Government Relations and Public Affairs
Department staff are responsible for identifying, managing, and addressing a variety potential or emerging issues, both internal and external, which could challenge or damage the reputation of the Association and its members – or publicly funded education, more broadly. Staff also undertake a variety of activities to promote and strengthen Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic education system with a range of stakeholders.
Working with a high degree of co-ordination, the department has two areas of focus.
Staff on the Government Relations Team liaise with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), other unions, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), teacher affiliates, Catholic and external education stakeholders such as the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education (OAPCE), as well as a variety of social justice organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC), and Campaign 2000.
The department stays apprised of all new political developments and ensures that the Provincial Executive, other staff, and units promptly receive relevant materials and information.
The department oversees external and internal polling, and conducts research to support Association documents and briefs. Staff produce various newsletters and materials for members and MPPs, including lobby kits, to help unit officers prepare for meetings with elected officials.
The department is also responsible for political action, election campaigns, and advertising messages, including OECTA’s acclaimed Know More, Lessons for Life, Speak for Children and Teachers Matter campaigns.
The department provides support to the provincial Political Action Committee.
The Public Affairs Team provides strategic communications advice and support to advance the Association’s objectives. Working with senior staff in other departments, department staff identify, develop, and implement a variety of communications programs to support the Provincial Executive and the Council of Presidents in delivering messages to members and the broader public.
The department actively manages the Association’s brand to ensure that the image and reputation of Catholic teachers and OECTA are maintained and enhanced. Some responsibilities include: the Association website; media and public relations; member communications; writing; editing; design and format support for publications and print materials; audio and video editing; print advertising; marketing communications; research; media monitoring; and seminar and conference support.
The department members produce Catholic Teacher magazine, the Association’s official publication, and provides support to local OECTA units and the provincial Member Engagement Committee.