President's Message Week 13.

Mental Health Resources from OTIP

The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of Canadians and OSSTF/FEESO members. Below are resources available to our members who are looking for assistance:

Ontario residents are able to access guided digital therapy with BEACON free of charge during COVID-19. Attached in Appendix A are the EN/FR flyers from Beacon, and here is the link:

Starling Minds also has a free, confidential digital mental health program to help combat stress, anxiety, and worry during the COVID-19 crisis:

There are also other resources listed on


The following video ad is currently running on TV and social media. -

I am also including links to the Thank You videos posted to social media pages by President, Harvey Bischof over the last month. The Instagram posts were stories, so the links are not shared below. Facebook and Twitter links are still live.


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Black Persons and Persons of Colour Advisory workgroup

The Black Persons and Persons of Colour Advisory Work Group is a new body created this year to assist the Federation in its work on reducing barriers to member participation and fostering equity and inclusion within OSSTF/FEESO.

This workgroup will consider issues affecting Members who self-identify as Black persons and racialized persons and will provide the Provincial Executive with advice on any such matters referred to it from time to time.

The Federation is seeking up to ten (10) Members-at-Large to serve on this workgroup. Members are asked to indicate whether they would like to seek a one-year term, two-year term, or three-year term.

The workgroup can be expected to meet approximately four to five times per year. While time release, as well as all costs for meetings, are paid for by the Provincial Office, applicants should verify that they will be able to secure time-release through their bargaining unit by contacting their local president.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic safety precautions, all meetings will take place in a virtual setting until further notice.

Interested applicants should submit the attached application form indicating their suitability and outlining specifically their demonstrated experience working with equity issues in any capacity. OSSTF/FEESO values the participation of members with different voices from lived experiences and we recognize that the selection of candidates for Federation positions from members of equity-seeking groups is an asset. Members of this advisory workgroup may be required to interact with other advisory workgroups as well.

Application forms should be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 2020, to the attention of Gary Fenn at An online version of the application is available at

Upper Grand Employee Assistance Program

If you are finding yourself or a family member or a colleague is needing additional support or resources please refer to the board's employee and family assistance program. This service is free and confidential. The board is not given the names of members who are using the service. It has been a challenging year with COVID and many of us are dealing with other challenges unrelated to COVID. This resource may be of help to members who need it.

Access the Upper Grand District School Board’s Employee & Family Assistance Program 24/7 by phone, web or mobile app 1-800-387-4765 |

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