Opening Statement



Wednesday, 11 July 2012

OECTA Deal Ratified By COP

OECTA COP [Council of Presidents] yesterday ratified our new PDT deal with the Ontario government by a 42 to 24 vote. President Rene Jansen will be sending our members a notice later.

I can speak for myself when I say that at Monday's TSU executive meeting I spoke out against the deal for a number of reasons I've touched upon here in my blogs, primary around issues of contract stripping.

So folks it's a done deal. Our CB [Collective Bargaining] team will now meet with our school board, the TCDSB [Toronto District Catholic School Board], to reach a local contract based upon the PDT terms. The government has said it wants all the contracts settled by December 31st. TSU is ready to get started asap anyway. Indeed our initial contract was approved at a General Membership this spring [see my Blog Archives]. It was forwarded to the board to meet the formal requirement that we had served them notice that we are ready to meet. We can now do so effective immediately. Remember, our current contract expires August 31st.

In my next few blogs I plan to briefly summarize the main PDT terms, and what they will mean for us as teachers. So please stay tuned. Much more official info will also coming through OECTA Provincial and TSU in the days and weeks ahead. I hope my summaries can help provide a useful overview in the meantime should you care to read them.

So, what are our other PDT partners now doing? OSSTF has announced plans to revisit the table, as has AEFO. ETFO seems committed to maintaining the hard line. They are in a particularly difficult position since their last PDT agreement 4 years ago ended up costing them 2% less in salary than the rest of us got.We now can only wish them better luck in this round. I mean that sincerely too.

Our Catholic Trustees Association is in a very interesting pinch. They walked out earlier during the all night session when the OECTA PDT agreement was reached. Snooze you lose! I hope to share their opening position on PDT with you. It was absolutely horrid and quite ludicrous. Shudder! Shudder! Shudder! Yup, three shudders worth, it was that bad! OECTA definitely opened the Ministry's eyes, and the trustees didn't get their way, big time. Plus they've also lost some of their management rights on a number of PDT issues. Out the window that goes. More about this when I write about the PDT terms.

For an interesting read on these developments and events, please see the updated Toronto Star article at::
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1224216--ontario-s-catholic-teachers-got-sweetheart-deal-says-tim-hudak

Here's a link for the July 10th CBC Metro Morning audio clip titled "Had To Agree". OECTA President Kevin Dwyer discusses the PDT deal including the sick day plan and union solidarity. You need flash for this. Go to: http://www.cbc.ca/video/news/audioplayer.html?clipid=2254758095

PS: Readers have asked if I can post the MOU here. It's 17 pages long, and that doesn't include the Appendice. Regretfully, no can do, in a blog! You will find a link to it in my July 5th blog though, and I think it's included in at least one other blog since then. I will try to learn other ways to post documents here on my site. In the meantime, please scroll down the page and you will find it there.

Interesting tidbit for anyone who's read this far: There are persistent, unconfirmed rumours making the rounds that Premier McGuinty personally intervened in the PDT talks, telling his team to cut us some slack on  sick days and the grid freeze. It would make sense. Our members across the province have been lobbying their local MPP's non stop all spring. Maybe he came to see the light on our equity and health concerns? Or maybe it was just a political move to reach PDT agreements before our teacher contracts expire August 31st?Or maybe both?

Anyway, the government PDT team would've been given the go-ahead sometime between the late June Liberal Convention in Sudbury, and the signing of our PDT agreement early in the morning on July 5th, if the rumour is true. There is quite a story here starting with the Education Ministry's about face with teachers this spring, any PDT Agreements reached, and whatever else happens next in Ontario politics this fall. Keep in mind our minority government situation, and a premier who might well soon leap to the national political stage, with the attendant provincial Liberal leadership race that would follow.

For any amateur sleuths out there might I suggest you start creating a time line of dates, times and events? Right now it would be good to focus on the the past two weeks or so, including overnight and the next morning of July 5th when our agreement was reached. Quite a few emerging details are scattered  throughout my past few blogs. Of course there are lots of theories. I am NOT suggesting a diabolical OECTA conspiracy or plot. Still let's play connect the dots to solve the puzzle!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dufferin-Peel Secondary Unit will be having a Town Hall Meeting on August 23 from 1-3 pm to discuss teh MOU. Kevin O'Dwyer will be present to answer questions. Please come out and and let O'Dwyer know that he stuck a ruthless deal!! The town hall meeting will be at Capitol Banquet Hall - 6435 Dixie Road, Mississauga

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