RELEASE - Peel’s Sharron Raymond Receives ETFO Honorary Life Member Award

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News Category : PETL News

TORONTO – Sharron Raymond, a former president of the Peel Elementary Teacher Local, was honoured by her colleagues last night when she received an Honorary Life Member Award from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) at its Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Honorary life memberships, the Federation’s highest form of recognition, are given to members who have retired from the education profession and who have given outstanding service to the Federation.

In 1979, and with two years of teaching to her credit, Sharron found herself walking the pavement in the first ever Peel elementary teachers’ strike to ensure a fair and transparent staffing process.

Following the 1995 ‘Days of Protest’ against changes to the education system brought in by former Premier Mike Harris, Sharron was elected to the Peel Collective Bargaining committee as chief negotiator. During the 2004 round of negotiations, after a straight fifty-eight hours of head-to-head negotiations, Sharron’s team was able to achieve parity with secondary educators in benefit funding for elementary teachers. In 2005, Sharron was acclaimed president of the ETFO Peel Teacher Local. With a strong team working with her, the local was able to successfully bargain limits on staff meetings, supervision and report cards.  As well, an arbitration decision guaranteed Peel elementary teachers jurisdiction over preparation time.

In 2005, Sharron was elected to the ETFO provincial Executive. She was part of an environmental workgroup that developed guidelines for locals and the provincial office to ensure that ETFO reduced its environmental footprint. She also participated in the disabilities workgroup that sought to ensure buildings, communications, and ETFO events were accessible to all.  During her second term on the provincial Executive, Sharron also served as a Governor of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation. In 2008, she joined the ETFO provincial staff to work in collective bargaining. Following her retirement last year, Sharron can be found volunteering with the Caledon Victim Services and Vera Davis Nursing Home.

“Sharon made many important breakthroughs in collective bargaining to improve teacher working conditions for which we are all grateful,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Equally important, she helped build ETFO’s social justice leadership when it comes to the environment and disability rights.”  

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.