You may not have noticed, because we haven’t drawn a lot of attention to it yet, but we’ve been quietly publishing Update on a dedicated website, osstfupdate.ca, since late last year. The “soft launch” of the dedicated site is the first phase of a plan to transition Update from a static, print-only publication to a more dynamic and responsive source of pertinent news for OSSTF/FEESO members.
We will continue to publish the print version of Update on a monthly basis during the regular school year, but throughout this current year we will begin to reduce the number of printed copies while actively encouraging members to access Update via the website.
This move isn’t simply about following the trend to online publishing and away from print. We still see a great deal of value in having print copies of Update available to members in schools and other worksites around the province. But there are also distinct advantages to an online presence. The publication schedule of the monthly print version of Update, for example, doesn’t always lend itself to timely coverage of important news for our members. If significant news breaks between the day the publication goes to print and the day it is delivered to members’ workplaces, that issue of Update is already partially out-of-date before anyone even reads it. And there have been times over the past couple of years, through the long period of central bargaining and the subsequent extension talks, when we’ve delayed production of the print version because we knew an important development was imminent and we wanted to be able to include it. But those kinds of adjustments can mean long gaps between deliveries of print issues, and create the risk that other items within those issues will be “old news” by the time Update is in the hands of members. Update’s online presence will allow us to publish pertinent OSSTF/FEESO news when it happens, and notify members via email and social media.
We encourage all members to visit osstfupdate.ca, and check back frequently.