Opening Statement



Monday, 3 December 2012

OECTA Ottawa + Huron Ratification Votes?

Updated/ Revised

December 5 2012

If you will recall I posted a comparison chart of the OECTA and OSSTF agreements in my November 23rd blog comparing the "OECTA MOU + The OSSTF Contract" [link below]. It is interesting to now note that it was sent out by OCSTA Labour Rlations to all the Catholic directors and chairpersons of the boards on November 21 2012. There was also a covering letter which was not attached to the copies we saw.  It recommended that while contract talks with OECTA could continue no agreements should be signed until the implication of the changes became clear, with direct reference to the "me too" clause. You will recall that OSSTF Upper Grand has ratified a contract. If anybody also has a copy of the OCSTA letter could you please email that here for our readers consideration?



My blog comparing "OECTA MOU + OSSTF's Contract " is at: OECTA MOU + OSSTF's Contract

For your easy reference the chart was posted at: MOU Comparison Chart

The persistent news rumours that possibly up to 6 more OECTA local units might reach a contract agreement before the MOE's Dec 31 deadline still haven't been officially confirmed. They remain just that rumours, so I won't comment on them here.

December 4 2012

OK dear readers! I investigated your questions about the OECTA contract ratification votes raised last day. Two units will be voting on a contract, Ottawa and Huron Superior. A few other local units across the province might still reach tentative agreements before December 31st as well. These are confidential until the agreement is actually reached.

Many of us might throw up our arms in alarm and despair. In short, we don't agree with the MOU. We especially don't want to approve a contract under it's terms as our ETFO and OSSTF colleagues are taking job and even strike actions against  the MOU and Bill 115. If you do think this is perfectly fine, then you might as well stop reading now. Here is my unofficial advice to those of us are very wary about what is going on, and don't want to become involved in any contract actions that we would consider unacceptable and unbecoming.



Beware of approving contract agreements that include MOU language + terms!

Here is the big question I'd suggest you need to ask before you vote to ratify a local contract between your unit and the school board: Does the contract include language incorporating the MOU into your agreement? Or is it limited to local non MOU issues that your local unit and the school board has discussed and agreed upon outside the terms of the MOU? 

Why does it matter?  If the MOU language and terms are in your contract, then you have agreed to them. That means you are in agreement with the changes to your sick day bank, gratuity , pay freeze, grid and so on. If so you might as well forget about any court challenge to Bill 115 applying to your unit. Your unit agreed with the MOU, so you accepted it and can't complain or challenge it.

After December 31st the MOE will arbitrarily impose the MOU on all our contracts. If you don't agree with including the MOE language and terms in your contract before that date you did not aid and abet the MOE and OECTA MOU!  It was imposed on you. It can be challenged.

Please see the Comments at the bottom of this blog, you might find them very interesting. Contribute yourself to the discussion if you see fit.

More to come.............

December 3 2012


OECTA Ottawa and their OT's along with OECTA Huron Superior unit have reached tentative contract agreements with their school boards! This comes as a complete shocker on the eve of job actions, rotating and perhaps even a province wide strike by the other teacher affiliates ahead of the MOE imposed December 31st contract deadline.



Warning! Do you know what you are approving with a yes vote?

My regrets! I don't check the OECTA Provincial website much because there is seldom anything new posted there. Unfortunately, I missed two very important notices that would seem to have slipped under the news radar.

The Ottawa Board has reached a tentative agreement with our local OECTA unit and the OT's. The members will vote on it December 17th. The board has already voted to approve the contract. Only the school board notice is posted on the OECTA website. There isn't any OECTA commentary I am aware of nor have I come across any in my news links! As one reader has commented, it is especially surprising to hear this coming from Ottawa. Earlier in the fall angy Ottawa teachers were demanding OECTA Provincial President O'Dwyer resign over the MOU. They are also filing a OLRB complaint. Read and consider my ratification criteria above : OECTA Ottawa Deal

OECTA Huron Superior likewise has reached an agreement with their board. This time the notice is from the local unit and not the school board. The members will vote to ratify on December 11th, the board votes the next day. Read and consider my ratification criteria above: OECTA Huron Deal


Time to pucker up and say thank you? Or ................................

Commentary

I am the OECTA 3rd Vice president at my local unit. As you know my blog is not an official OECTA site. It does not represent the party line so to speak, and for very good reason at times like these. Personally I could never recommend teachers ratify a contract to approve the OECTA MOU terms stripping our retirement gratuities and sick day banks. We fought hard and traded off a lot over the years for these. Of course there's a lot more wrong with the MOU then that; capitulation, solidarity with our brothers and sisters in ETFO, OSSTF , and CUPE. Solidarity and contract stripping at the very very least are totally unacceptable to me. In the most basic of terms, I could never recommend that to anyone out of principle as a unionist.

For now, one can only hope our members in Ottawa and Huron ask the right questions. If you are not satisfied with the answer send a message back to the MOE, OECTA Provincial and your local unit by voting with a resounding no vote. I'm not sure why I haven't heard about this. Perhaps the local unit executives are not making a recommendation on these contracts?  It's possible.

The news info void is quite disturbing. Perhaps these contracts are being quietly slipped under the news radar for now what with all the other unions in open rebellion? Post and say little, lie very low? If so that's horrible. Even more agreements might still be reached. Once our colleagues from the other affiliates are heading out on the pickets are our teachers then going to kiss the governments butt by voting to approve the MOU?!? Shudder times 10!!!!. Make sure you find out what the hell is going on!!!



New Rolling Stones greatest hit album released for Christmas! Or something like that! Yup.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

OECTA's disgusting post-MoU strategy all along has been 'post and say little, lie very low'. Case in point: to this day, has anyone seen the Council of Presidents' MoU endorsement vote results yet? What about a position on Bill 115?


*sound of crickets*



Ottawa teachers should reject this agreement not only as a message to the government, but as a message to O'Dwyer et al that the deal they agreed to on our behalf is beneath contempt.

Anonymous said...

You go David! Vote NO on those contracts! Vote YES on the Bill of Rights! Let the Liberal Government do its own dirty work on human rights and democracy!

angryoectateacherOTTAWA said...

The ottawa unit members are weak and wushu washy. On the one hand they file this OLRB complaint and not the other hand, they endorse this acreement as they have written to us. Gone are the days in ottawa where there were true union go getters like Donna Marie Kennedy and Linus Shea. If these types were at the helm, there would not be any endorsements! I will be voting NO!

Anonymous said...

As an ETFO member, I would LOVE to hear the media make a statement about how angry and upset many OECTA members are with the MOU and the manner in which it was 'approved' in the first place. I hate to say it but, if the government can get away with this outrageous bill, they will not stop until they have removed the Catholic separate system and thrown everything under one umbrella. It won't matter that the OECTA provincial agreed to this current travesty. The government is gunning for teachers and it will all it can to fund its all day kindergarten program as well as help compensate for its many other financial fiascos.

If I were an OECTA member I think I would be angrier than I am right now as an ETFO member listening to the BS spewed in the media regarding the "55 000 Catholic teachers who have already accepted the contract". For those OECTA locals with leaders who are standing up for what is right and registering complaints with the labour board - consider engaging in a one day 'wildcat' political protest if Broten steps in and imposes a contract on all other teachers. Walk WITH us. ALL teachers, OECTA, OSSTF, and ETFO need to unite to make a strong statement regarding the importance of upholding democracy. It might end up being one of the most important lessons we teach our students this year. If a wage freeze (that we have ALL already agreed to take) is not enough, perhaps a quart of blood from each teacher is what the government is looking for...

BTW - Thank you, David, for running this fantastic blog. I have shared it with many other ETFO colleagues of mine.

Anonymous said...

Listening to Ken Coran today and reading the posts by OSSTF teachers on Twitter makes me want to be in a different union.

Anonymous said...

Just gets worse every day...OECTA means back door deals, divide members for the sake of division, no transparent communication, and everyone left with less with each contract, except of course Provincial and unit presidents unaffected. They'll just raise union dues to cover any losses. See the problem with no vote for you on the MOU?...Bruce Cockburn said it best..."The trouble with normal is it only gets worse."

Anonymous said...

Lets just wait and see. Look what happened to OSSTF. Coran really thought they would follow his advice. Not! Why do they get to vote when they capiculated in July?

Anonymous said...

Hope you are right! David can you translate the OECTA Bill of Rights into passable bylaw language for us who cannot attend the AGM to do it ourselves?

Anonymous said...

I don't for a second believe Coran thought they would 'follow his advice' as you put it. OSSTF have shown that they actually RESPECT and TRUST their membership. OSSTF is simply being smart and partaking in the 'due process of collective bargaining' for the sake of the Bill 115 court case. That the agreements MUST BE SUBSTANTIVELY IDENTICAL to OECTA's MoU is the crux of the court case - that there really WAS no chance for meaningful negotiation. As part of the bargaining process, Coran put the matter to his members - and they are rightly rejecting the despicable parameters that OECTA agreed to on our behalf.

Anonymous said...

Now OECTA PAC Cheryl Fullerton is attacking People For Education's Anne Kidder on Twitter for releasing a newsletter that contains non-factual information about OECTA. I read it an find it to be 100% bang on. Good grief OECTA. Behaving just like the Liberals. Spin Spin Spin.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you aren't aware of local deals because it isn't your unit and it doesn't concern you. The MOU is a done deal, but by all means keep crying about it and see where that gets you! Local deals are looking to improve local conditions/provisions, it's not a referendum on the MOU.

Anonymous said...

OECTA has tentative agreements in London, Ottawa, Huron-Superior, Wellington, Hamilton Secondary, Halton Elementary, Simcoe-Muskoka OT's.

Anonymous said...

I notice that the People for Education newsletter is no longer on their website so perhaps there were some inaccuracies? I guess we'll see if a new one gets posted. And wow....more settlements too!! Including Halton Elementary? Didn't expect that. I guess some are realizing bargaining local improvements along with MOU might be better for members than being cannon fodder for the right wing union haters/teacher bashers out there.

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FKJl0Dlhqq_Q&h=qAQGj8-GFAQGbakaG05-nTNGaSrzlNdhuaz8002-Sy9dsvQ&s=1

Enjoy David!

David Chiarelli said...

Please do see updated blog above for details on how a contract can be okay, and how you can be selling yourself short.

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks for the Teaching In McGuintys Wonderland link. I have posted in latest blog for all to see. Ha ha ha! This is really good!

David Chiarelli said...

Apparently OECTA Provincial complained about the People for Education piece. So now its pulled? Wow.
I'll try to find out what happened and why.

Anonymous said...

OECTA teachers should NOT willingly accept contract stripping. 'Crying' about the MoU because it is a 'done deal'? No! Just using what little voice we presently have in OECTA to oppose contract stripping and our Provincial 'leaders' shameful capitulation. The MoU terms will be imposed on us anyway. Local gains in this current climate? Show me the proof. Vote NO to local agreements!

As for the supposed tentative deals listed above other than the ones mentioned in David's blog: any sources for that info? I have not seen ANYTHING about those purported agreements.

David Chiarelli said...

Follow up: School boards sometimes attached the MOU after they ratified it + sent that in to the MOE [ie TCDSB]. It is often assumed that the MOE would have attached them anyway. If so, there is nothing you can do, if your unit approved a contract.

Here is my thinking: If you want to take something from me you are going to have to go do it because I'm sure not willing to give it [ie my sick days, gratuities etc etc.] At least my dignity + integrity is intact, + I don't enable you in your folly nor do I feel used + abused. Also, I don't forget.

Remember, if you give into a bully they will only be encouraged to keep coming back for more. You cannot appease them, or make a deal. It is a sign of weakness for them to exploit some more.

It's most unfortunate OECTA left our members with our hands tied by ratifying the contract, + giving what was ours to the government bullies on our behalf. What do you do then? Hello Spring AGM!

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