Board of Directors Meetings
A key function of CTF is bringing together the political leaders of Member organizations – i.e. teacher organizations from coast to coast to coast. Three times each year provincial and territorial Presidents and General Secretaries who make up the CTF Board to liaise while discussing the key educational and labour issues of the day. Meetings provide opportunity for networking, sharing and most importantly planning action based on common values and goals.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The Annual General Meeting is opportunity for larger delegations from Member organizations to debate policy, provide input on activities, set the budget and elect officers. Each annual meeting provides issues discussion sessions and guest presentations. Award winners for the Special Recognition Award, the Public Education Advocacy Award and the Outstanding Indigenous Educator Award are announced and celebrated. The meeting provides a broader opportunity to build cross-country liaisons. Federation AGMs rotate between Ottawa and a host Member organization.
Canadian Forum on Public Education
Each year immediately prior to the Annual General Meeting the annual Canadian Forum on Public Education is an opportunity for open discussion on an issue of importance to public education. CTF has frequent major discussions with key national and international organizations that influence our education system from a wide range of perspectives, opinions and beliefs. We are in a unique position to bring people together to focus on forces for change in education. The annual Forum provides opportunity to share, discuss and expand understanding on critical matters in education. Participants from government, university, public and private education, school boards and teacher associations expect to challenge and to be challenged in an atmosphere of respectful, open dialogue. This is your opportunity to hear and be heard.
CTF strikes four Advisory Committees to which teachers are named by the CTF Board of Directors. Member organizations nominate teachers and the final selection is made at a Board of Directors meeting with regard to demographic, gender and language criteria. Committees include:
- Advisory Committee on Indigenous Education reviews the efforts of CTF in reaching out to teachers and students in Indigenous schools throughout Canada, fostering partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups, and advising on how to make non-aboriginal schools more accepting. The Outstanding Indigenous Educator was a suggestion of this committee.
- Advisory Committee on Diversity and Human Rights reviews the Federation program on social justice, human rights, and equality gaps. The committee makes recommendations for ways to enhance the existing broad CTF program and to link to Member organizations. The committee has in recent years reviewed publications, recommended partnerships and created a diversity report card.
- Advisory Committee on French as a First Language holds a slightly different role that the other committees as they advise on a program of project-based, externally funded research and production of materials targeted specifically at helping francophone families in schools throughout Canada. The Committee is assisted in its work by the Agents de Liaison appointed from each Member organization to provide a national support base that reaches into every corner of the country. The Committee organizes an annual symposium, often in liaison with a Member organization and is responsible for several very popular CTF publications.
- Advisory Committee on the Status of Women reviews the societal status of women and girls to advise CTF on ways to increase its impact in meeting the identified needs created by gender inequity. The committee has in recent years run successful annual symposiums, recommended policy changes and proposed resolutions for national and international consideration.
- Advisory Committee on the Teaching Profession explores “our” meaning of professionalism for teachers, advises the Executive Committee on important issues and concerns that impact the identify and reputation of public education teachers, on ways to enhance professionalism through the work of CTF and on relevant specific questions of practice and policy, documents, dialogue and/or events.
Canada is a world leader in education. Still, many of the initiatives that have huge impact on Canadian classrooms are global initiatives (e.g. high stakes testing) that may be driven by economic forces or ideologies rather than education interests. CTF monitors international activities and exerts influence primarily through its work with the global teacher organization, Education International. Avenues of political involvement include:
- Education International (EI): 30 million teachers from five regions sharing common values and voice; CTF runs a candidate for the Executive Board and cooperates with EI on development and cooperation work which helps millions of teachers and students, urgent action appeals when crises arise (which have saved lives) and emergency aid appeals when major natural disasters occur. The 2015 EI World Congress will be held in Ottawa.
- Commonwealth Teachers’ Group (CTG): teacher organizations from all Commonwealth Countries participate actively at the Commonwealth Conference of Ministers of Education to influence 50 – 55 Ministers and the Secretariat. CTG is a subgroup of EI. CTF has an elected official on the CTG Coordinating Committee.
- Le Comité syndical francophone de l’éducation et de la formation (CSFEF): the Francophone Trade Union Committee for Education and Training brings together more than 50 teacher organizations from 37 francophone countries who meet regularly to press for improved quality in developing nations, provide development and cooperation assistance and work to improve working conditions and benefits for teachers. CSFEF is a subgroup of EI. AEFO represents CTF on the organizing committee.
- EI Subcommittee on relations with OECD: A subcommittee reporting to the Education International Executive Board with advice on relations with OECD including input to the annual meetings with OECD. The 2014 EI/OECD meeting will be held in Montreal. CTF a seat on the subcommittee.
- North American/Caribbean Region (NA/C): CTF is part of the North American/Caribbean Region within Education International. The region currently elects four representatives to the EI Executive Board. CTF does much ongoing work within the region. In the year prior to a World Congress a Regional Meeting is held to plan and prepare to meet regional needs. CTF participates in the planning and several Member organizations join the delegation.
- United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW): Each year the United Nations hosts a meeting of this functional UN Commission which drafts recommendations for the UN on matters affecting women and girls. In addition to being part of the EI delegation, CTF assists the Canadian trade union movement in its input and has in recent years focused on assistance with communications. Several CTF Member organizations send delegates.
- International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP): Now in its fourth year the ISTP is a joint OECD and EI initiative that brings together government and teacher union/organization delegates from top performing countries in education (based on PISA Test results) as equals in open discussion of education issues. The 2014 meeting is in New Zealand. Canada is a strong contender to host the 2015 meeting. CTF has both submitted agenda items and attended all of the meetings in conjunction with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.