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EDUCATION
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Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
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Step by step, Ryan clarifies which of the
hard earned rights teachers could see stripped
away. He asks for their support. He solicits their
engagement. And he stresses the importance of
solidarity, wrapping up his speech with: “We are
all OECTA. We must stand together.”
Applause erupts, flags wave, people stand
and clap – and an unmistakable feeling of unity
fills what only moments before felt like a very
large room.
It’s a noteworthy kick-off to three days of the
AGM, which plays out as democracy at its best:
new officers are elected; resolutions are passed;
and educational and political issues are debated
(sometimes fiercely). But since OECTA’s activities
are guided by its members, who are represented
by the many voting delegates at this yearly meet-
ing, this is definitely the place to get things done.
“I’ve been involved in this union long enough
to have seen complaints turn into ideas, which
turn into bargaining proposals, and then into
actual working conditions for teachers,” says
Ryan, who is serving his second two-year term as
president (he also served from 2009 to 2011).
Ryan has long been involved with OECTA:
as a teacher for 19 years, as a member of sev-
eral provincial committees, and as a full-time
first vice-president and president at OECTA’s
Toronto-based provincial office.
He’s a man with an intense interest in social
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