Our letter to OSSTF Presidents/Executive

Dear District/Bargaining Unit Presidents / Members of the Provincial Executive,

It has been an eventful year for climate action worldwide and we are very excited to be a part of such a vital movement. Last year we submitted motions to AMPA related to the divestment of fossil fuels from pensions and our own internal investments. Out of that came a push to address climate change in a more meaningful way by our Union. We are grateful for the work of the Environmental Advisory Work Group (EAWG) who took on the task assigned by the MAC431-15 Work Group. There are many progressive and multi-faceted climate action motions that are coming to AMPA through its work – we hope they are supported!

The ECA believes that the Labour Movement is critical to the Climate Movement. This year we have seen an explosion in awareness among union leaders. We are becoming aware of the intersection of labour rights with indigenous rights, women’s rights, minority rights and others.  All of our struggles are indeed related and we will all be stronger working together. So many of the climate solutions are also solutions to equality, racism and reconciliation with First Nations. (Watch Tim DeChristopher explain in this inspiring speech.) Just look at the LEAP Manifesto – which OSSTF has signed – for an idea of the fundamental values behind a just transition away from fossil fuels.

Again, at this year’s AMPA, we have submitted motions through District 27 CPAC and District 27 Executive to divest from fossil fuels. The divestment movement is an important one in the climate fight because it attacks the morality of the fossil fuel industry – an industry which, if it continues, translates into disastrous consequences for human life support systems.

The Educators’ Climate Alliance feels that educators need to have an honest discussion about fossil fuel investments. It seems counterproductive to rely on investments for future financial returns that ensure the devastation of the future for our children.

At AMPA, we hope that you consider our motions which are listed below. We hope that they generate discussion and interest. Our politicians at every level (union, municipal, provincial, federal) need to know that we are behind them to take bold action. We think these motions complement the EAWG motions, which do not address divestment specifically.

In the coming days, we will post the motions with rationale on our Educators Climate Alliance blog which you can follow if you’d like to receive all our posts. Consider liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter: @EdClimate.

Check out some of our blog posts:

Will divestment put my pension at risk?

Why divestment if, arguably, it won’t hurt fossil fuel companies?

Keep it in the ground: why this is a matter of basic ethics

The Climate Change Opportunity [for Unions] 

Unions, Trade Deals, Climate and Democracy

CCPA makes the economic case for divestment

With respect and hope,

Educators’ Climate Alliance (Adam Davidson-Harden – District 27, William MacCallum – District 15, Justin Boyd – District 15, Anik Hahn – District 26, Kevin Bowers – District 27, Simon Baron – District 27, Andrea Loken – District 27, David Mathers – District 27, Joan Jardin – District 27)

MAC 227-16

BE IT RESOLVED THAT AMPA direct the Provincial Executive and the OTF Governors to request the OTPP and OMERS Board of Directors to direct asset managers to stop any new investment in fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 2 years, as determined by the ‘Carbon Underground 200’.

PEN 203-16

BE IT RESOLVED THAT Policy 10.7 be amended by the addition of a new subsection that reads:

“It is the policy of OSSTF that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) should not invest in fossil fuel companies. Specifically, the OTPP and OMERS should stop any new investments in fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds as determined by the ‘Carbon Underground 200’ and should promote divestment until it is achieved.”

BYL 245-16

BE IT RESOLVED THAT Bylaw 9.5.2 be amended by the insertion of a new subsection that reads:

“No part of the Internal Investment Fund shall be invested in fossil fuel companies. Specifically, the Internal Investment Fund should strive to divest from fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 2 years as determined by ‘The Carbon Underground 200’.”

MAC 224-16

BE IT RESOLVED THAT OSSTF communicate to the Federal Government and the public that OSSTF opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and state unequivocally that the Canadian Government should not be signatories to the TPP and/or should not ratify the TPP.

MAC 226-16

Cost Estimate: $10,000

BE IT RESOLVED THAT AMPA establish a work group that will investigate ways to support the education and community needs of refugees in Ontario.

The work group will be composed of the following: a) three bargaining unit presidents/leaders, with an interest in human rights, as selected by the Provincial Executive from applications; b) one Provincial CPAC member; c) one Provincial Executive member, assigned by the President; d) the Secretariat Liaisons assigned to CPAC.

The Work Group will report to Provincial Council, as appropriate, and submit an interim report with recommendations to AMPA 2017 and a final report with recommendations to AMPA 2018.


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