Post card cheats: OECTA [rear] dealing with the Catholic Boards + the MOU's.
A big difference between the OSSTF and the OECTA MOU is that one assumes a certain amount of goodwill and trust exists between the school boards and the local union units, the other doesn't. If we compare the new terms in the OSSTF MOU for the short term sick day plan and the joint reconciliation committees we can see where the lack of such a relationship might not make the OSSTF deal very desirable for many of our local OECTA units, the Me too clause notwithstanding.
The OSSTF reconciliation committee requires the board and union keep track of the savings they make together which can then be applied to other areas of the contract. Perhaps savings come through the VLAP [Volunteer Leave of Absence Program] or the ERIP [Early retirement Incentive Program]? They can then be applied elsewhere, for example to reduce the number of unpaid days down to one or perhaps even eliminate them altogether. Unfortunately many of the Catholic school boards are not known for the trust and transparency that requires, especially when it's concerned financial matters in the past. They have very rarely been transparent with many of the union locals before, why then would these locals trust they would be now?
The OSSTF short term sick day plan allows the public local units to revert to the previous practice in their 2008-12 contracts. They are willing to accept a 90% or 0% salary option for a member who is off sick for up to 120 days under the OSSTF MOU. They also often trust their boards sense of decency and reasonable help with accommodations for a members return to work.
God only knows what he past practice has been with some of the Catholic contracts as they have often been inconsistent applied let alone ever clearly defined in a number of key areas much beyond the boards financial needs and whims. Would a local unit trust that their board would start everybody off on a short term leave at 90% of their salary? True, if the OSSTF plan were possible, then a lot of money could be saved on the whole new complicated and very expensive STDL short term 120 sick day plan in the OECTA MOU. At least one major Catholic school board however has all ready said that they will assume the employee only gets 67% of their salary unless they can prove to the boards satisfaction that 90% is deserved.
A local unit might be very unwise to accept the gamble inherent in the OSSTF plan. Can we really trust that the school boards might then assume we only deserve 0% until they decide otherwise? Not all of our Catholic boards, far from it, are known for their sense of compassion nor trust or acceptance of the employees sick claim reasons, let alone the doctors notes. In the past the boards have often sought a lot of personal information and examinations from their own doctors which they will then use, as unqualified as they are in medical matters, to arbitrarily decide if the employee's sick claim is legitimate or not. So why now, would we be likely to get 90% rather than 0? 67% might well be considered a better safety net! Nor are all of our Catholic boards known for any particular expertise or helpfulness in trying to accommodate an employees return to work: A teacher is a teacher is a teacher. One could be offered another teaching position anywhere at their discretion, and as far as the board is concerned, the problem is solved.
Considering the OECTA and the OSSTF MOU options becomes like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. The deep blue sea, of course, is the insurance companies. Under the OECTA MOU they are a third party arbitrator whom many units are more willing to trust. They are better qualified to professionally determine a members eligibility using objective industry standards, and properly trained staff who can facilitate the boards compliance with a more acceptable return to work accommodation. Then again its risky. We all know how difficult an insurance company can be in practice, so they too remain an unknown risk. Still that might well be considered preferable to the horrendous board practices before the OECTA MOU.
I am reminded of a Monty Python comedy skit that I think applies: A customer takes their laundry into the "24 Hour Dry Cleaning" shop where the clerk tells them the cloths will be available for pick up in 2 days.
Customer: "But the sign outside says 24 hours, not 2 days!!!"
The clerk: "I'm sorry sir but that's just the name of the shop."
Will many of the OECTA local units want to invoke the me too clause to accept these OSSTF MOU provisions under the circumstances I've mentioned? With the Catholic school boards? I'm sorry my friends, Catholic might well just be another word in the school boards name, at least when it comes to how they treat our OECTA teachers. Ironic indeed. To take this one step further, at the risk of offending everybody, might that also then help explain why OECTA was so eager to accept a deal of it's own, rather than risk one that might be determined primarily by and more suitable for the public affiliates, OSSTF and ETFO, when provincial agreed to the July 5th MOU?
To take the irony one step further, now the public affiliates sense of betrayal has only increased as a result of OECTA Provincials actions. Indeed many more of the public school teachers and local affiliates are adamantly calling for a one school system then ever before. It's certainly hard for our Catholic teachers to counter the argument when our school boards play so loose with the very Catholic values that we believe make our school system so important + essential. Tch. Tch. A pox on our house.
Our Catholic principals + trustees @ Grrr!
God given management rights @ Oh ye of little faith!
Behind the scenes: rife nepotism + a lack of professional judgement @ Evil walks among us ...
OECTA Neo Real: The devil at the crossroads @ The price of a soul?
A musical interlude: George Harrison sings "The Devil + The Deep Blue Sea" @ Fab 1 Youtube