Opening Statement



Monday, 16 July 2012

OECTA PDT: Catholic Principals Refute Deal!

[Sorry! Spacing concerns remain.]


Today's "In the News" links at bottom of blog.


The letter as posted below was Googled at: 
http://www.ocsta.on.ca/newsletter.aspx
If that doesn't work Google "Jim Minello, July 6,
letter to the Catholic Principals" to  publicly see the pdf.


CPCO [Catholic Principal Council of Ontario] President Jim Minello sent the following letter to our Catholic Principals on July 6. Apparently under PPM 152 they are their own bargaining agents. As such they want  to open their own PDT meeting with Education Minister Laurel Broten, along with the [OPC Ontario Principal's Council].They also plan to meet with the OCSTA [Ontario Catholic School Trustee Association]. You will recall OCSTA walked out of the talks on the night the agreement was reached. The principals seem to be essentially objecting that "administration" views were not considered in the OECTA PDT agreement since all the "key partners" were not represented when the deal with the Ministry was struck. It will be interesting to see the Education Ministry's response!


Further links and commentary follow below.

July 6 CPCO Letter:

Ontario Catholic Teachers Reach a Deal with Province

You may have heard that the province has reached a labour deal with OECTA as published in the Toronto Star July 5th. OECTA also sent out a press release outlining some of the key elements of this two-year deal. The Memorandum of Understanding is available on the CPCO home page www.cpco.on.ca. It is important for members of CPCO to understand that this is a memorandum of understanding solely between OECTA and the government. Neither the Ontario Catholic School Trustees, nor their representatives, the partners, including CPCO, were part of the process during the final negotiations. All of us were very surprised by the press release.

The OECTA release of the key elements of the agreement infers that OECTA has bargained on our behalf. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were not part of any negotiation with the government. In fact, with the implementation of PPM 152, local principal and vice-principal associations now have the right to negotiate their own terms and conditions. This is an important position to keep in mind. In fact, CPCO recently supported a letter sent from the Ontario Principals' Council (OPC) to Minister Broten requesting permission to begin our own tri-level meetings to discuss terms and conditions.

You will read in the newspapers and in the OECTA release that all Catholic educators, including principals and vice-principals will have three unpaid days in 2013-2014. Additionally, you will read that these three days will occur during three professional development days. Attendance at PD days, paid and unpaid will now be optional. Short term leave and disability plans has been revised to protect educators who may need more than ten days off for serious illness, pregnancy or surgery. Retirement gratuity plans are grandfathered on a go forward basis and teachers have gained partial payment of salary grid increments over two years.

I want to reiterate that at this point we only know what we have read in the media. Since a key partner was not at the table during the final negotiations, it is safe to say that the views of management were not represented in this final round of negotiations. Obviously, we need to meet with our partners at the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association to determine the exact nature of this agreement and the actual language that has been agreed upon. Once we ascertain this and how the negotiation process evolved without the key partners at the table, we will be in a better position to comment publicly and with you, our members.

Jim Minello
President


A link to Policy/ Program Memo 152 [PPM 152] can be found at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/152.html

A link to the Catholic Principal Council of Ontario [CPCO] can be found at:
http://www.cpco.on.ca/

A link for the Ontario Principals Association [OPA] can be found at:
https://www.principals.ca/Default.aspx

The OCSTA [Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Website] is at:
http://www.ocsta.on.ca/newsletter.aspx

Commentary: I've perused Memo 152 and don't see where it specifically says CPCO, or for that matter OPC, is the Catholic principals' bargaining agent, but I might be missing something. Go see for yourself through the link above. I'm wondering if Jim isn't just desperately fishing around for something, anything to cling on to, but that at the Provincial Discussion Table, only the Catholic trustees truly represent management?

I've checked the OCSTA, CPCO and the OPA websites above, and don't see much current information posted for a while. Maybe it's posted on the "members only" page? Very secretive! Very Catholic! Everything seems private and under control, until the self ordained God the Father types become conspicuous by their absence. Then much to their chagrin everything blows wide open in their face. Tut! Tut! It seems PPM 152 is open to some interesting, self serving interpretations! It will be very interesting to see what comes of all this! We know the trustees did not fare well!

I seriously doubt CPCO is weighing in on the "nay"side of the OECTA PDT debate because of any heartfelt concern for us as teachers. That's how I read President Jim Minello's officious tone anyway. I don't doubt we have many fine, concerned and dedicated Catholic principals working with us in our schools! Still, I suspect here it's mostly a question of arbitrary power and control personally slipping out of the Catholic School boards' administrative hands, regardless of who is supposed to be representing their "management rights", OCSTA or CPCO. I'd have to give this letter a big thumbs down despite whatever doubts we as Catholic teachers might otherwise have about the OECTA PDT agreement.

Archie's Principal Mr. Weatherbee.

Also in the News:


Peterborough Catholic School Director surprised by OECTA deal, guestions legitimacy without OCSTA's participation: http://www.mykawartha.com/community/article/1396567--local-director-of-catholic-education-confused-and-surprised-about-teachers-deal-with-province


ETFO President Sam Hammond slams EQAO funding and bureaucracy costs in light of teacher PDT cuts. See: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters/article/1225690--disputing-teachers-dispute-facts

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an OECTA member, I thought it would have been a cold day in hell when I applauded a bunch of administrators for opposing an OECTA deal.

David Chiarelli said...

But I doubt they oppose it for reason's we'd like! Seems to me they definitely have their own agenda.

Anonymous said...

Of course they have their own agenda - they're administrators! But you know else who has their own agenda? Yep, OECTA. OECTA 'leadership' are now more of a secretive oligarchy with their own vested interests in mind, and not a democratic association that represents all of its members. Given the disenfranchisement so many of us feel, certainly not a 'union' in any sense of the word. At this point, I will take opposition to the PDT from ANYONE as a positive. The rank and file OECTA membership have been absolutely voiceless throughout this whole process, and on that note, I wanted to thank you for providing this forum for discussion.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about how the provincial executive is run and who exactly sits at these PDT talks, but did the provincial executive have it's own legal team to advise them?

David Chiarelli said...

Oecta Provincial has a big legal department which includes some top lawyers names.

Anonymous said...

Teacher collective bargaining is always front page news. Why is it that the CPCO denouncing the OECTA deal is not getting any media coverage? If there was anything good that came out of the OECTA deal it is that administrators and management will have the same conditions imposed on them.

Chris said...

Despite their obvious lack of interest for the welfare of their teachers I can not help but applaud the boards for taking the stick it to the man approach to OECTA's unholy MOU deal with the Liberal government. The boards were not treated as the employer and local democracy via trustees was not respected by the Liberal government. (It still isnt under Wynne) OECTA who pays off the Liberals before, during and after elections thought they were getting special treatment by sniveling to their master but low and behold the boards show integrity and tell the government that they won't back down. So now what? Boards act as unions used to or at least real unions (i,e, non teachers unions) and unions act like one would expect a career climbing admin type to act. What a world!

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