Opening Statement



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The OECTA Bill of Members Rights

[Updated: a Disenfranchised OECTA Teachers Statement and Petition is also included below ... ]

The following is a copy of the proposed OECTA Members Bill of Rights. It has been circulating across the province for awhile now among our members. I have offered to post it here on my blogsite since it reaches so many readers, for the widespread  consideration of anyone who might've missed it. It remains a mystery why I didn't receive it at my unit office where it was apparently sent to me awhile ago. I regret the delay.

 It is being posted as received. I have left the text unchanged except for a few grammatical and spacing adjustments that should not vary the interpretation of the Bill. If in doubt, I left it alone rather than possibly change the meaning. If I made a mistake I gladly stand to be corrected. Finally thanks to the reader who sent this to me via the Comments bar. I've decided this is too important to just be published there. Here it is:

Dear OECTA members! Here is what was mailed to me: A copy of the new:

 OECTA MEMBERS' 6 Step Bill of Rights. Or The 6 Steps to Put OECTA MEMBERS First Act. 

1. All OECTA members get to vote on any future tentative agreements before signing by OECTA Provincial President/Executive. 

2. All OECTA members get to vote on all people running for OECTA Provincial President/Executive Office.

3. Any OECTA Provincial President not following the above rules be required to immediately resign from office. 

4. Ban all OECTA political party contributions and variable fees. Refund money saved back to members. 

5. Creation of an OECTA Provincial Executive Sunshine List to allow transparent and accountable disclosure of all salary and benefits compensation of every OECTA Provincial Executive member. 

6. The next OECTA Provincial President is to issue a letter of apology for actions of OECTA's Provincial Executive members in the signing of the OECTA MOU/PDT agreement to OECTA members and OSSTF, ETFO, and CUPE.

My Commentary: 

#1: Absolutely without question. This needs to be included as a by-law in our Handbook too, not in the policy section, so it's use cannot be interpreted otherwise.

#2 Sure. We might be surprised how few members actually vote unless there is a controversy but it is our democratic right. I would suggest the vote be conducted on line and by telephone voting for those who can't make it to Toronto or don't have easy access to a home computer. Other unions all ready have these in place so we don't need to reinvent the wheel, just find out how they do it and adapt it to our own needs. Change the word "people" to "candidates" however, just to be more specific.

#3 Absolutely. Might want to reword "the above rules" to be more specific.

#4 I will disagree here. We have made many significant gains as an education advocacy group rather than just being at the mercy of the political parties. Sometimes they don't do as we want, and that part of the strategy can be re-evaluated, but otherwise we would be losing a very important tool and seriously handicapping ourselves. Since OECTA became actively involved in Ontario politics in the mid 1990's we have made more significant gains than we have lost, even despite the current setback. Please, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the expression goes.

#5 Yes. We have the right to know how our dues are being spent, and to be able to examine the books without any unnecessary inconvenience or restrictions. However, this should also  apply to the Secretary General and the rest of our hired officers in a position of responsibility on staff.

#6 A member apology would be great. Possibly a solidarity letter to the other affiliates followed by a series of meetings to work out the details of our working relationship in issues like the PDT to avoid the current confusion in the future. If OSSTF now signs their current MOE approved contracts, do we really owe them an apology? Maybe we should all apologize to ETFO and CUPE? I am not as interested in apologizing  to the other unions as in finding a way we can move forward from now on in solidarity with a means that is fair to all.

PS1: Please also read and consider signing the Disenfranchised OECTA Teacher's Statement and Petition  at: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/10/the-disenfranchised-oecta-teachers.html

PS2: Please feel free to post your Comments via the link below:

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is a win from Hicks Morley regarding the OECTA MOU http://www.hicksmorley.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1472&catid=6

Also 1/3 "OECTA lite" OSSTF deals ratified. Negotiations suspended by Prov office following the crushing defeat of Broten and OECTA Provincial's Mou. Democracy works Kevin O'Dwyer!

By the way: I hope a teacher didn't draft that Bill of Rights. The writing style and depth of prose reminds me of old Stavro my 9th grade gym teacher from Poland's handy work! In fairness he could wrestle with the best of them.

Anonymous said...

Pope John Paul II came from POLAND TOO, LOL. Time for some Beach Road Kolbassa! Let's nominate David Chiarelli onto the COP's Task Force for late AGM Resolutions led by Kent MacNeill to ensure the Bill of Rights/Putting OECTA Members First Act gets adopted to heal this union and go forward! Thanks for being the people's voice David! We sure need you during this dark time in OUR union...let the light shine!

Anonymous said...

David I also agree #1 and #2 are good (ATA which is similar in size to OECTA holds a one member one vote system for their provincial executive). #4 would not be in the best interest of OECTA members. OECTA currently maximizes its contributions to all political parties. Like it or not our salary and working condictions are 100% impacted by political decisions; we would withdraw from the political process at our own peril.

Anonymous said...

David, our unit president has informed us that there will be another 'special' OECTA Council of Presidents meeting Thursday, Nov. 29th. Have you heard anything of this or re. what topics are to be covered?

Anonymous said...

David you are preforming a great service to teachers. It is imperative that members be able to break the Provincial Executive's cone of silence and attempt to find their own truth. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

The OECTA COP is meeting on Sept 29th at the Hilton Airport Hotel.

Anonymous said...

COP Sept. 29th?..Isn't this November?...Maybe we should protest outside of COP?...Here's a Challenge to Chris K. and Kevin....Publish the Bill of Rights in the next OECTA AGENDA...why not? We pay for its publishing! An OECTA member without a vote is a person without protection!

Anonymous said...

David....how about making a short version of this bill of rights that members can copy to email to their unit presidents, letters to the editor,provincial Oecta officers, to make sure it gets passed into Oecta law? I read here that you were a champion letter to the editor writer in the past. This democratic bill of rights needs to be circulated more among Oecta members and passed to protect them in the future.

David Chiarelli said...

Wow! Its an interesting idea but by editing it to a short version I could be arbitrarily changing somebody elses words and intents. Possibly the bill needs to expand its focus on more than just the president as per the Constitions description of the Presidents duties. He has't been acting alone, nor it is all just up to him. Same with the sunshine list, it probably should include more than just the provincial executive as well to prove more effective. Then there's the political action angle. Plus the letter of apology. It's a great working document in it's simplicity and bang on intent, but how to re-edit so its more effective as per the authors original words and intent?

My understanding is that with the new OECTA Task Force it is possible to forward late motions for the March Spring OECTA AGM. I was at my unit office working at a general meeting to fine tune ours for many of the same changes as the authors want last night. The hard part is it needs to be put into parliamentary language to change the existing legislation. Then our dissenting members need to come to the AGM to debate and vote for their motion. I'm wondering if the original authors have all ready considered this too?

There is a petition from a group of disenfranchised OECTA teachers all ready. I will repeat the link on my Bill Of members Rights blog for now while I scratch my head a bit on the how to's of whats being proposed here. In Solidarity!

Anonymous said...

How about leaving it as is with your commentary attached so its content can be passed around and not ignored by decision makers?

David Chiarelli said...

Sure. If readers want they can pass on my blogsite link so anybody or everybody can read it. There are even links to post be Twitter and Facebook in the upper left hand side of my blogsite. Please do. Was there something else you can think of as well? I don't know how I can post a petition that can be signed onsite.

Anonymous said...

OECTA needs to thank you (e.g. the David Chiarelli Voice for Democracy Award) after we rebuild...or fold....great readership numbers....Would you set up a petition to gauge support of the Bill of Rights by rank and file members..no one else will and Provincial sure won't.

David Chiarelli said...

I have posted a poll in the top left side of my blogsite for now. Please vote! In solidarity! David

Anonymous said...

What's with that weird Anti-Gym Teacher comment?...It is offensive much!....signed CHARLES ATLAS

Anonymous said...

We need the Bill of Rights to fix this union and protect our members.

David Chiarelli said...

Yeah we don't have any. Who's working for who?!!

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