Who we are
Occasional Teachers working at UCDSB are members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario.  ETFO represents 76,000 teachers in Ontario and is the second largest teachers union in Canada. Occasional  teachers belong to a separate bargaining group from the contract teachers.  Our Local is called UCOL (Upper Canada Occasionals' Local) and we have approximately 650 members who work as supply teachers.  While all of our members are qualified teachers, they are a heterogenous group.  Some are retired teachers, some are career Occasional Teachers and others see OT work as a way of gaining experience before obtaining a full-time teaching contract.

What we do
Under the law, our job is to negotiate a Collective Agreement with the school board and then to ensure that it is followed.  We do that and much much more:
  • Professional Development & Learning  PDL) Local & Provincial conferences and workshops
  • Lending Library (see resource tab)
  • Awards - Excellent Schools and President's Award
  • Poltiical Action and Public Relations
  • Legal Assistance

​Who runs the Local?
At the Local level, you elect an Executive at the Annual Meeting held in May.  This year your elected representatives are:  Diane Dewing, President, Sylvia vanCampen, VP, Judy Haddad, Treasurer, Paula Carmichael, Professional Learning Chair, as well as Members-at-large John Bouwers, Cindy Turton, Susan Thorpe, Mike Baker,and Bobbie Wylie. A short profile of each executive member can be found at the end of this section and the Contact page will put you in touch with them.

How do Local leaders stay current?
The individual Locals meet with other Locals and affiliate unions in their areas  to share information, better utilize resources and form a larger picture of local needs.  Leaders of individual Locals also meet three times a year at Representative Council in Toronto to evaluate the policy and direction of ETFO and to develop actions which complement them.  Leaders in the Eastern Region meet in October and March and all occasional teacher leaders meet in September and June.

How are YOUR concerns heard by provincial ETFO?
UCOL has 2 delegates to the ETFO Annual Meeting, held in Toronto in August. It develops the policies and direction of the Federation (also referred to as the Union).  The Annual Meeting also elects the president, 3 released officers and the other members of the Provincial Executive  (total of 14 members). This Executive serve as the Directors of the Federation and make important decisions about the focus of this organization and the financial implications of each area of focus.  Our provincial President is Sam Hammond, our First VP is Susan Swackhammer, the Vice-president is James McCormick and the VP (female) is Maureen Weinburger.  I sit sit on this executive and speak often about educational issues emerging in our schools. Through the website (etfo.on.ca) members may also apply to serve on various provincial committees.  These committees advise the executive about important issues and initiatives concerning which they have special expertise.


President - Diane Dewing
A veteran of 31 years of teaching, Diane has been an occasional teacher for 22 years.  She has worked in the high school system in Quebec and within the elementary system in both Quebec and Ontario.  Diane became a member of the UCOL's executive in the year of its inception--1998.  In 2000 she became Grievance Officer and Chief Negotiator for the Local.  In 2003 she assumed the position of President while maintaining the portfolios of Grievance Officer and Chief Negotiator.   Diane has been a delegate to ETFO's Annual Meeting since 2000 and a member of the Representative Council during the same period.  She has served on several Provincial Task Forces - -Occasional Teacher Performance Appraisal (2003 - 04),  Evaluation of Building for Tomorrow ( 2004 - 05), Regional Service Delivery Model (2005 -06), Work Outside of the Instructional Day (2007), Cyberbullying (2008) and School Board Hiring Practices (2009).Redundant Teacher Assigned to LTO's (2011) and Reg. 274 Best Practises (2013).  She was a member of the Provincial Collective Bargaining Committee (2004 - 2007) and Budget Committee (2008-09) and is a respected contributor to POTS (the assembly of ETFO Occasional Teachers). In 2009, Diane was appointed a Governor of the Ontario Teachers' Federation. She works with the Teacher Education Liaison Committee at the University of Ottawa and is one of ETFO's three members of Upper Canada District School Board's Health and Safety Committee. Presently Diane is serving a fourth 2-year term as a provincial executive member for ETFO.  As a member of the provincial executive she has served on the provincial Grievance Committee, the Legal Support Committee, the Budget Committee, the ETFO Hiring Committee, the Selection Committee and the Regulation 274 Workgroup. With the Ontario Teachers' Federation she serves on the Awards Committee and with the Canadian Teachers' Federation she serves on the Human Rights and Diversity Committee and has served 6 years as an OTF Governor. Diane believes that our strength as occasional teachers lies in our commitment to professionalism and in maintaining solidarity.She works hard to support both these ideals

Vice- President  - S. Van Campen.
Sylvia is in her 19th year of Occasional Teaching and has been working as an OT with the UCDSB since 2000.  She has served on our local executive for fourteen years; as a Member-at-large, Awards Chair, Communications Chair, PD Chair, Collective Bargaining Committee, Equity Chair and Occasional Teacher-Board Relations Committee member and Treasurer.  Sylvia has participated in many ETFO workshops and conferences and is knowledgeable of both Local and Provincial issues. Provincially she served on the Special Education Committee (2007 - 2011 and is a trained ETFO Presenter.  She was the recipient of the UCOL President's Award in 2010 for her contributions to the Local and the support of members.​ This year Sylvia is serving as our Chief Negotiator.

Treasurer and PA / PR Chair - Judy Haddad 
Judy has served on the UCOL executive since 2007.  A retired teacher, Judy continues to contribute to our schools.  Previously she served ETFO as a Drake University course instructor and was Vice President of ETFO-UCL.  Prior to amalgamation, Judy was the president of the Lanark FWTAO. Judy is a valued member of our Collective Bargaining Committee, Treasurer and Chair of the Equity Committee.

Member-at-large - John Bouwers
John feels privileged to work for such a wonderful Local. John works as an occasional teacher in both the high school and elementary systems.  He has been an OT with Upper Canada since 1999, which was the same year he joined our Local Executive.  He has sat on the Negotiations Team, the OT - Board Relations Committee, the Political Action Committee, and the New Members Committee for the Local.  He has served as a delegate to the ETFO Annual Meeting on 5 occasions and has attended provincial OT meetings (POTS) on seven different occasions.  Previous to coming to Upper Canada, John worked as a teacher in British Columbia.

Status of Women Chair
Professional Learning Chair - Paula Carmichael
Paula has been an occasional teacher for the past 19 years.  She is motivated by the challenge and diversity of being an OT and making a positive difference in the lives of children.  Paula has a keen interest in agri-educaton, social justice and special education.  She is a past recipient of the President's Award and has attended ETFO's Union School.  In addition to Local initiatives and member support, Paula is also an instructor with ETFO in the Additional Qualification (AQ) courses with a concentrated focus on the Occasional Teacher AQ, Student Assessment and Evaluation and most recently Math Part 1.  Paula is dedicated to reaching out to new members and promoting professional learning opportunities.  As the PD/PL chair,  she welcomes your ideas and looks forward to providing engaging and motivating learning opportunities for professional growth and development.  Paula is also looking forward to promoting issues of importance to women and girls in her role as Status of Women Chair and encourages you to share your ideas and concerns with her.

​Member-at-large - Mike Baker
​Mike is glad to be a part of the ETFO UCOTL team once again. After a lengthy illness, Mike has decided to accept his LTD pension and join the executive once again. Mike has been a union steward and executive member with the ETFO UCTL. Mike has served the local and provincial offices by chairing and being a member of several committees. Mike's new role will be with the members-at-large where he looks forward to serving members once again. 

Member-at-large  - Bobbie Wylie
Member Engagement Chair
In 2009, Bobbie graduated from Queen’s University with an honours degree in English. She went on to receive her teaching degree the following year. Bobbie taught full-time in the private school system for two years. During that time, she taught students in grades 8 through 10. In the past, she has worked as a homeschool instructor and as a tutor. She is certified to teach in all divisions and she has completed a number of AQ courses. She joined the Upper Canada board in the fall of 2013 as an occasional teacher and she is enjoying the challenges and triumphs associated with this line of work. She has a real interest in special education, mental health, education law, and issues surrounding youth-at-risk. 

Member-at-large - Susan Thorpe
Status of Women Chair

This page was last updated: November 5, 2017
Susan graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1999 with an Honours degree in Biology. She worked in the field of environmental biology where she developed an interest in education. Susan graduated in 2009 with her B. Ed. from Queen's University with Intermediate and Senior qualifications. She has been an OT since 2009, starting in Upper Canada in 2010, where she teaches in both the Elementary and Secondary panels. Susan has also taught senior science courses at Night School and Summer School in Ottawa and chemistry courses for an online private school. More recently Susan has taught Online Summer School with the Ottawa board. Susan has a number of AQ and ABQ courses in addition to other available PL and considers herself a lifelong learner. Susan served on the local executive in 2013-2014 and after taking a break to teach in the UK has returned to the executive in 2015. Susan is particularly interested in environmental and science education and health and safety and unionism, having expanded her horizons with ETFO Union School in 2016-2017. Susan currently serves at the chair of the Equity and Status of Women Committee.