Opening Statement



Thursday, 5 May 2011

Our Joint Safe Schools + PD Committees Work For You!

As your TSU 3rd VP, I have had the honour of serving for two years on two of our very important new Joint TSU-TCDSB committees. They were established under our last contract agreement. In fact, the Ministry of Education now requires the board to actively consult and work with us in developing and implementing the Safe Schools, and the new Workplace and Safety legislation. Your teacher interests and concerns are being directly addressed at the board level by teachers. It's been a steep learning curve for the board to accept and learn, but progress is being made. I hope to be re-elected so I can continue to use my classroom and executive experience to work for you on the following:

Joint PD: I've worked with our TSU committee to help each member get up to two self directed PD days per year to use for your own PD, as you see fit. The current deal will commence this spring and runs until the end of the next school year. One third of the Ministry of Education's PD funding is supposed to go to you to decide how it can best be used to meet your PD needs, not the Ministry, the board or your local administrator!

Joint PD 2: I want TSU to be actively included and consulted in any board in services given to our teachers explaining the Safes Schools and new Workplace Health and Safety legislation. Do you just want to be hearing from the TCDSB about how they think you should responding to, and rectifying any unsafe situation, including their responsibilities for acts involving bullying and harassment of not just our students, but of you our teachers as well? I am working for full TSU consultation and involvement in the PD process and believe we must not settle for anything less!

Joint Safe Schools 1: I'm working with our TSU committee to develop a TSU and TCDSB approved Discipline Incident Form. It will emphasize both the teacher and the administrations' duties and responsibilities on reporting, investigating, and taking appropriate action. You can fill it out on paper, or online, and it does not bar verbal reporting. I strongly believe the board should be signing off on that soon. I want to be re-elected to make sure that they do, and that they then honour it's protocols and procedures!

Joint Safe Schools 2: I am are also insisting that the board make the Ministry of Ed's mandatory Safe School Reporting forms immediately accessible to our teachers. These are required for very serious incidents possibly requiring suspension, and expulsions. It requires administration to report back to you on whether action has been taken or not, and is to be kept on permanent file. I want the board to show us how to readily access these forms, and confirm what their responsibilities are once we fill one out!

Joint Safe Schools 3: I are working on a joint Delegate of Authority form to be used when a teacher fills in for administration when they are all out of the school. Did you know that your school administration is allowed to do that now by the Ministry? I would like the board to declare what liability coverage and instructions they will provide our members, when they are acting in an administrative role. What if you run into dire difficulties under the Safe Schools Act and/or end up unfairly at an Ontario College of Teachers disciplinary hearing? Our members need to know that if something goes wrong, you may very well not be covered by OECTA. You will be working as a TCDSB administrator. It's a fine legal point most of us may not be aware of. I want to make sure that our board tells you just what specifically they will do to legally support and help you out!

These goals are very much a shared team effort for all your Joint TSU committee members. We form an excellent top notch working team free of rancor, unit infighting, or any self serving political ambitions. Rene Jansen, Teresa Placha, Louie Trinchi, Maureen Riggin, Mark Stelmacovich, and myself have been here to serve you. We have a great, solid working relationship with Provincial OECTA for when any legal and other fine points arise. We have a good developing relationship with the board superintendents and their other representatives on these joint committees, which we are keen to continue fostering in a positive, constructive manner, for the well being of our students, our teachers and our schools. I hope you will re-elect me, David Chiarelli, as your 3rd VP, so that I can continue to serve you on our Joint TSU teams in seeing through all the great work that's being done!

Yours,

David Chiarelli

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