PEOT Mission Statement
The Peel Occasional Teacher Local is a professional organization that:
- negotiates and enforces the Collective Agreement
- supports members
- advocates on behalf of all members
- provides services which support the diversity of the membership
- educates members through events, communications and personal contact
- engages members in the Local
Our organization began in 1989 when we were organized as a Branch of Peel District of the Ontario Public School Teachers Federation (OPSTF). Margaret Hansen was our first President and since we had no office and very little equipment the whole operation was run out of her home and all of it done on only 20 days of release per year. General Meetings were usually held at school board facilities and occasionally we would be invited to join the “parent” District at a social function at the Educator’s Centre. Because we were not an independent unit we had no guaranteed representation at OPSTF Annual Meetings, but as the years went by more and more OTs gained an interest in the proceedings and ran for delegate or alternate status on the Peel District Delegation.
As part of Region 6 of OPSTF our Branch attended regional meetings with other Districts which also had OT branches. Margaret worked very hard to bring those branches together to form a coalition, of sorts, which would work for the betterment of OTs everywhere. This first “union” of OT branches later led to the development of the association now known as the Golden Horseshoe Occasional Teachers – an important and moving force behind many of the gains OT Locals have made in the last few years.
Margaret retired in 1995 and Betty Holseth became our President. We still did not have an office and Betty was still trying to run the branch on 20 days release a year – not an easy task as the numbers of OTs in Peel was growing substantially each year. Then in 1997 a major change occurred when OPSTF and the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario (FWTAO) united to form the new Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO). OTs were no longer merely a Branch of a Teacher District but we became independent Locals – with our own incomes from dues our members pay, with increased release time provided for Local Presidents, and, of course along with that, increased responsibilities to provide for our members. It was no longer feasible for our growing Local to be run from the President’s home and in 1998 we moved the operation to one of the offices in the ETFO area of the Educators’ Centre. With the new office, of course, we needed more office equipment. With the increased workload we needed to release more than just the President to run the Local. Therefore, in December of 2001 we re-located to our very own larger premises on Traders Blvd. in Mississauga where we continue today. In June of 2003 Betty decided not to seek re-election and Shelly Jan became the third President of what is now the Peel Elementary Occasional Teachers’ Local (PEOT).