Our OECTA member's wanted the final vote on our future contracts to avoid the controversial situation we ended up in last July 5th when the OECTA MOU was ratified by our Provincial Executive. That is what we got. However, it is not in fact "one member one vote" but a "representational vote" based upon the complicated formula above. Mathematics is my Achilles heel, so I will leave it to others to figure out if the numbers will add up fairly.
The motion was passed as a part of an omnibus bill if you will, overhauling the complete CB process. The bill, as presented by Task Force Chair Liz Stuart [York], was the result of a call for submissions early in the New Year. These were vetted by committee and presented in time for this year'[s AGM to have them approved asap so they could be used for our next contract in 2014.
I don't like rush jobs. I don't like omnibus bills. They require a lot of faith that all is well, especially when we consider the short period of time that was available for debate at the AGM. It was acknowledged that the procedures will need to be fine tuned and amended in the future. It was argued that it is better to have something in place considering the short time lines we are working under.
OECTA York President Liz Stuart is in my opinion a very reliable person to have as chair. Liz's unit was involved in the OECTA MOU OLRB complaint, while she also pursued the development of the bill with the Provincial Task Force. I admire her commitment and integrity in working on both fronts. Indeed the whole committee requires a great big thank you for the amount of work that went into the project.
As Liz noted in her intro, the new bill as a whole, allows for provincial bargaining, while she, like many of us prefer local collective bargaining. The bill was written up with the belief that was the direction the provincial government would be going anyway, whether we liked it or not.
A representational vote was deemed necessary by the committee to take into acccount the relative size of each unit and the OT's who are also represented by OECTA. I'm not a big fan of percentages, so I hope the final tallies also include how many people actually voted, a number that is often smudged by all the affiliates in announcing any voting results.
I am a fan of online and electronic voting. I see that is how the vote will be conducted. That can better allow every member a better chance to vote in a more timely, accessible and convenient manner. It can also be abused by setting up organizing voting blocks within a computer lab, for example, and I would suppose a myriad of other tricks that will become apparent as time goes on.
I am enthusiastic for our leadership elections to also be conducted electronically, both in my case at the local level, which we have done at OECTA TSU, but also for the Provincial Executive leadership across the province. I am also interested in the idea of referendum voting on important issues. However in light of the concern raised, I do believe the possibilities will need to be examined very carefully. Still, at the very least I would like to see steady progress made towards setting up a province wide leadership vote for the candidates who will be representing us as paying members. I tshould think that is a basic right, along with our member say on our next tentative contract offer.
I will present more info on the bill and other legislation that was passed at OECTA AGM 2013 in the days ahead. Once again, please kindly note that these are my own opinions. You can also express your own using the Comment bar below.
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