units combined within a local. ETFO is the bargaining agent for all bargaining units.

Each local has a president, executive members, committees, and other positions to meet the needs of the membership in the local.  Each member has the right to vote and to hold office in his/her local in accordance with the constitution of the local.


Each school or site where ETFO members work has an ETFO steward who is the eyes and ears of the local and provincial offices. Stewards are responsible for monitoring the implementation of the collective agreement and making ETFO members aware of ETFO services and programs. ETFO stewards receive training through ETFO provincial programs to assist them in carrying out their work.  Your ETFO steward will be your workplace contact for information about your local and provincial ETFO.

Provincial Office

ETFO Provincial Office has a staff of approximately 130 people organized into the following service areas:

1.  Administration/Office Services

2.  Collective Bargaining Services

3.  Communications and Political Action Services

4.  Equity and Women’s Services

5.  Health and Safety Services

6.  Professional Learning/Curriculum Services

7.  Professional Relations Services

The administrative leaders and staff at Provincial Office work together to implement the programs and services approved by the Executive and the Annual Meeting.