Opening Statement



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

OECTA Letter on The OSSTF Agreements

[Current news links continue to be posted on the next blog.]

OECTA President Kevin O'Dwyer has made public the following letter in response to the OSSTF tentative contract deals reach last week, including the York one that was approved by the MOE on Monday. Kevin makes reference to the "Me Too" clause. He notes OECTA has the option of choosing to accept any of the new terms in the OSSTF agreements. I don't like to paraphrase. However, he seems to also say that the new additions in the OSSTF agreements are built upon the foundation of our MOU as a part of the regular ongoing process commonly used in collective bargaining. He outlines circumstances particular to OECTA that shaped our negotiations differently from ETFO and OSSTF due to the more collaborative working relationships they have with their school boards. I post the letter without further comment for now while I give it more thought. You may reply using the "Comment" bar at the bottom of this blog.
November 20, 2012 
Dear OECTA Member, 
OSSTF has begun to reach tentative agreements with its school boards. It is our hope that OSSTF has been able to negotiate agreements that build upon the MoU that OECTA signed and that push the bar forward. This would benefit their membership and you. The OECTA MoU includes Section P, entitled ‘Transferability of Other Agreements’, which recognizes this possibility and ensures that OECTA members will not be disadvantaged in any way in relation to other agreements that are signed and approved by the Minister. Section P allows OECTA to incorporate into the MoU any provisions from other agreements that are of benefit to our members. We are not required to accept any provisions that other unions negotiate that are not of benefit to our members.
When bargaining is conducted across a sector, as in previous rounds of bargaining discussions with the government, clauses such as section P are part of the norm. As well, it is common in bargaining that once an initial agreement is reached, subsequent agreements build upon that foundation. That is how OECTA members have achieved many of the advancements that we as an Association have realized over decades of bargaining. 
The circumstances in which OSSTF was able to negotiate its local agreements are not the same as those facing OECTA locals. Public school boards have shown a much greater willingness to negotiate and work collaboratively with their locals to reach agreements – both today and historically. Many Catholic boards have resisted coming to the table. Some filed for conciliation to position themselves to unilaterally alter the terms of our collective agreements, while others tabled further contract strips, despite the existence of the MoU. All indications were that negotiations with Catholic school boards would lead to lock-outs and strike action. To date, no local OECTA agreements have been reached. 
OECTA led the way by staying at the table to negotiate an agreement that mitigated the impact of the government’s original parameters. It was clear to us then, as it is today, that this was a necessary and beneficial step for our members. The government’s budget, supported by the NDP, set the original parameters in the school board funding model. This government was politically committed to legislating its parameters on all teachers. 
Further updates on the OSSTF agreements will be provided as more information becomes available. 
Sincerely, 
Kevin O’Dwyer

Some Related Reading:

My Sept 2 blog: "Behind the Scenes with OCSTA + COCP" at: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/09/behind-scenes-ocsta-copc.html

My July blog "OECTA PDT Catholic Principals Refute Deal!" athttp://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/07/oecta-pdt-catholic-principals-object-to.html

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well looks like it is kiss and make up time for liberal loving teachers unions. Oecta sold labour down the river and now osstf is hoping on board. What is the point of having a union?

Anonymous said...

NDP stands speaks up against bill 115. Why not Kevin O'dwyer? Does he love the Liberals too much? http://www.timminspress.com/

Anonymous said...

Typical OECTA bargaining strategy,
1- Settle first and declare how hard it was to bargain and make sure you get the "me too" clause in your agreement.
2 - Let OSSTF do dirty work like withdrawal of services and strike action and negotiate new deal.
3 - Invoke "Me too" clause.
4 - Congratulate yourself on your hard work and believe you actually helped with the new contract.

Bravo OECTA!!

Anonymous said...

Kevin O'Dwyer and OECTA leadership... ...the ultimate weasel(s).

Anonymous said...

This is the definition of cowardly. We will not fight, we will give up, but if someone else is willing than we will share in their reward. Every oecta member should be screaming about how lame this union is. If I was an oecta member I would be embarrassed and ashamed. I even over heard a catholic teacher say the the mou was okay, and they wouldn't mind having three days off next year. What a joke

Anonymous said...

I find it particularly sad that OECTA provincial has not taken a public stand and has failed to rebuke the Liberals for enacting Bill 115. Instead they have left it up to their members and a few brave local presidents to carry the flag and face the music at protests that were arranged by the other "democratic" teachers unions. OECTA political action staff have taken to Twitter and actually praised the Liberals despite their obvious abuse of power. Members need to take this union back and restore some honour. Richard Brock for OECTA Provincial President!!!

Anonymous said...

I love O'Dwyer's letters. They always exhibit such altruistic vision, decisiveness and foresight into the future! WHAT A LEADER! But then they get followed by his actions-no MOU vote for OECTA members, his own absence at the MOU vote, no opposition to the MOU opinions/facts are allowed to be published in the OECTA AGENDA (Is that censorship legal?)? Hmm...fractured union and script, bad movie.

Anonymous said...

Liberal vote in Fortress Toronto under seige. https://www.forumresearch.com/forms/News%20Archives/News%20Releases/58456_Toronto_Political_Issues_Poll_%28Forum_Research%29_%2820121119%29.pdf

Anonymous said...

It's time for a cool change...the New OECTA MEMBERS' Bill of RIGHTS needs to be adopted! A copy was sent to every unit president in OECTA by Canada Post snail mail. Ask to see it OECTA members! A copy was sent to you too David.

Anonymous said...

IMO the oecta leadership was in way above their head during this round of negotiations. And now we will all pay the price!
While there was altruistic intent in mitigating the parameters to impact all teachers equitably (even though they agreed to a complete reconstruction of the grid in 2014), the overall monumental concessions represented the leak in the dyke that the ministry was so desperately after. The ministry was even willing to sign off on fair hiring and diagnostic testing to get the cascade of events they were seeking. Lets face it - oecta gains in these two provisions only represents a loss for our students.
I say to my oecta friends. If you do not elect new leadership for the next round of negotiations (and trust me, the govt. will try to take much more) you are just as much to account as the leadership.
Now, as we see above. Watch the oecta leadership come to the table for the additional scraps that OSSTF fought and bargained for.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that they did NOT 'mitigate the parameters to impact all teachers equitably'. That is an utter fallacy - some people took far more stick from the OECTA MoU than others. Also, there was very, very little 'mitigation' of the original parameters that we ourselves did not pay for through 3 unpaid days (1.5% pay CUT).

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