Union honours Sudbury teacher, activist

Sudbury Star

Ken Collins receives the ETFO Award from First Vice-President Karen Campbell. Photo by Kathryn Gaitens

A Sudbury teacher has received an Honorary Life Member Award from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, or ETFO.

When the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario was formed in 1998, Ken Collins served as first vice-president of the ETFO Rainbow District Local for a year. He was also the first male elected to the ETFO provincial executive, and served as vice-president from 1999 to 2002.

Honorary life memberships are the Federation’s highest form of recognition. They are given to members who have retired from education and have made outstanding contributions through their service to the Federation.

Collins received his honorary life membership at Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s annual meeting in Toronto earlier this week.

“Ken’s concern for the welfare of teachers and social justice issues has left a lasting legacy for members of the teaching profession,” ETFO President Sam Hammond said in a release. “His early dedication to equity and social justice helped shape ETFO priorities that we still hold today.”

Collins was also committed to equity and social justice.

He was a supporter of the formation of the Equity and Women’s Services department at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and led the development of ETFO’s first police statements on social justice and equity. Collins also served as a representative to the Ontario Men’s White Ribbon Campaign, which is dedicated to promoting the role of men taking action on violence against women.

Collins was committed to building liaisons between the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and Indigenous communities by providing resources to students and connected with Indigenous ETFO members.

The ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers, and education professionals across the province.

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