Opening Statement



Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A "No" Answer for Mr. Brock!

Mr. Richard Brock will not be receiving a "stay" of the Discipline Hearing Panel's decision to remove him from office as President of the Halton Elementary unit for 2 years, along with the suspension of most of his membership rights and privileges.

OECTA President James Ryan, in the letter, dated September 10th and addressed to Richards agent, Mr. Bob Boyle, explains:

RE: Stay of Discipline Board Decision

I want to begin by thanking you for your correspondence dated September 2, 2013. Your request was thoroughly examined by the Provincial Executive, on Monday September 9, 2013, with the assistance of legal counsel.

In response to your request the Handbook does not provide authority to the Provincial Executive to affect the decision of the Discipline Panel ["the Panel"] as requested. As such, the Provincial Executive cannot grant your request for a stay of the Panel's decision.

The letter was sent via email and regular mail.



OECTA's Richard "Bad Boy" Brock: His is no disgrace!

COMMENTS LINK BELOW:

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Today marks the end of OECTA.

Anonymous said...

This flawed process must now be reviewed by OECTA members.The Council of Presidents need to do some serious soul searching and make changes to the handbook.It looks like more years of division within the association.

Anonymous said...

OECTA needs an OMBUDSMAN now.

David Chiarelli said...

Dear Readers!

However strong we might feel I cannot publish anonymous letters calling for anyone at OECTA Provincial to be fired, if there isn't just cause. According to the OECTA Handbook, the procedures for Richards Discipline Hearing decision were properly followed. There might be a big difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, but that is how it now stands.

This block allows for a more open discussion + sharing of teacher news + views on issues of importance to us than most other such forums provide. That's great but we must follow protocols too. It is never the intention of my blog to purposefully show disrespect for any individual beyond that which would normally be acceptable in most discussion forums. I will make corrections should that inadvertently happen. I also feel uncomfortably not advising you accordingly with regards to your comments, which in such cases I can't publish regardless of their perspective or point of view.

Thanks for your consideration!

David C

Anonymous said...

I am starting to hate OECTA. We have no leadership at all and the evildoers can do whatever they want to anyone who is a good leader (looks after his unit members)! President Richard Brock did absolutely nothing to warrant this treatment after his many years of exemplary service! If a president does his job he is eliminated! Shame on you OECTA. I hope this voluntary union membership legislation gets passed soon. I am fed up to the gills with this "Catholic" "teachers' union!

Anonymous said...

Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers, That you do unto me! Maybe Provincial should remember that.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing has been a successful trumphed up attempt to get rid of one of the few decent leaders in OECTA. You can count the number of good leaders on a single hand in our organization. By a good leader, I mean a leader who puts the interests of his/her members first and foremost before any more selfish considerations. President Richard Brock, we all know your calibre and are very sorry that you are in an organization that does not appreciate your worth at all. We are all now ashamed to be in OECTA and many of us want out after witnessing your persecution. Apparently we were wrong to help elect President James Ryan as he does not have enough gumption to do what is right for you and for OECTA. We are very disappointed that he would not stand up for you when it counts! When good men remain silent, evil triumphs!

Anonymous said...

After years of being a strong unionist I have had it with OECTA! Legislation should be passed so that Catholic teachers can join any teachers' union they want or so that they can choose to opt out of unions altogether if the recent OECTA experiences - the MOU without a ratification vote and the gratuitous persecution of President Brock- have soured them on unions altogether! This ineptitude and overt corruption in our union is unbelievable! I am now totally ashamed to even admit I am in this union! To think that these people who bear false witness in a sham hearing openly are our "leaders" makes my stomach sick!

Anonymous said...

I strongly suspect that our hero, President Brock is not out for the count!!!!

LOL

Anonymous said...

One has to question how safe any OECTA member is from arbitrary treatment when there is no constitutional means in OECTA to challenge a Discipline Board decision and it appears the Provincial Executive is unwilling to enact any changes to protect members. In the real world there are appeals processes/procedures and OMBUDSMAN offices to oversee these matters. OECTA members should all be asking why are these appeals processes not available in OECTA?

Anonymous said...

I guess this means that all the rules were followed. OK, let's see the motion with the three names of the persons appointed to the Discipline Board by the Provincial Executive. Why have we not seen it. Unless this can be produced today, then there is none and we are in a cover up. Disgraceful doesn't even come close. Without that motion the whole process was a sham and our own Provincial Executive does not have the guts to admit it. It will all come out and when it does then maybe we can fix this, but it may be too late if our Provincial Executive is to afraid to admit the truth. What are they going to do, perjure themselves in court. Well they will then end up in jail and they will all suffer the consequences of their lack of action. David, have you requested this motion? What was the answer?

Wisdom of Thoth said...

Just some observations:

1) Commenters on this blog are condemning the general secretary for doing his job under the oecta handbook to either refer a complaint made by members of the union to the discipline board or dismiss it as vexatious. He referred it and that's what people are upset about? Aren't these people basically doing the same thing they are accusing the general secretary of doing, not being objective?

2) The next allegation commenters are making is that the discipline board was somehow picked in a manner that made them biased or that they were biased and that their ruling was incorrect or too harsh. Is the alternative that the discipline board should have ruled that the unit president was not in violation of the handbook and that they should have been lenient? Isn't that just the other side of the same coin? So they're really just upset that the ruling did not go the way they wanted.

3) There are many accusations about the process itself that has existed from decades been reviewed and revised and voted on by members time and time again. What does this mean? Would they rather have a process not voted on by members? Isn't that the problem a lot of the commenters are criticizing oecta for with respect to the mou?

4) Some people are asking why the provincial executive were not involved? Wouldn't that make the discipline process political and then potentially politically motivates? How is that any different that what the general secretary is being accused of now?

Some people (including your unit) have called for an ombudsman. How is this different? Would it be a political appointment? Isn't that exactly what people are complaining about? If it's not a political appointment and the ombudsman makes a ruling some don't agree with, how has that changed matters?

I understand people, most of which are friends or political allies of Richard Brock or who have an axe to grind against oecta or the mou, are upset. But in the cold analysis of someone on the outside looking in, I really can't understand what the issue is?

I can only imagine what other unions would have done in the same situation.

Anonymous said...

When did an individual OECTA member ever get to vote on the Discipline Process/Procedure? NEVER. Just like the MOU. Way to talk in circles.

David Chiarelli said...

Am glad to see a well thought argument pro + con on this issue. You know where where my own sympathies lie but that shouldn't be the only point of view for this to be an informed debate.

Glad to see a more respectful tone too. I always think of it like this. All of us, among those in relation to this current issue, on both sides actually, in the trenches + the office, were fellow soldiers in the good fight against the Harris Agenda.

I know things change but we need to always remember this and keep it in mind despite whatever differences happened later, and we did have a good run at it then too. I like to think that at heart we are all in the service of the good fight for teachers + union + social justice.

Otherwise the pickings are pretty slim at OECTA to be quite frank, and if you wanted power and fame you'd be much wiser to become king of the hill somewhere else.

Just some thoughts.

David C

Anonymous said...

In reference to the comment posted on, 12 September 2013 13:20, I see the poster does not get it.

Many posters have asked for the motion that appointed the three individuals to the Discipline Board. Under our rules that is the ONLY way you get on that board.

Obviously, it never happened. There was no board. Someone handpicked the people to hear something. Whatever they were, they were not a discipline board that had any power. So I ask this poster, how would you feel if you you were charged in Libya with a charge that you went against the state and Bashar al-Assad picked the judge and jury? Well this is much worse. In Syria, they have a dictatorship. In OECTA we do not. The PE appoints this board. That is it. That is all. There is no absolute power to appoint, by the General Secretary, anywhere under our rules. You may want to check for yourself.

Do you get it now or do I have to make it even simpler. A board that did not exist fired Richard Brock and there is only one person that could have set this up. Do you understand now?

Like many posters have asked for; Provincial Executive please send us the motion that shows that these three people were appointed and the board was put into effect by the Provincial Executive? Why do you think we haven't seen it? Why don't you just ask the General Secretary to send it you? See what happens.

David Chiarelli said...

I should think all motions passed by PE must be available somewhere for members to see. I've seen monthly lists before. They were quite lengthy.

Wisdom of Thoth said...

It's been a while since I've looked at the oecta bylaws but I am pretty sure the chair of the discipline board picks the panel that hears a complaint. Not the general secretary and not the provincial executive.

I don't think I need to explain why that appointment would be kept non-political. It would mean that the executive would always be conscious of votes when choosing a panel.

Anonymous said...

I have gone through all them for the past three years. There is no motion with the three people on this board in the motion. Not there. Nothing for members to look at.

Unless, the PE produces this motion, that board did not exist. We have a huge problem. Like post,12 September 2013 18:24 states, "A board that did not exist fired Richard Brock and there is only one person that could have set this up."

Have you asked the General Secretary or the President to produce this motion and show us? Just show us and this may all go away.

Anonymous said...

The PE appoints ALL the members.By-laws 2.51.15 and 2.193. There was no discipline board. It is there plain to see.

Anonymous said...

If the motion by the PE or the appointment by the General Secretary is made after the Procedure 4.13 complainants have already submitted their letters would it be political. At that point the allegations would already be known and bias could kick in from either the PE or the GS. If it is done on a routine basis when no specific case is to be heard then there isn't the political problem.

I guess it all depends if all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed. If you are going to fire someone, you better follow the rules. Can someone post the exact wording from our Handbook? How often do we get new ones?

If all the rules were followed then I agree with one of the previous posters that there is no problem here. If, other posters are correct that the only way you can get on the board is by being appointed by the Provincial Executive and this never happened, then we do have a big problem and an apparent cover up.

Can someone from Provincial or someone who knows all these things just tell us so that this can be resolved.

Anonymous said...

I just found the exact wording under OECTA's own rules.

Duties of the Provincial Executive
2.51.15: to appoint the chairperson and members of all the Association standing committees, networks, work groups, project teams, task forces, and the discipline board. save and except the audit, personnel and program and structures committees;

2.51: The duties of the provincial executive shall be to administer the affairs of the association between annual general meetings in accordance with the constitution, by-laws, policies, procedures and directives of the annual general meeting.

Duties of the general secretary

2.57: to carry out the instructions of the provincial executive;

Discipline Board

2.193: There shall be a discipline board comprised of six members who shall be appointed by the provincial executive for a term of no less than three years;

There it is. This is our law. Make up your own mind as to if there is a cover up or not because a copy of this motion to appoint has not been seen by anyone. That does not mean that that on with the three (six?) names does not exist. We just need to see it.

Anonymous said...

Also:

4.143: Upon receipt of such written complaint the discipline board chairperson shall appoint a three member panel from among the members of the board and shall advise the general secretary of a hearing date , time and place determined by the panel;

Therefore, the PE had to appoint six members including the chairperson. The chairperson had to select two people beside him/herself to sit as a panel, from the other five appointed by the Provincial Executive. This then is over if we see the motion from the PE appointing six people and it is clear that the chairperson selected the other two to sit on the panel. If the PE did not appoint six people and/or someone other than the chairperson selected the other two, then we have a very serious problem and probably a constitutional crisis. It is one of these two scenarios we are in. Which one will be easily determined when we see the motion or not see it and we find out who contacted the other two to sit on the panel. If anyone but the chairperson selected/asked the other two to hear this case, OECTA fired someone without cause or due process. If the motion with six names not three exists and the selected the other two members to hear the case then Mr. Brock was dealt with fairly and justly.

I think we have all this figured out correctly now. We just need to see the paperwork and this would all be put to rest. It's our money that was either spent properly or not. It is also our money that would be put in jeopardy if we did not follow our own rules. I can just hope they were. PE, please just show us the relevant documentation or reverse the decision. It seems pretty easy to me.

I don't understand why there would be any problem in getting to the facts. They either support the rules or they do not. Whatever they are, just act accordingly. Press the "Easy" button because it's there.

Anonymous said...

July 5, 2012 marked the end of OECTA. And Brock knew it.

Anonymous said...

Provincial is good at mailing things to OECTA members, electronically or via Canada Post. Provincial needs to mail a copy of this required paperwork to all OECTA members in the interest of TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY. OECTA members need to insist on being treated like shareholders in a corporation. Enough of being kept in the dark like the MOU process. Provincial Executive compensation packages need to be reported to OECTA members who pay all the bills. Why aren't they?

Anonymous said...

The truth is out. The following was passed by the Provincial Executive at their meeting this past Monday and Tuesday. There was no Discipline Board existent in OECTA when the case against Richard Brock was heard.

The Motion

PE-13/14-647 THAT THE FOLLOWING MOTION BE REFERRED TO THE GENERAL SECRETARY FOR STUDY AND REPORT TO THE DECEMBER 2013 PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE MEETING:
That the Provincial Executive direct the President to place a call out to non-active retired members interested in serving on the Discipline Board in order that a list of potential appointees be established as per 2.193 at the December 2013 Provincial Executive meeting.

So there was no board. WHO heard this case? Whoever they were had ZERO authority to do anything. They have just started the process to put one together. The big "oops" at that meeting can be heard around the world. Babe Ruth step aside.

David Chiarelli said...

There is currently at least one formal request being made for this information from the Provincial Office. I will also ask around + see what I can informally find out.

Anonymous said...

I have now gone back to January, 2007 and looked at all PE motions that have been sent out. There was no motion during these 6 years and nine months that would start the process to set up a discipline board.

How the chairperson who heard the case against Mr. Brock was appointed is also full of mystery as there was no process to look for persons to sit on the board that heard this case. This is especially troubling as this person was the former president of one of the units that brought the complaint against Richard.

The other two members could not have been appointed to this board as they were active in OECTA. One was a unit president until June 2012 and one Elections Chairperson until March of 2013.

Since no motion to set up and/or appoint appears in the last 6 years and nine months it would be impossible for these two people to have been appointed by the Provincial Executive.

The motion you posted from the Provincial Executive passed this Past Monday or Tuesday says it all. There is currently no duly constituted discipline board and whoever heard this case had zero authority. All unit presidents would have a copy of this motion. Members should ask their president for it. It would have been done in public session and no rules of confidentiality would apply.

What can we do now?

Anonymous said...

Active?

PE-13/14-647 THAT THE FOLLOWING MOTION BE REFERRED TO THE GENERAL SECRETARY FOR STUDY AND REPORT TO THE DECEMBER 2013 PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE MEETING:
That the Provincial Executive direct the President to place a call out to NON-ACTIVE retired members interested in serving on the Discipline Board in order that a list of potential appointees be established as per 2.193 at the December 2013 Provincial Executive meeting.

There is good legal reason that they are not active, especially if one was Elections Chair. Having this person on a discipline committee would have a chilling effect on anyone that wants to run for office. The Elections Chairperson must beyond any concerns or involvement in decisions that affect elected officials. Our PE have recognized the importance of non-active and wrote it into their motion. Legally that is the right thing so that all the members of the board can truly be unbiased and objective. Under law any decision like this must be without bias and follow all the rules.

Also, if there was no motion in the LAST year there could be no disciplinary board.

Anonymous said...

When these kind of irregularities appear, can an outside authority be called in to conduct a forensic audit of what happened?

Anonymous said...

Now, I am really confused. There would be no need for this referral motion if the six people were already appointed. They would have had to been appointed in the last year since one of them retired on June 30, 2012. I believe this would also be true for the Chairperson and the other person who heard the case if they were not appointed by name before that. This is true because their appointment would have to be for a minimum of three years.

Now, the big question is who are the other three that were appointed. Obviously, they had to appoint six people. There has to be six because three have to sit as a panel and the chairperson must select from the six.

If someone got fired and these appointment motions are not there then what? Imagine, if a board fired a teacher but the person(s) that made the decision to fire had no authority to do so.

PE, just straighten this out and let us know what's what. A referral motion to set up something that has to currently exist makes no sense at all.

Anonymous said...

I have also sent a request to the provincial office for the documentation. I did it before the last PE meeting. There has been no response.

What is bothering me the most is that we have not received it. Individual members, elected or not need to ask for this. If the rules were not followed, and it ended up in firing someone, we have a very serious problem. I think I can put it all in one sentence. Here goes.

If someone got fired without following the rules then the Association acted without authority, in a prejudicial and illegal manner, where someone without being authorized to do so made the decision to stack the panel by giving the chairperson only three names when the chairperson had to select three people, making this personal and biased and had nothing to do with due process which would have been non-existent just like the panel that heard the case.

There you have it in one long but inclusive sentence. Someone mentioned that we may be in a constitutional crisis. This is one hundred percent true if the words written by the AGM were not followed. The AGM would be delegated to being an a body with no authority. If that occurred then all our rules would be meaningless and a constitutional crisis is exactly what we are in. Disobeying the AGM is about as serious as it gets. The AGM represents all the members and to not follow the rules WE wrote would mean that WE do not matter and protecting one or a few people at the top is more important than the best interests of the members. We wrote our best interests into the rules over many AGM's. Someone or some personshas acted against our best interests and he/she/they are currently holding high provincial office or are in in a high provincial staff position. If it is a staff person, then not following all he rules we wrote would put them in direct opposition to the very members they work for. Constitutional crisis? There is no doubt.

David, thanks for providing this forum where we can express the truth as we see it.

Anonymous said...

OECTA members need to demand a forensic audit by an outside party to determine if proper procedure was followed during Mr. Brock's disciplinary process from start to finish.

David Chiarelli said...

Clearly the OECTA PE made it's decision based upon the laws and by-laws of the Handbook, as they exist. That doesn't mean the law isn't an ass.

It would seem to me that the Achilles heal of the Brock decision would be the appointment of the members to the Discipline Panel. From what I know there have been at least 2 or 3 requests that have gone to provincial to see the executive motion by which this was done, none of which I understand have been answered to date. I'd say this spells oodles.

The other hole in the by-laws where it would be good to dig deeper is with the Discipline Panels ability to interpret what the interests of the association are and mean. The Panel has clearly made a decision, which the by-laws might well allow, but we can surely see the problem with this. An appointed committee defining the interests of the association without the possibility of an executive or member appeal?!?

This has been possible since the by-laws removing an executive appeal were passed at the 1994 AGM, I believe. Since it is within the purvey of the panel to have done so, I should think the only option then would be a civil case for the courts of Canada or the province to decide. The complaint would come from the disciplined member, based upon his case and his removal of his office and loss of membership rights. I'm not a lawyer but I should think that would be a wise option for Mr. Brock to consider.

One other thought: It is very disconcerting that for two years now very contentious actions have been arbitrarily taken using holes within our by-laws and constitutions. [MOU ratification + the Brock dismissal] Just because one has the right to do so doesn't make it right to do. In the case of OECTA, a supposedly Catholic teachers association I should say this decidedly lacks heart and soul. For shame!

I suppose the members will be told once again to prepare motions to deal with this latest loophole through the Spring UAGM. Is this how OECTA operates from now on? Rear guard re-actions to some clever legal footwork that steps through any endless number of holes one might find? It's a helluva way to operate: a bottomless morass of legalities does not make for a strong or united association which will work well for the collective interest of its members. How ironic would it be to see our Catholic union not be destroyed from without, but rather fall apart from within?

It's a pity but as it now stands that would seem to me to be what's going to happen. After all the infighting is over, nobody comes out a winner. We all lose. Under the code of silence, no doubt, so nobody will supposedly be any the wiser.

Yours,

David C

Anonymous said...

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/statutes/english/2012/elaws_src_s12011_e.htm

No action for good faith acts
17. (1) No cause of action arises and no civil proceeding shall be brought or maintained against any of the following persons for any act done in good faith in the exercise or performance or the intended exercise or performance of a power or duty under this Act, a regulation or an order made under this Act or for any neglect or default in the exercise or performance in good faith of such a power or duty:
1. A board.
2. An employee bargaining agent.
3. An officer, employee or agent acting on behalf of a board or employee bargaining agent.

Under this section, no action could be taken against Richard Brock for acting in respect to this act. He was acting in respect to this act. He acted in good faith to protect his members. He did it at the direction of his unit executive in the best interests of those who elected him. Our discipline process not only burned our own rules but broke the letter and spirit of this act. Clearly, the words are there and in spirit it gives people like Richard Brock the right to use any legal proceedings without fear of disciplinary action. OECTA lawyers missed the boat. By the way there was no OECTA position when Richard Brock asked for intervenor status. Right after OECTA took a position Halton Elementary withdrew their application.

The law stops any disciplinary action and there was no OECTA position to contradict. This on top of there being a panel where two of the members could not have been appointed by the Provincial Executive means that OECTA is legally without any case at all.

I agree that we need an outside forensic legal audit done. If OECTA followed all the rules, there should be nothing for our leadership to fear.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the act in the last posting may have been repealed. However, the spirit of the intent is shining like the sun. Similar language appears in many acts. This is also the Act that enforced the first MoU that took all our rights away. If OECTA is still defending the original MOU despite this law being repealed they are acting in Bad Faith against Richard Brock. There is no legal standing for that first OECTA MoU. This act also put in place the Alternate Dispute mechanism where the intervenor status was made. OECTA, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. You have no case and your precious MOU will be gone on August 31, 2013. The spirit of the law has crashed down upon you but you already know that.

Anonymous said...

Under the same law it ensured the application of the first MOU. So, OECTA needs to decide if their position is to follow this or not. They cannot pick and choose. It was repealed in January of 2013. What this really is about is Provincial LTD, Provincial Benefits, Provincial Bargaining, and devastating our grids. It is about taking our money which the original MOU makes very easy for OECTA Provincial. All of which goes away on August 31, 2014 without this law. That is why they have fired Richard Brock for defending his the death gratuity for his members, in good faith. It is all about bringing more money to Toronto offices and taking more power away from local members.

This law came about at a request from OECTA. They asked for it. It says that no action can be taken against Richard Brock. Catholic values do not seem to exist. Repealed or not, the right thing and the intent is clear.

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