Due to the inclement weather day declared by HWDSB, the February 16th, 2021 HWETL Experienced Stewards’ Training is cancelled for today.
On behalf of the more than 2400 members of the Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local (HWETL), the Executive makes this public statement of support on the issues involving the Trustees of the HWDSB:
HWETL is a progressive labour union whose aims include fostering a climate of social justice in such areas as anti-poverty, non-violence, and equity.
HWETL joins the call for ending individual acts of racism and the dismantling of systemic racism in our public institutions. Racism, and oppression are systemic problems within the HWDSB and each one of us, individually, and as organizations, need to do our part to call it out and work towards stopping them.
School Board Trustees, as elected officials, represent the public’s link to all students and employees of this school board, and not only need to be accountable and transparent, but also they should, as a body, combat racism, and ensure that there are continual efforts towards anti-racism and anti-oppression within our Board.
Whereas there were a number of serious violations of Conflict-of-Interest guidelines committed by several Trustees related to this matter, and that these violations lessen the integrity of the HWDSB and which call into question the ability of HWDSB to act as the moral and political authority to continue to govern universal public education in Hamilton-Wentworth.
The HWETL Executive, on behalf of its members, calls for the immediate resignation of the any and all trustees found to have been acting in racist and oppressive ways as reported in the HWDSB’s recent investigation.
HWETL commits to working internally to provide education and training so that it can contribute to the eradication of racism and oppression within the HWDSB.
HWETL also commits to working with other organizations to help dismantle racism and oppression at systemic and institutional levels across our community.
In respect of the HWDSB Director’s insistence of the employees of the Board to “call out racism”, HWETL expects that there be no reprisals for staff calling out racism in their workplace and that the HWDSB immediately commit themselves to working with HWETL in developing and adopting a “Whistle-Blower” policy which has been repeatedly denied by the board despite HWETL requests in the past.
HWETL also calls for the HWDSB to reverse their previous decision of making the trustee names contained within the public report anonymous and commit to making them public.
HWETL accepts that we need to serve a role in ending racism and oppression in all its forms. While education is only the first step towards intersectional social and economic justice, it is an important and necessary step. HWETL hopes that we can walk together with others in this journey.
Together we must do better. Together we can do better.
- In Solidarity,
- Jeff Sorensen
- Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local
On an unpaid Family Status Accommodation leave to care for your children while schools are closed? This benefit may be helpful for you.
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.
If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
FOR MORE INFO, SEE:
HWETL Executive Open Letter on Anti-Black Racism
Dear Members of the Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local and to the Communities in which we work, and live,
The Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local (HWETL) is a Union dedicated to fostering a climate of social justice and to providing a leadership role in such areas as anti-poverty, non-violence, and equity. The teachers of our Union strive to recognize, understand, and address anti-black racism, and all forms of discrimination and inequity each day in their classrooms, school yards, and virtual classrooms. Yet, there is more to do. Much more.
HWETL recognizes that it needs to take greater action for its own members, and for those in our community, who are the victims of Anti-Black Racism. We will commit to re-affirming and increasing our efforts to eliminate Anti-Black Racism.
The 2300 teachers of HWETL know, and call upon our community to accept, that an injustice suffered by anyone somewhere, is an injustice to all everywhere. Individual and systemic Anti-Black racism must not be allowed to continue. It must be eliminated so that we all can be safe and free to enjoy the benefits of a civil society. More importantly Anti-Black Racism must not be allowed to target and cause harm to those fellow members of our community who are hurt by it on a daily basis.
It would be a mistake to believe that anti-black racism is an issue of another place, or of another time. It exists now, and in our community. It is a false comfort to believe that the systemic and individual cases of anti-black racism that have been witnessed thorough our media recently, and in the past, could not happen in Hamilton-Wentworth, and do not happen in Hamilton-Wentworth. Many, in our community, encounter and suffer from these injustices each and every day in their schools, workplaces, and neighbourhoods. It must end.
Join in the fight to end Anti-Black Racism. Learn about Anti-Black Racism, and question your own beliefs and actions. Speak up, privately and publicly, and demand systemic changes in our society. Vote for candidates that recognize and address the issue. Become active and seek out allies in the efforts to eliminate inequities wherever they exist. Stand up and oppose Anti-Black Racism when you witness it.
At this already difficult time, our thoughts and feelings go out to the known victims of Anti-Black racism such as George Floyd, and their families and friends, as well as those victims whose names we do not yet know.
Together, we can work towards a better community, and world, for all of our students, and all of your children to learn, grow, and live.
Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local Executive
WHY POVERTY? MARCH 26th, 2020
This workshop will explore attitudes towards and perceptions of poverty in a broader context. It will examine the impact of poverty in the classroom and school community, look at the many ways issues related to poverty can inform and impact teaching practice and explore the concept of becoming active in addressing poverty in the community. The workshop will include individual and group-shared discussions about issues of poverty, case studies related to the impact of poverty in classrooms and school communities, and provide resources to support teaching practice as well as school and community understanding.
HWETL details: This workshop will run from 4:30 to 6:00 pm; Light dinner will be available by 4:00 pm. Please let us know if you have allergies or dietary restrictions. To register, click HERE, or call the HWETL office at (905) 318-2771 or email Cindy Gangaram directly. For more information, contact Cindy Gangaram at firstname.lastname@example.org
At this May’s General Meeting HWETL is having a general election. All positions are vacated, and individuals must run for election. This year, thanks to all the work of the Ad Hoc Election Review Committee, the Local has new and improved nomination forms. Included with each nomination form are information and rules governing the nomination processes for each different type of Executive Position. These positions are (click the positions to access the nomination forms):
Vice-President (Women Only)
Vice-President (Open) – Two Positions
Executive Member-At-Large (Women Only) – Three Positions
Executive Member-At-Large (Open) – Four Positions
If interested, any HWETL member in good standing can complete as many different nomination forms as they wish. Please note that as an equity-seeking organization, HWETL has designated positions.
These Nomination forms were distributed through Stewards at the Winter General Meeting on February 4, 2020, and via email through your steward on February 11, 2020 (and can be found in the links above).
An informational night will be hosted at the Local office at 105 Nebo Road for anyone considering declaring themselves a candidate for the May elections. That date will be announced shortly.
Nomination forms are due by Friday, April 3, 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Sorensen at
Race & Education: The Water We Swim In
Film Screening and Workshop
April 15th, 2020
The film Race and Education: The Water We Swim In provides participants with a glimpse of the lived experiences of racialized educators in Ontario. This film is used as a tool to allow for scaffolding of knowledge, provides real life examples of racism and discrimination through discussions, activities and self-reflection. Participants will come away with a stronger understanding of the many faces of racism, the effect it has on individuals and ways to be an ally by challenging racism and discrimination.
HWETL details: This workshop will run from 4:30 to 6:00 pm; Light dinner will be available by 4:00 pm. Please let us know if you have allergies or dietary restrictions. To register, click HERE, or call the HWETL office at (905) 318-2771 or email email@example.com directly. For more information, contact Cindy Gangaram at firstname.lastname@example.org