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Human Rights Statement

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is committed to:

  • providing an environment for members that is free from harassment and discrimination at all provincial or local Federation sponsored activities;
  • fostering the goodwill and trust necessary to protect the rights of all individuals within the organization;
  • neither tolerating nor condoning behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of individuals or the integrity of relationships; and
  • promoting mutual respect, understanding and co-operation as the basis of interaction among all members.

Harassment and discrimination on the basis of a prohibited ground are violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code and are illegal. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario will not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code, at provincial or local Federation sponsored activities.
 

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La Fédération des enseignantes et des enseignants de l'élémentaire de l'Ontario s’engage à:
 

  • offrir aux membres un environnement exempt de harcèlement et de discrimination dans toutes les activités provinciales ou locales parrainées par la Fédération;

  • encourager la bonne volonté et la confiance nécessaires pour protéger les droits de toutes les personnes au sein de l’organisation;

  • ne jamais tolérer ni excuser un comportement qui mine la dignité ou l’amour-propre des personnes ou l’intégrité des relations; et

  • promouvoir le respect mutuel, la compréhension et la coopération comme base d’interaction entre tous les membres.

Le harcèlement et la discrimination sur la base d’un motif illicite sont des violations du Code des droits de la personne de l’Ontario et sont interdits. La Fédération des enseignantes et des enseignants de l’élémentaire de l’Ontario ne tolère aucune forme de harcèlement ou de discrimination, telle que définie par le Code des droits de la personne de l’Ontario, dans les activités provinciales ou locales parrainées par la Fédération.

Harassment under the Code is defined as engaging in offensive behaviour or conduct, on a single or repeated basis, against another person when that behaviour is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome or unwanted.


These actions may relate to, but are not restricted to an individual’s position of authority, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, language, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, religion, marital status, socio-economic status, family status, personal health or disability.


Sexual Harassment:


Sexual Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  • offensive behaviour, comments and/or gestures;
  • sexual advances or remarks;
  • requests for sexual favours;
  • a reprisal, or threat of reprisal, for rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favours;
  • the display of exploitive material.

Racial and Ethnocultural Harassment:


Racial and Ethnocultural Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  • ridiculing, degrading or expressing hatred or intolerance, whether verbally, in writing or physically, based on race or ethnic origin;
  • displaying offensive or derogatory materials of a racist nature;
  • refusal to work with a person because of race or ethnicity.

Sexual Orientation Harassment:


Sexual Orientation Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  • ridiculing, degrading or expressing hatred or intolerance, whether verbally, in writing or physically, based on sexual orientation;
  • displaying offensive or derogatory materials of a homophobic nature;
  • refusal to work with a person because of sexual orientation.

Other Forms of Harassment:


Other forms of harassment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Offensive, embarassing or harmful references to an individual's intellectual or physical capacities, appearance, or family status;
  • words or actions that result in feelings of uneasiness, humiliation, discomfort, and distress;
  • an expression of perceived power and superiority over another person, usually for reasons over which the victim has little or no control.

What to do if you feel harassed or discriminated against at a Federation sponsored activity:


Every individual has the right to decide how to respond to harassment and discrimination. Nothing in this procedure shall restrict the right of a member to file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The following represents a process for resolving a complaint of harassment or discrimination by a member of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario at a Federation sponsored activity.
 
Depending on the circumstances, a member may wish to resolve a problem by doing one of the following:
  • discussing it directly with the individual involved;
  • seeking assistance to reach an informal resolution;
  • filing a formal complaint.

It is important to document the alleged incident(s), including times, places, and witnesses.

Step 1

It is recommended that a member, or an advocate acting on behalf of the member, make known to the individual that the conduct/behaviour of the individual is considered harassment or discrimination and is unwelcome. It is important to request, if possible, that the offensive behaviour cease immediately.

Step 2

If the member (or advocate) is not comfortable approaching the individual or if there is a recurrence of such behaviour following a resolution at Step 1, the member should approach the designated Human Rights Officer at the activity and ask the designated Human Rights Officer to act on her/his behalf. The designated Human Rights Officer will advise the ETFO representative in charge of the event or activity that there has been a complaint.

Step 3

The designated Human Rights Officer will separately interview the complainant and the respondent and any witnesses. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the complainant may then make a complaint in writing to the attention of the General Secretary.

Article VII of the ETFO Constitution outlines the process for filing a formal written complaint.

Step 4

The complaint will be investigated by the General Secretary or staff designate. If it is determined that the complaint is valid, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as outlined in Article VII of the ETFO Constitution and Bylaws. If it is determined that the complaint is frivolous and/or vexatious, the General Secretary may dismiss the complaint.

Every effort will be made to maintain strict confidentiality in the complaint process. The Federation may be required to disclose information related to the complaint to investigate the complaint, take disciplinary action, or where disclosure may be required by law.

All correspondence and other documents generated under these procedures will be marked “private and confidential” and will be stored in the office of the General Secretary for five (5) years.