Opening Statement



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

TSU Sped Committee Application Details

I regret any confusion! A revised version of our TSU committee application form was created to include our new Special Education Committee, but it hasn't been posted yet on the official TSU website. Today, I sent an electronic copy to all the department heads I have on my list from past meetings and events to fill out and share with their teachers. If you would like a copy please contact me at my gmail address on the top right side of our screen, or contact our secretary at the TSU office: sabina@tsuoecta.org

A few notes:

The May 18th cut off date on the form will not apply to our committee since it was formally created at our May 16 TSU UAGM. If you will recall, up until now it had been an Ad Hoc Committee, but no more. I have suggested a May 31st cut off date, but with this latest wrinkle in the application process will ask for approval of an extension until June 15th at our next executive meeting on Monday June 4th, and notify you accordingly. Please keep sending the applications in, by fax or email, once you receive them.

The new Special Education Committee is listed with the Collective Bargaining Committees on the second half of the application. These are full status committees just like any other. However, since they deal with work issues that would apply exclusively to our Toronto Secondary members, only our TSU members can apply.

Next see the list of Joint Committees underneath that. Part two of my committee plan is to ask for the creation of a TCDSB-TSU Joint Special Education Committee, which would then be listed here, should it be approved during our contract negotiations. These Collective Bargaining and Joint Committees deal with TSU contract issues, so only our TSU members can participate on them.

Under our TSU Constitution and By Laws, the Occasional Teachers [TOTL] are a part of what is known as our "Political Unit". The OT's can join any of our committees at the top of the page, along with our TSU members. These deal with matters that are common to all of us, but as far as discussing anything contractual, well TOTL has it's own "Collective Bargaining Unit" for that.

It would take a whole blog to try to properly address these intricacies in any detail. Suffice to say, our new Special Education Committee is an official TSU Collective Bargaining Unit Committee dealing with issues and concerns particular to our contract with the board. As such it is only open to our Toronto Secondary members, not anybody else, except perhaps by special invitation as a guest. The reason is because the specific issues and concerns addressed only primarily concern and directly affect TSU teachers via our teaching contract with the school board.

So fear not, we now have a full fledged committee, with a Collective Bargaining Committee status that recognizes the great important of Special Education issues to our members.

We do not yet have a Joint Special Education Committee, though hopes are high. When created it's membership details will be announced. Most TSU Joint Committees include executive and committee members with important experience and skills for our meetings with the counterpart team from the TCDSB. The meetings are jointly chaired, for example on a rotating basis. The local committee [ie Special Education] would help develop a good, knowledgeable, skilled and comprehensive TSU team whom will be available to participate in the Joint Committee during the years ahead to maintain consistency and continuity to our effort.

The local Special Education Committee would also help discuss and develop plans to assist the Joint Special Education Committee. It would hold meetings with our superintendents  for informal discussion and consultation in between Joint Committee meetings. Our TSU Special Education teachers, department heads, and members would also be provided with an opportunity to meet with the superintendents for discussions too, through the committee, to provide info and consultation to and from from the field.

Complicated? You bet, but it is quite an exciting prospect that requires our utmost attention, so if you are interested, please apply.

One last thing. Some of you have seen them before, but these are the Terms of Reference for our Special Education Committee, as carried over from our previous Ad Hoc Special Education Committee. They are:


To gather classroom and Special Education teacher input on trends and concerns in Special Education

To outline developing trends, patterns and issues/concerns from TSU members in the field

To determine implications for classroom and special education teachers of Ministry direction and policy in Special Education

To determine implications for classroom and special education teachers of TCDSB direction and policy in Special Education

To help further develop the Issues, Trends + Concerns Survey Paper on Special Education with recommendations for TSU executive and our membership.


There are more details on our new Special Education Committee, and the creation of a Joint Special Education Committee in my previous posting below. I will post the 2011-12 Ad Hoc Sped Committee Report from our TSU UAGM here as soon as I can. It can help you understand the past work of the committee up until now.

Hope this helps! Please apply as soon as you can!

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