Every year, OSSTF/FEESO recognizes many Members, Districts, and Bargaining Units for the outstanding work that they do on behalf of the Federation and our Members. Their contributions have had a positive and lasting impact on OSSTF/FEESO, its Members, local communities and publicly-funded education in Ontario.
In most cases, awards are named after a person who inspired that specific award’s creation. In other cases, awards are named with the criteria of the actual award in mind. For example, the Communications Award is named for exemplary communication in a Bargaining Unit or District. For most of the awards, active Members can nominate another active Member, but in some cases, the District is required to submit an approval motion to accompany the nomination.
An investigation occurred in consultation with OSSTF/FEESO’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Coordinator and Members of the Equity Team and the Provincial Executive. After consultation and review, there were barriers and issues identified with awards that relate to equity and equal and fair access to the nominations process for every Member.
Changes to our awards were recommended and approved by the Provincial Executive. These changes will take effect September 1, 2025. These changes include:
- Removing any name attached to a Member or Non-Member award and replacing it with a more accurate depiction of what the award celebrates.
- Remove the ability of provincial committees to nominate their current Members for their own committee-related awards.
- Allowing each committee who has had a name removed from the title of their award to produce and decide a more appropriate name for their award before the end of June2024.
- Until such time that an appropriate name has been chosen, the award will be known as, for example, The Human Rights Award – formerly the James Forster Human Rights Award.
- Remove the weighting criteria from awards that favour leaders and Bargaining Unit executive Members.
- Encourage, by adding in the criteria, award DBU memo, and other award promotions that “OSSTF/FEESO strongly encourages a diverse range of nominations.”
The award notification process, changes and criteria will be outlined on the Member and Non-Member award’s pages on the website.
Member/Non-Member awards will be changed during the 2023-2024 Federation year to reflect the upcoming changes but will not be effective until September 1, 2025.
Committees, through their secretariat liaison assigned, will examine, and update their committee names and criteria, if required, by May 2024. The awards coordinator will notify each committee of the changes their awards require.