Opening Statement



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My Budget Notes

TSU Budget Meeting: It was exciting how many different members showed up to ask questions about and debate our financials for this upcoming year and last. Unfortunately there wasn't a full fiscal account of our PAC provincial election spending available, so that we could examine it in detail. We were told this would be provided later on, by the executive liaison. Proposed cuts to our Religious Affairs Committee were reversed in part on budget night, with the addition of an extra thousand dollars, to bring it up to $7000. Member TM enquired why a Catholic group such as ourselves would spend so little of our total budget on religious issues. She certainly seemed to express the heartfelt sentiments of many others who showed up with the same concerns. It was also confirmed that the June "educational aid" donation to Right To Life was withheld in September, and the budget actuals for TSU Solidarity funding were adjusted accordingly. Clarification was sought to the affirmative on whether a new executive can reverse the decisions of a previous executive in the matter of withholding a previously approved but late cheque like this. Attempts to publicly clarify for the membership the who, why's and wherefores of the following statement in our TSU Executive Minutes from September 13th were ruled out of order in that they were not germane to the purpose of this general meeting, only accountability for the monies from the cancelled donation were. The minutes stated:


Solidarity Requests -Follow-up on the request to hold the cheque for Right for Life. The request was made after disparaging remarks about OECTA were seen on the Right for Life website. There will be a follow-up on this inquiry.
After all was said and done a balanced budget was approved for our TSU fiscal year without a whole lot of changes. Accolades must go to our new Treasurer, Rosemary Lavery, for the calm, steady and efficient manner in which she presented and answered our members questions about her first budget. Bravo Rosemary!  Also to our the chair Maureen Riggin for keeping the ball rolling with her admirable knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order.


Right To Life: Last spring, Right To Life Director Paul Klotz enthusiastically thanked TSU for our active participation in promoting and boosting the number of students at the Leadership Conference down at St. Mikes. I'm not sure exactly what was supposedly said on his website since then that was critical of us. As a Catholic community we often deal with some very challenging issues . They can prove difficult  to resolve without a lot of information and debate, but as our Religious Affairs Chair MS writes;


Folks should be asked if they support the pro-life clause, and if so, then work for it. Cooperating with other stakeholders in the Catholic community, even those who have been critical of us, can only be for the good.
This year's Religious Affairs Committee has made promoting Respect for Life Week and the Ottawa March a top priority with both our board and union. Many of our TSU members from the Respect For Life Committee, and other pro-life groups such as Right to Life, and Campaign Life were in attendance Thursday night to support RAC funding. It is of course their privilege as our members. It is an honour to act as executive liaison to help facilitate all our members' RAC activities. With everyone's help we have restored funding closer to the old levels for the committee's ambitious agenda this year. For more info on my Right for Life Spring TSU Election Campaign Platform, please see the blog in the April Archives, located below the main column on this site.


Paid Release Time Help: President Rene Jansen and 1st VP Gerard Ardanaz spoke passionately about the need  for more release time help in the main office with our unit's growing number of service initiatives. Having worked with them both for the past two terms I can tell you, they really are doing more work than anyone practically can to carry the load and help implement the many new and exciting initiatives our executive has approved over the past four years. There are the flurry of often precedent setting grievances, the joint TSU-TCDSB committee work. The list goes on and on. Both Rene and Gerard post an office schedule of where they are on a daily basis. It's always quite full of work, as are their evenings, weekends and even holidays. There's a budget line for an executive office secretary, but the tasks they need more help with are quite separate and apart from that. Members on budget night expressed their concern over phones being unanswered, calls not promptly returned, and in wanting to know what their release officers do everyday. Unfortunately it seems the workload solution must stay the same. TSU will continue to provide other executive officers and knowledgeable members with class time release as needed to assist with the tasks. This has been a quite controversial situation that I know President Jansen is keen to fix for our members in a more cost effective and efficient way. I'd bet the TSU 3rd VP position will be fulltime release someday, though probably not on my tenure. It would be quite fitting for an organization of our size and scope. At any rate a budget line for another release position, even a part time one was not approved on budget night. It remains allusive and the exact job description open to endless debate. I would think the matter needs to be taken to TSU UAGM, our Annual General Meeting for another attempt at resolving it next spring. TSU will need to continue to rely more and more on Rene and Gerard with few members perhaps realizing what is really going on beyond the obvious political wrangling. The $8000 required for the position was moved over to the PD line, which stands to gain up to $800,000 in leftover self directed PD funding next year anyway. Pity.


Upstairs Conference Room: Unless you are sitting at the main conference room table, the acoustics in the large upstairs room often make it very difficult for the many members sitting in the other chairs to hear and understand what's going on. The overhead projector could help make it easier to know the exact wording and terms of the motion being voted upon. Confusion reigned supreme in the back as members voted on an amended bill few could actually hear let alone understand. It ended up settling the RAF funding, and release time funding issues I 've described but not in the way many of us thought. Pity. I was in the back and let me tell you, it was near impossible to tell what was going on by the time the vote was called


Beer in the Fridge: What next? A wine bottle on somebodies desk? I should think not. As a union hall TSU has traditionally kept some beer in the upstairs fridge. It's no secret. Few members have ever abused this privilege. Maybe they enjoy a cool one after a long hard night of debate or to celebrate a special unit occasion, but of course from time to time problems do occur. Nobody would want to see anybody drunk in the office, and surely booze on one's breath is unbecoming, with so much important, serious work and meetings going on in the office. It wouldn't be in our members best interests, that's for sure. I was happy to point out on budget night that of course soft drinks, juice and the like in the fridge are a welcome reminder of this and a pleasant supplement to our trusty old water cooler.


Robert's Rules of Order: Many of our new attendees expressed interest in how these are used to run  important meetings at TSU, including the committees and general membership meetings such as budget night. Others probably just wondered "What the heck is going on?" OECTA Provincial Training Workshops are offered on a pretty frequent basis. You might want to go so you can understand and use the procedures better. Provincial has suggested that we might even want to form our own speakers bureau. It would consist of well trained members who would be available to expertly chair our various meetings. Robert's also has many practical applications at school, in class, and in your other group activities. I'll notify you know here when the next one becomes available. Please apply if you are interested!


Next General Meeting? Resolutions to the 2112 OECTA Provincial Annual General Meeting will be debated and voted upon at TSU on Thursday Nov 24 at 4:30 pm. Resolutions will be due Friday Nov. 10th by 5pm for consideration. These resolutions deal with amendments to the provincial handbook. The Legislation Committee will then review your submissions, and we will meet to vote on which ones to adopt, and forward to OECTA Provincial on the 24th. "E" version and hard copy resolution forms are available from your staff rep. The OECA Provincial Handbook should be available at your school, or check http://www.tsu.oecta.org/


Many thanks to everyone who came out to this year's TSU Budget Night.

Last spring, TSU helped promote the RFL + RTL Leadership Conference and paid for the student's lunch. TSU members and conference organizers are pictured above at the TSU lunch. It seems this year everybody isn't on the same page. RTL + RAC funding was cut. Please contact me personally for more information.

No comments:

Post a comment

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!