Teachers at International Language Schools of Canada (ILSC) founded ETEA. Our drive to unionize began in 1995, as a result of a pay dispute. At that time, teachers agreed they needed a stronger voice in negotiating the conditions of their workplace. As a result, with the help of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, we organized and negotiated our first collective agreement. In April of 1996, we opted for a more autonomous existence within the framework of the College Institute and Educators Association (CIEA), an association of public and private sector teachers’ unions. CIEA has since changed its name to FPSE (Federation of Post-Secondary Educators). ETEA is FPSE Local 21, which represents private sector educators.
ILSC teachers have won many important benefits through collective bargaining and the hard-fought efforts of their officers and members since that time. Over time, teachers at Local 1 have established a better understanding and working relationship with ILSC management. The improved environment and working conditions have attracted many teachers to stay at ILSC long term. Those teachers have in turn contributed greatly to ILSC’s vast choice of programs and classes, from Filmmaking to E-business.
The ETEA members at ILSC Vancouver are now working under their sixth Collective Agreement, and have benefits such as extended health and dental, paid prep time, paid sick leave, RRSP matching, up to six weeks of paid vacation, and various types of unpaid leaves. The union has also been able to negotiate limits to class size as part of the Collective Agreement.