Opening Statement



Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fireworks: OECTA Letter + More Teacher News Links!



OECTA Provincial President O'Dwyer latest letter explains the teachers' union's official position on what Bill 115 means for our members. This will be very controversial. Remember, OECTA TSU's MOU member info meetings are Oct 1-3 across Toronto, for any questions you might want to ask. OK now: Breathe in. Breathe out. Here's the letter:
September 12, 2012

Dear OECTA Member,


Yesterday the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, which quickly received Royal Assent. Now that the act is law, what does this mean for OECTA’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and for you as an OECTA member?


The MoU that the Association signed with the government on July 5 is now in effect. As a result the school board cannot change the terms and conditions of your collective agreement. Your employer cannot lock you out. And you cannot undertake job actions of any kind.


Because passage of Bill 115 has erased all uncertainty about the status of our MoU, OECTA’s local and provincial negotiators are now engaged in local bargaining with renewed energy. They must complete the process by December 31, 2012. The MoU will be incorporated into the Association’s collective agreements province-wide and will guide negotiations in every bargaining unit.


The end of uncertainty also means it’s business as usual in our classrooms, in our gyms and on the playing field.


We have come a long way since February, when we first learnt of the government’s demands to freeze teachers’ salaries and cut other benefits. My last letter to you explained how the Association mitigated the original government parameters after several months of negotiations. OECTA members now know the monetary conditions under which they will work for the next two years. They can also begin to appreciate fully the enhanced respect for their professional judgement and the improved treatment of Long-Term Occasional teachers provided by the MoU.


Bill 115 does not spell the end of collective bargaining for OECTA members. At the conclusion of this collective agreement, August 31, 2014, the Association will once again be operating under the full provisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Act, which governs collective bargaining.


I encourage you to visit the Members’ Centre of our website, www.oecta.on.ca 
You can read the memorandum of understanding for yourself, as well as other information on negotiations across the province.

Sincerely,


Kevin O’Dwyer

President

For the above news link see: http://www.oecta.on.ca/wps/portal/!ut/p/c1/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3jDIBNLI2cfIwP30GBjAyNLdyNzc4sgQ3cvI_1wkA6zePdQJ9dQI0N_A3_jQDMDI49QC_dQHw9jAw


OECTA's Sept. 11 Collective Bargaining Update on "Passage of Bill 115: Putting Students First" is available at: http://www.oecta.on.ca/wps/wcm/myconnect/5ec141004caf4408bef4ff15b44f9072/CBU-2012-011-Bill115.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&lmod=-1222964224&lmod=-1222964224&lmod=-


Also see President O'Dwyer's Sept 7 interview video from TVO Agenda on "Putting Students First": http://theagenda.tvo.org/blog/agenda-blogs/oecta-president-putting-students-first


Comments? See my Comments link at the bottom of this blog. Please, don't shoot me! I'm only bringing you the news, and all the news, so help me God, or whomever else you might like..... :-)
In other teacher news:
Toronto Star's Martin Regg Cohn criticizes public unions for not negotiating, and now surrendering moral high ground by "putting students last" with extracurricular "pause". Not for the publicly faint at heart? Cohn has often spoken out strongly against government tactics. He is definitely not "anti-teacher". Agree or disagree, like with most of his recent columns this is a must read for a balanced consideration of the problems at hand. See: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1255824--anatomy-of-the-ndp-s-byelection-victory-in-kitchener-waterloo

Toronto Star article on public confusion over extracurricular boycotts. Who's doing or not doing what? See: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/education/article/1254937--teachers-union-calls-for-pause-in-after-school-activities

Doorey's Blog provides legal backgrounder on whether government can legally freeze wages: http://www.yorku.ca/ddoorey/lawblog/?p=5453

Has McGuinty painted himself nto a corner with wage freeze strategy? See: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/09/13/scott-stinson-dalton-mcguintys-union-friends-arent-about-to-forgive-and-forget/

Gratuities? Teachers verses MPPs? What b.s.! See: http://www.controlyourfuture.ca/etfo_news/mpp-severance-plan/

Wednesday's Star editorial cartoon "blasts" Liberals for picking a fight with teachers. Ha! See: http://www.thestar.com/image/1255206--moudakis-september-12-2012


Come to the University Court House Toronto at 1pm Saturday Sept. 15 to protest!

More news link updates to follow!

Comment link below................................................

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Business as usual, is it, Kevin? I guess you truly haven't come out of your foxhole yet. Maybe you should stop believing your own insipid 'letters' telling us what a 'great job' you did for us all. The fact is people are DISGUSTED with OECTA.

David Chiarelli said...

Seems the Provincial Liberals aren't the only ones who have gone shot themselves in the foot!

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