Opening Statement



Saturday, 18 August 2012

The OECTA Road Map + Putting Students 1st Act!

Here are the two documents handed out at the Minister of Education's press meet to announce detail of the new legislation on Aug.16:

See one: http://www.controlyourfuture.ca/wp-content/uploads/MOE-School-to-Stay-On-Track-and-Without-Disruptions.pdf

See the other: http://www.controlyourfuture.ca/wp-content/uploads/MOE-Putting-Students-First-Act.pdf

The following article from "People for Education" is a very useful summary of the new Liberal Legislation that bears a complete re-print here, for your careful consideration.  Updated news links continue to be added, as usual, in my previous ongoing update blog. Scroll down for more info.

New education legislation proposed
August 17, 2012
What rights will the new Act give the province?
The proposed legislation gives the government legal rights it did not have before – to impose contracts, ban strikes and lock-outs (and even the threat of strikes) and restrict interference by the Labour Relations Board and the courts. The new Act establishes a so-called restraint period. The restraint period lasts for two years, beginning September 1st 2012, but the new law would also give the government the right to extend that period for at lease one more year without going back to the legislature.
The Act states that:
  • All contracts between school boards and their employees – including both unionized and non-unionized employees (e.g. principals) – must meet the requirements laid out by the province.
  • Boards are not allowed to make separate deals with employees that would make up for some of the funding they lose as a result of the new law.
  • The law will apply retroactively – so that in the time before the legislation is passed and before contracts are actually signed and approved by the province (as they all must now be), the law is in effect.
  • Strikes and lock-outs during the two-year “restraint” period are banned, and deemed unlawful.
  • The province can force employees to pay back any money they receive that contravenes the Act.
  • The Labour Relations Board and any other arbitrators are prohibited from either inquiring into or making decisions about the constitutionality of the Act or whether the Act is in conflict with the Human Rights Code.
  • The province can use the Labour Relations Act to enforce the new law, but the Labour Relations Act doesn’t apply if it conflicts with the new law.
  • The courts are not allowed to be used to question or review any of the terms conditions in the Act.
What are the terms?
    • Teachers who have less than 10 years teaching experience will continue to receive salary increase based on the “salary grid” – but those increases will not start until December of 2012.
    • No other employee will be paid more than they would have been paid on August 31, 2012.
    • Teachers are entitled to 10 sick days per year, and if they need more they will go through an adjudication process.
    • All teachers, vice-principals and principals must take three unpaid days off in 2013-2014.
    • No employees can “bank” sick days obtained after September 1st. (up to now, teachers had been able to bank some of their sick days so that when they retired they were able to receive as much as $45,000.)
    • School boards must release a list of the assessment tools they want teachers to use, but teachers can pick the ones they want to use, which students they use them with and how often they use them.
    • Principals will hire long-term occasional supply teachers based first on seniority and then on their additional qualifications (as defined by theCollegeofTeachers).
  • No arbitration can over-ride any terms of the province’s stipulations for the contracts.
  • Every board must provide the Minister with a copy of its collective agreements and they must be approved by the Minister.
  • If boards are unable to settle with their employees, the new Act gives the government the right to impose new contracts.
  • The new Act also gives the government the right to prohibit employees from going on strike, or even from calling for a strike, or “encouraging” any employees from going on strike.
The province is not freezing salaries for new teachers, so where will the money come from?
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the province will continue to pay increases to newer teachers moving up the salary grid. This will cost, over two years, approximately $270 million. The money to cover those costs comes from savings garnered through mandatory unpaid days off, a reduction in the number of new Student Success teachers, a reduction in funding for sick days and banked sick days and an elimination of funding for elementary teacher professional development.

<<<PS: Nobody still seems to have the actual wording of the act. I will provide it asap.>>>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dictators rule Ontario!

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