Opening Statement



Monday, 17 December 2012

OECTA Ottawa Contract Vote Dec 17


The following Ottawa contract information was all over the internet by Sunday afternoon. It is posted as I found it online. The black highlights are not my own. The members various responses, as sent to my blog, are included at the bottom.



It is my understanding is that OECTA Ottawa voted against the OECTA MOU at COP and is participating in the OLRB complaints. The units voting record and participation in the OLRB complaint process is indicative of a measured response. Reasonable considerations, process, member meetings and timeline also seem to have been followed by the unit in a commendable manner for the members.

The ballot box procedures are not sound for a modern union in a high stakes vote. Note they will be left 24 hours at the school, that is assuming they arrived there this morning. The process includes at least two overnight stays. The same situation reoccurs Tuesday while they are at the union office, with the results then being announced Wednesday. There is plenty of time, opportunities and possibilities for tampering, substitution and switches to be made. I wonder how many other union organizations would allow this? Also elections Ontario? Elections Canada? 

Conclusion? I could not support this contract for the principles listed in my last blog. I could not approve any contract done under the duress of  the MOU and Bill 115. I find it wrong for us to do so while our other union colleagues are involved in job actions and strikes  taking a stronger collective stand on the same issues. Ottawa members of course are free to decide for themselves. Non members should also take notice and think this all over carefully in case they too are asked to sign a contract between now and midnight December 31.

Here are the details that are being circulated online. I have confirmed their accuracy with a number pf my OECTA Ottawa member readers. This is what's happening:

2012 Collective Bargaining Process: 
The parameters around the bargaining process were defined by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Bill 115 to include:
Respecting the parameters of the MoU and Bill 115No compensation items to be negotiatedArticles only opened by “mutual agreement”Addressing the teacher professional judgement (assessment & evaluation)Negotiations completed by December 31, 2012The parameter that if no agreement is reached, the current Collective Agreement shall be in effect, with changes by the Ministry enacted through Bill 115. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Bill 115
Our dilemma: How best to deal with the MOU and Bill 115? What if Bill 115 is here to stay? What if Bill 115 is rescinded? What might happen as a result of the legal challenges? How do we best protect our members?
Two options:
1. Append the MoU to the Collective Agreement
2. Incorporate MoU language in our Collective Agreement
Our team decided to append the MOU by operation of law. We negotiated a local collective agreement and have left the MoU as the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to append it. 
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Bill 115:
Ottawa was the first Unit to reach a tentative agreement in Ontario. So why did we wait until now to ratify? The team did not want to rush to ratify this Collective Agreement in case new information became available from other negotiations or the Ministry. The team wanted to ensure that other Units were appending the MoU by operation of law as well. There are no changes related to Bill 115 in this Collective Agreement other than to highlight the areas affected by Bill 115 in red/italicized so that members will know that Bill 115 currently supersedes the Collective Agreement language. 
Process for Ratifying the Collective Agreement (CA)
PowerPoint presentation today with an opportunity for questions. Handout of gains distributed. PowerPoint will be sent to Association.Reps December 12 to share with the members. Additional questions can be emailed to Elaine McMahon. The ratification vote will occur in the schools by the end of the day on Monday, December 17. It is the responsibility of the Association Representatives to oversee the vote. The voting materials will arrive by courier on Friday, December 14. 
Process for Ratifying the Collective Agreement (CA) 
Do you support the recommended changes to the collective agreement? Yes? No? 
Yes = approve (ratify) the proposed CA No = disapprove (do not ratify) the proposed CA and we will continue to work under our current CA respecting the changes enacted through Bill 115.
The ballot boxes will be collected by courier the morning of Tuesday, December 18.The results will be announced on Wednesday, December 19 via the Association Representatives
Gains in the 2012-2014 Collective Agreement
Full Day Kindergarten
A joint committee will be struck to address issues including programming, staggered entry, performance appraisal, supervision and professional development. The committee’s recommendations will take effect September 2013.
Elementary Preparation and Planning Time
For preparation and planning time, teachers have 240 minutes of PP time, now delivered in no less than 30 minute blocks. 
Alternate School Day (ASD) 
A teacher working in an ASD school shall not be disadvantaged. The process for teachers to adopt the alternate school day is outlined, as well as, the review process to determine if staying as an ASD or returning to a traditional school day. 
Elementary Supervision
For this year, a joint committee will look at reducing elementary supervision by February 2013 in schools where teachers have over 90 minutes of supervision per week. As of September 2013, teachers will have 80 minutes of supervision per week.
Curriculum Leaders
Grade 7 & 8 curriculum leaders have two (2) release days with occasional teacher coverage per year to assist with their administrative duties
 Secondary Supervision/On-calls
Teachers have up to a maximum of 110 minutes of supervision every two weeks. For secondary on-calls, teachers shall have 25 minute on-calls for emergency purposes only where an emergency purpose is defined as the sudden and unexpected absence of a teacher. The on-call ceases at the arrival of the occasional teacher called to replace the absent teacher.
Department HeadsT
The process for appointing department heads has been clarified in the Department Head Protocol
 Workload
The Board shall make every effort to ensure that the workload given to teachers is fair, equitable and consistent, subject to the terms of the Collective Agreement.
Transfer Process
A joint committee will make recommendations to change the transfer process to provide mobility opportunities for teachers to transfer with 3 rounds of postings each spring. If agreed upon by both parties, this pilot project will be in effect for spring 2013. 
Special Leaves
For family reasons, community related reasons and personal reasons (a.k.a. personal day) Valid reasons for taking a personal day include, but not limited to: family related reasons, family activities or appointments. A teacher can continue to carry over a personal day if the teacher did not use the personal day in the current school year.
Consultants and Coordinators
Consultant and Coordinator work with their teacher colleagues is non-evaluative. 
Health and Safety
The health and safety of its teachers is of paramount importance to the Board. The Board and the Association will meet at least 4 times a year to discuss health and safety issues. 
The Joint Health and Safety Committee
(JHSC) will carry out its duties during the regular instructional day. All teachers on the committee will receive required training during the instructional day. No teacher shall administer medication/medical or physical procedures that might endanger the safety of the student or subject the teacher to risk, injury or liability. Teachers will respond to the extent of their Gains in the 2012-2014 Collective Agreement 
Continuing Education
Continuing education teachers are deemed to have continuous employment if they taught in the previous summer school session.
Distribution of the Collective Agreement
The Collective Agreement will be posted on Blackboard (under Board & Departments, HR) and two hard copies will be sent to the school for the Principal and an OECTA representative.  
Personnel Files
An OECTA designate can access a teacher’s personnel file with written permission of said teacher.
Attendance Incentive
If this collective agreement is ratified, then our current attendance incentive will remain in place. Currently, if a teacher uses 5 days or less of sick leave in a school year, the teacher is paid a bonus day of pay (based on the occasional teacher rate) the following October.

Here are our OECTA Ottawa Members various responses sent to my blog: 

Like York, Ottawa is working with what we have. I think they did a good selling job and did their homework. They had legal counsel. Still, some of us, not majority, will be voting a symbolic NO! Guess this makes me a dissident! [Ed: Welcome to the club!]
We were told that the meeting in Ottawa was in-camera. The doors were asked to be shut like Fort Knox! Reason: O'Dwyer got upset because he saw that Ottawa Citizen article! Probably saw it on your site! Well Boo- freakin Boo-Hoo! Also, to correct, it is Bill 115 as an appendage. Sadly, it looks like there will be a ratification!  
Tonight Broten, on TVO said that 45,000 catholic teachers agreed. The MEDIA is lame and never questions that! [Ed: And now a yes vote is going to help confirm here position to the public while our brothers + sisters in OSSTF, ETFO + CUPE is out protesting in the streets] 
Ottawa local speaks out of the both sides of their mouths! They are one of 4 units who have a labour board grievance, yet are the first board in Ontario to have a tentative agreement. We were told that this is only for OECTA Ottawa members. What would happen if someone sent you a copy? We all got emailed the 'gains' as it was marketed to us. [Ed: it is all over cyberspace by now from sources unknown. Methinks our members are finally fed up and suspicious of all the secrecy at OECTA since July 5th.]
Voting to take place Monday. BTW, there was applause at the end of the meeting - a congratulatory applause!

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