Opening Statement



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

OECTA Halton Elementary: Duty of Fair Representation

 Here is a confirmed copy of OECTA Halton Elementary unit's Form A-29: Duty of Fair Representation. It has been filed with the Ontario Labour Board and is awaiting a hearing.This form has been publicly shared all ready, at the local level, so it is okay to publish here on my blogspot for your consideration....


I have been given two pages. Question #6 asks: "How did the trade union's activity violate the act?" The reference is to section 74 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act [1995], as shown on the title page above. For the second page, posted below, I was able to get a knowledgeable member brief me on the main points in question[s] #6.  If you are using an Apple Ipad you can expand the picture to read #6 a-j) for yourself. Unfortunately, the right column of the page is sometimes cut off. Allow me to briefly summarize the main points, as I understood them, to help lead you through the Halton "Duty of Fair Representation" form. Here's the page in question:


[By the way, like the carpet in the background? Janet picked it for our condo. It's beige with a rose tinge to it. The walls are painted a lighter beige. Most of the furnishings are various shades of brown or dark black. I think it really works. But I digress.....]

Points 6 a +b) are very straightforward. There was no ratification by the membership, or the COP [Council of Presidents].  Point 6c) claims that contracts were stripped "well beyond" the government's February proposal in the original MOE PDT terms. Point 6d) further notes that the unit presidents were not consulted about the specific items provincial added to the MOU.

6e) is specific to Halton Elementary. The members lost their "death gratuity". Basically, instead of a "retirement gratuity', the unit had long ago agreed in contract talks to having a member's accumulated sick days go to their next of kin should the member die while in the board's employ. In some cases this added up to over $100,000 per member. President Richard Brock was not consulted on the decision to trade off this benefit from his members.

For 6f) here's the quite straight forward text in full:
Collective bargaining strategies of OECTA have always been:*Status quo*Status quo plus*No Concession bargaining. All these bargaining objectives were ignored during the MOU process.
6g) refers to the "Me too" clause in the OECTA MOU. Basically, if any other union gets something better then we are entitled to it too. Reference is made to another bargaining group which will only have 1 instead of 3 unpaid days deducted in year two of their contract. The complaint is that our OECTA members should  receive this too, since it is an improvement on our deal.

6h) There isn't any reference to the entity of an MOU, or a process for reaching such an agreement in the OECTA Handbook, making the MOU null and void.

6i) The COP directed OECTA Provincial Executive to "mitigate" any proposed losses by the government. That did not happen within the terms of the OECTA MOU agreement. Furthermore, the new items, such as the Fair Hire Practice and the assessment clauses, were added to the deal by the bargaining team without consultating the unit Presidents. They did not nullify losses, but allowed "contract stripping". 6i) uses the loss of  "LTD Benefits etc" as an example.

6j) argues that these added items, which are beyond the scope of the original MOE PDT terms, best served our employers rather than mitigating our own memberships' losses.

There is a reference to Bill 115 but unfortunately my copy cuts off at this point. I would assume this was a photocopying error.

COMMENTARY:

So there you go. My understanding from talking with the Halton source is that provincial has refused to pay the unit's legal fees for this complaint to the Ontario Labour Board. They also said that provincial sends letters directly to the membership, by passing the president, to address their MOU concerns. Likewise the member claimed that President Brock publicly forwards any materials he receives from provincial, as well as any other important MOU info he receives, through his own direct membership notices. There have been over 2 dozen of these since September. The private members area of the unit's website is no longer used since it's security features were breached. In short my understanding is that most of the members are royally p.o'ed with provincial, and Richard is our OECTA bad boy of the year down there. Behave Richard!
Not! ;-)

One wonders about the Form 29 from Sudbury Catholic Elementary unit. It has not been filed yet. The unit will lose their health benefits up to age 65 under the terms of the MOU. Perhaps the language is being fine tuned? Or there is a fear of repercussions, financial or otherwise? This is sheer speculation on my behalf. A news reference has also been made to a Toronto complaint too.  I have not been consulted or advised, as your TSU 3rd VP, of any such complaint from our unit, and certainly wouldn't be privy to TECT's intentions. In both cases our units had our members retirement gratuities grandfathered, and there are questions about the future of our successful LTD plan. Who knows what the future might bring?

I always try to exercise journalistic integrity by not releasing confidential information without consent, or unless it is all ready public knowledge. I sat on this blog information about the "Duty of Representation" until I could reliably confirm it's legitimacy and public release. Our source does not want their name released. I respect that. Thanks for sharing with those of us who want to know what it's all about!

Thank you to my readers for all your news tips! I look forward to confirming them for publication. Our teachers need to be kept up to date asap with any ongoing developments in the "education crisis". We are the union. We have a right to know, to be able to consider different points of view, and then make up our own minds. I don't believe you deserve anything less as teacher professionals and union members.

BTW President Richard Brock of Halton Catholic Elementary reads my blog. Hi Richard!

See my earlier blog "Brock Breaks OECTA Silence" for more background info at: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/08/brock-breaks-oecta-cone-of-silence.html

This is the 5th most read blog of the 184 I have posted on this site! Richard must be onto something!

In solidarity!

PS: Please share my blog link!


Wanted! Richard Brock! OECTA Bad Boy of the Year? ;-) Warning! Known for salty, direct + to the point language, shooting straight from the hip, and believing in democratic principles! Known to wake up members who are asleep at the wheel with his subversive demands for fair representation, and God forbid: membership votes! Approach with extreme caution: Richard "Bad Boy" Brock will not take any b.s.!

2 comments:

angryoectateacherOTTAWA said...

Maybe change the caption "candidate for oecta President!"

Anonymous said...

Every OECTA Unit President should be following Richard Brock's lead. His motivation? He fights for his members. Demand no less of your Unit President!

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