Opening Statement



Friday, 27 September 2013

Brock Dismissal: The COP Letter!



The following letter from OECTA President James Ryan was sent to the Council of President [local presidents] on September 18, 2013.  It's in regards to the Discipline Panel Decision to dismiss former Halton Elementary President Richard Brock. Many questions are addressed which have also been asked, debated and discussed here on my teachers blog. Take a look below + read it for yourself:


T
here has been much interest in the recent decision of the OECTA Discipline Panel, its implications, legalities and the role of the provincial executive in the process. The provincial executive has discussed all of these issues with the advice of legal counsel. The following is a summary of the salient points in this discussion.

Role of the Provincial Executive in the OECTA Discipline Process

The following bylaws relate to the provincial executive’s role in the Association’s discipline process:

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, bylaws, policies, procedures and directives of the annual general meeting. The duties include: 
2.51.15  to appoint the chairpersons 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;

2.51.16  to receive reports and recommendations from the chairpersons of standing committees, networks, work groups, project teams and task forces and to direct action as deemed necessary and receive recommendations from the 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.

2.194  To be eligible for appointment to the discipline board, a member shall: 2.194.1  no longer hold elective office in the Association; or
2.194.2  be a retired member.

2.195  The term of office of the chairperson of the discipline board shall be as determined by the provincial executive.
The following bylaws and procedures relate to the general secretary’s role in the Association’s discipline process:

2.57.10  to receive written complaints of a breach of Association constitution, by-laws, policies or procedures;
2.57.12  to direct the publication of the official publication of the Association;

September 18, 2013
Unit Presidents, OTBU Presidents

The following procedures relate to the general secretary’s role in the Association’s discipline process:
4.138  The decision of the general secretary with respect to the question of jurisdiction shall be final.

4.140.2  shall provide to both the accused executive and the general secretary a statement of complaint which shall detail the exact nature of the complaint and shall be supported by copies of any documentation or evidence to be relied upon.
4.141  Upon receipt of such written complaint the general secretary or designate shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation into the complaint such that the general secretary can determine:

4.141.1  if the complaint is vexatious, frivolous or insubstantial; and
4.141.2  whether a settlement of the complaint can be effected.

4.142  Failing a settlement, the general secretary shall forward the complaint to the chairperson of the discipline board.
4.144  Upon receipt of this advice the general secretary shall serve the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) with a notice of hearing containing:

4.144.1  the date, time and place of the hearing;
4.144.2  a statement that the parties are entitled to appear in person and/or be represented by a member of the secretariat or an agent (who is not legal counsel);

4.144.3  a statement that if the parties do not appear at the time scheduled for the hearing, the discipline panel will consider the matter in their absence without any further notice; and
4.144.4  a statement that the Association will pay reasonable travel and accommodation costs incurred by the parties and their agent at the hearing.

4.149  The panel shall provide a copy of its decision, a statement of the reasons for it and the penalty to be imposed, if any, on the respondent to the respondent(s), the complainant(s) and the general secretary.
4.150  The panel shall decide at its discretion whether its decision shall be published and, where it so decides, shall provide to the general secretary direction to publish some or all of its decisions.

4.151  The general secretary shall:
4.151.1  be responsible for the imposition and enforcement of the penalty and shall use whatever means or agencies necessary to achieve this end;

4.151.2  publish in the official publication of the Association all or part, as directed by the panel, of the decision.
Publications

2.198  The official publication of the Association shall be made available to all members.
As you can see from the handbook the provincial executive has essentially two functions with respect to the Association’s disciplinary process. First it is responsible for the appointment of the discipline board and second it is responsible for the appointment of the chairperson of the discipline board. The provincial executive does not have the authority to hear an appeal of any decision of a discipline panel nor does it have the authority to alter, amend, suspend or stay any decision of any discipline panel. At one time there was an internal appeal of disciplinary decisions to the Council of Presidents; the AGM removed this authority from the Council of Presidents in 1994. This stands in contrast to the Safe Workplace and Member conduct Policy whose appeal mechanisms are outlined by policies 3.186 to 3.192.3. With this removal, the only body which may now hear appeals of OECTA discipline panel decisions is a court.

If members are unhappy with the Association’s Discipline process, the place to change that process is the Annual General Meeting which as we know is the Association’s highest authority.
Questions with regard to the Appointment of the Discipline Board and its Chairperson

A number of members have raised the concern that the OECTA Discipline Board was never appointed by the provincial executive, nor was its chairperson and that the discipline board was therefore unable to select a chairperson to hear the discipline matter of August 22, 2013.
In the minutes of the February 12,13, 2013 provincial executive meeting the following two motions were carried:

Grafton/Cox   THAT THE PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE ACCEPT THE LATE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOUND ON F 1:3. 
Ryan/Karuhanga THAT THE PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE APPROVE THE APPOINTMENT OF JOE RYAN AS THE CHAIR OF THE DISCIPLINE BOARD. (PE-12/13-1368)

A motion was therefore passed by the provincial executive appointing the chairperson of the Discipline Board. This then leads of course back to the question: did the provincial executive ever appoint the Discipline Board itself?
In the first of these two motions the provincial executive accepted a late report. That late report

(see appendix 1) was the “MINUTES OF THE DISCIPLINE BOARD MEETING ON WEDNESDAY,
FEBRUARY 6, 2013, AT THE PROVINCIAL OFFICE, 65 ST. CLAIR AVENUE EAST, TORONTO,

ONTARIO”. These minutes recorded that the following individuals were present at the meeting: Bill Brazeau, Kathleen Gardiner, Donna Marie Kennedy, Kathy McVean, Joe Ryan, Gary Tomcko, Joe Pece, Marshall Jarvis, Jerry Raso.
While there is no provincial executive motion appointing any of these individuals to the Discipline Board, it is the belief of legal counsel that in view of the contents of the discussion regarding the late report, by accepting this late report and then by acting upon the Discipline Board’s recommendation to appoint its chairperson, the provincial executive consented to appointment of the OECTA Discipline Board.

While the Discipline Board is not a committee, it is also instructive to look at how the provincial executive appoints committees. As highlighted earlier one of the duties of the provincial executive is:
2.51.15  to appoint the chairpersons 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;

A review of provincial executive minutes over the past number of years clearly indicates that occasionally there are motions appointing OECTA standing committees, work groups, project teams and task forces and chairpersons for those committees. There is however no consistent practice for all of our committees with regard to the passing of motions appointing committees. It should be pointed out however that all standing committee and network members and their chairpersons are in fact selected by the provincial executive elect (normally at a June meeting, chaired by the President or President-Elect).
 The Role of the General Secretary in the OECTA Disciplinary Process

There has been some discussion of the role and actions of the General Secretary in matters related to the Disciplinary Decision of August 22, 2013.
On August 22, 2013, the Discipline Panel consisting of Joe Ryan, Kathy McVean, and Gary Tomcko gave the following directives to the General Secretary:

3.  That the General Secretary facilitate a full time replacement for Richard Brock with the Halton Catholic District School Board as soon as possible for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.
4.  That the Association,through the General Secretary, issue a letter of reprimand to the 2012-2013 Executive of the Halton Elementary Unit.

5.  That the decisions of the Discipline Panel shall be published in the next official OECTA publication.
6.  That the General Secretary is instructed to immediately communicate the decisions of the Discipline Panel to the members of Halton Elementary Unit.

7.  That the General Secretary is directed by the panel to provide a copy of the panel’s decision, a statement of the reasons for it and the penalty to be imposed to the respondents and the complainants.
In each case the General Secretary was directed to carry out actions by the Discipline Panel. Some members have expressed concern over the fact that a special @OECTA containing the decision was created and sent to every member of the Association. It became apparent very quickly that decision of the panel was available to the general public through at least one media source. Some members expressed a concern that they were reading about the decision from a non-OECTA source. Because the panel did not authorize a selective emailing to bargaining unit presidents but only that the decision be “published in the next official OECTA publication”,  the only means possible for the general secretary to release this decision to bargaining unit presidents was through a special edition of @OECTA.

There have been other comments made that express concerns over the methods by which the actions of the Discipline Committee were executed. Again all of the steps taken were directed by the Discipline Panel. The handbook is very proscriptive toward the General Secretary when it states the General Secretary shall: 
4.151.2  publish in the official publication of the Association all or part, as directed by the panel, of the decision.

And that the General Secretary shall:
4.151.1  be responsible for the imposition and enforcement of the penalty and shall use whatever means or agencies necessary to achieve this end;

I hope this provides some clarity with regard to the role of both the Provincial Executive and the General Secretary in this matter. 
JR/jmb

An Appendum was attached containing a photocopy of a document entitled Late Addendum of Action. It was dated February 11+12 2013 and contains what appears to be the minutes from a Feb 6 2013 Discipline Board meeting, as referenced in the letter above.



COMMENTS?

37 comments:

David Chiarelli said...

Read the comments on the Brock Dismissal Legal Consideration blog below. The local Presidents are aware + have been asking the questions that need to be asked since the communique first
entered the public domain on the internet Sept 18th. It will be more convenient for reader comments to now be posted below todays blog.

In solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

David : What's your interpretation of this letter? Was proper procedure followed? Or is it just an attempt by the Provincial Executive to tie up all the loose ends retroactively to look like it was in charge of the events that unfolded?

David Chiarelli said...

For starters, I see a report of the PE decision which was made based upon the legal councils advice. Maybe it's time to get a second or third legal opinion? There sure are a lot of gray areas. Would it hold up to a legal challenge?

I look forward to more reader insights on the many points made in the Sept 28 communique. Somehow I can't see President Ryan being happy or pleased with the outcome, nor Mr. Brock disappearing quietly into the night, let alone the local Presidents just letting it go at that. The secrecy + censure is slowly being peeled back + we can see all is not well or as it should be by any stretch of the imagination.

Just my opinion ...

Anonymous said...

While all of this is going on, 1800 + dues paying Halton Elementary OECTA members wait for a cash payout for their vested sick days which leaders of the other teachers' unions got for their members from the government. Why is James Ryan and the Provincial Executive refusing to fight for Halton Elementary OECTA members and getting this "ME TOO" cash payout from the government like the leaders of the other teachers' unions did for their members? Why are we not getting equal service from our union leaders even though we pay equal dues and the great-MOU was all about the "ME TOO" clause?

Anonymous said...

Twelve Points With More Detail – The James "belief" Letter - The Road Ahead

1. James writes that the board met in February without the knowledge of the PE. Who selected them? Who contacted them to set up this meeting? How were they contacted?

2. When something comes before the PE that is contrary to by-laws or the constitution it is out of order. The two motions regarding the report were out of order. If nothing is done procedures become more important than by-laws.

3. By-laws and the constitution ALWAYS take precedence over procedures. The PE's power is in the by-laws and the constitution. By ignoring these and letting the procedure take precedence would mean that the PE has given up their prime authority.

4. There are six persons on the board. Why were there nine people at the meeting in February? If the board is to be independent why were there three people that work for OECTA at that meeting?

5. How can a report from a board that does not exist end up before the PE, when the GS should have known they were not duly constituted?

6. If the board actually existed, why did the PE pass a referral motion at their September 2013 meeting to begin the process of setting one up? This would not be required if the board that dismissed RB was duly constituted.

7. Under whose authority were the six people at the February meeting selected and called to the meeting? By this letter it is admitted that there was no authority. What repercussions should this person face?

8. Since they met without being appointed everything after that would be out of order. Not to to accept this would mean that a non-constituted group could have great power.

9. There is still no motion appointing the six people by name.

10. Appointment by inference is legally a non-starter because it confirms that they met without being duly constituted before that. To say that they were appointed after the fact just confirms that they were never appointed and thus have no power.

11. A very serious decision eventually came that dismissed a president. The rules were not followed and James' letter proves that they were not followed. You do not fire someone without all the rules being followed. OECTA would demand nothing less if a board did this to a teacher.

12. James has put in writing an excuse and not a legal explanation. It is an excuse for not following the rules. In court this would be dealt with severely and against any case OECTA may mount. Our legal counsel have probably informed the leadership about the problems with this letter.

Anonymous said...

• In OECTA, the Provincial Executive is comprised of various people elected to represent the members. The Provincial Executive must represent the interest of the people for which they were designed. Every decision that the Provincial Executive make must be in the best interests of the members it represents. To accomplish this, the board of directors comes to a decision in a careful, structured manner, following the rules adopted by the AGM
• First, an issue must be brought to the Provincial Executive’s attention. Anyone can do so, especially members and others with an interest. All Provincial Executive meetings are open to the members, except those in which confidential matters are discussed. This includes personnel and ethics proceedings. At each meeting, there is time established new business and for business arising. This is when new issues are brought to the board's attention.
• In this case there was no notice given, to the Provincial Executive that the Discipline Board met without being appointed by the Provincial Executive. Processes and motions that were not in compliance with the rules set by the AGM were put into effect. There was no due process, (careful, structured manner, following the rules).
• The James letter has publicly made clear that a procedure has been given precedence over by-laws and the constitution. Legally this will stand scrutiny in a court of law.

Anonymous said...

Legally, the whole process will not stand scrutiny in a court pf law.

The letter is a sad attempt to once more avoid the truth. The problem for OECTA is that this letter let a little of the truth out and the walls are starting to crumble.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a perfect time to adopt the OECTA BILL OF MEMBERS' RIGHTS. Then , maybe this union would serve its members in a truthful, open and accountable way. David can you repost that?

Anonymous said...

A previous poster wrote: • The James letter has publicly made clear that a procedure has been given precedence over by-laws and the constitution. Legally this will stand scrutiny in a court of law.

Under our own rules including the constitution it would be impossible for a procedure to take precedence over a by-law or the constitution. This admission is very serious and causes the whole handbook and the decisions of the AGM to be disregarded. It will not stand scrutiny in a court of law. If it did our whole internal structure would be meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Bylaws cannot be suspended even by unanimous vote. But sometimes circumstances, expediency or strong assembly determination in behalf of a cause or proposition make violations necessary. In all such cases of violations, the action taken is illegal per se; but if no one objects at the time, or never challenges it at any time thereafter, a violation never challenged is never a violation. "Demeter"

There have been many objections to not following the by-laws in this case. It is illegal no matter how you look at it.

If bylaws aren’t upheld during a dispute, board members could be held liable for breaching their duty to the organization.

Anonymous said...

That post above legally this WILL stand a challenge or WILL NOT?

Anonymous said...

David can you transfer the comments from the legal blog to this one? Many of them are pertinent.

Anonymous said...

It will FALL to a challenge. In fact it has to fall to a court challenge.

If the OECTA position is upheld in court the PE and the Handbook will be deemed ineffectual and we would have no rules to govern us. By not ensuring that the by-laws were followed and taking the appropriate action when they found out they were not followed, the PE was in a breach of duty. These duties are clearly stated in our by-laws and constitution.

It is not IN The INTEREST OF THE ASSOCIATION OR THE MEMBERS for OECTA to win a court case on this issue. We would lose every sense and reality of authority our AGM and Provincial Executive have.

If we lose, our Handbook, the authority of the PE, and the will of the AGM will be upheld. It;s time to step back and look at the best picture.

The PE, in James' letter to COP, is actually saying they are relinquishing their authority as stated in our by-laws. If OECTA wins all power will go to unelected persons and, like in this case, a board that never even exists, can wield great power.

To help ourselves we must lose this case.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the posting at: 29 September 2013 10:39.

The last line should have read, "Legally this will NOT stand scrutiny in a court of law." The comments before this line should have made it obvious.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Robert's Rules' Committee Appointment Methods
By C. Alan Jennings,

When the time comes to get specific about who’s going to serve on a committee, Robert’s Rules gives you six different methods for deciding exactly who you want to do what. Each method is particularly well suited to a different situation (but is by no means exclusive to that situation).
• Appointment by motion: This method is most often used to appoint special committees. Using this method, either you name the prospective committee members in the motion that establishes the committee or you name them in a separate motion after you adopt the motion to create the committee. Not done in OECTA.
• Appointment by the chair: This method is also commonly used to appoint special committees, but it can also be used in the appointment of standing committees. To use this method, you can either specify appointment by the chair as part of your motion creating the committee, or you can use a separate motion to appoint using this method. Not done in OECTA.
Appointment by the chair is also commonly established in bylaws to prescribe that a group’s president appoint standing committees listed in the bylaws. Not done in OECTA.
• Ballot election: Generally used to appoint members to important standing committees, this method is used when a group wants to select the committee members with the benefits of a secret ballot. Not done in OECTA.
• Open nominations: This method is used any time the members want to elect members to a committee but don’t require a secret ballot. Using this method, nominations are taken from the floor, and election is usually by voice vote. Not done in OECTA.
• Nominations by the chair: When you want to take advantage of the chair’s knowledge of individual members’ capabilities, you can use this method. The chair offers her nominees, and the membership votes on each, usually by voice vote. Not done in OECTA.
• Appointment by definition in the bylaws: Some committees are established with the bylaws prescribing details on who serves. For example, a bylaw defining a finance committee may read, “The finance committee membership shall consist of the treasurer, the chairman of the audit committee, the chairman of the budget committee, the executive director, two members appointed by the president, and three members elected by the membership at the annual meeting.” Not done in OECTA.

These are consistent with our constitution in article 1.10. The constitution overrides the by-laws.

OECTA Constitution

1.10: The rules contained in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, where they are not consistent with this constitution or any special rules of order the Association may adopt, shall govern the Association.

Since the appointment by-laws are consistent with this section, there can be no other way to appoint the members of the discipline board. How this was done means that the Association is contradicting of their by-laws and also the constitution.

Anonymous said...

Richard Brock is acting to defend the interests of the Association. It's time the rest of us understand that and wholeheartedly support him. Anyone not supporting Richard will be supporting insubordination to the AGM and not acting in the best interests of their own local members, It had to be said even though it is legally and ethically obvious.

David Chiarelli said...

Re: Transferring Comments between blogs? Regretfully no can do. The blogging system doesn't allow for it. I am going to post the link here for you to click or cut + paste in your address bar, whichever works. See @ http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-brock-dismissal-some-legal.html

David Chiarelli said...

Re: The OECTA Members Bill of Rights. I have tweeted the link as a part of my backgrounder series tonight, and will do so again. Lots + lots of folks do read these.

To repost it would be good to do a rewrite to bring it up to date with ratification changes made at the Spring AGM. Also to include a rationale as it now applies to the current crisis. Could the writer please do that, and send to me as a guest blog, in word file, no fancy colouring or text?

It can be posted by Anon Mous or your own name. If the latter please include a short identification bio.

Cheers/
Solidarity!

David C

David Chiarelli said...

Hi all!

I keep reading and rereading the Brock blogs + your comments. I am not a real sharpie at reading, writing or debating the fine points of legislation + by-laws myself. However, I do know that when that becomes obsessive it misses the point, as well as the spirit of our guidelines + laws.

I think that has clearly happened up at OECTA Provincial over the summer by whomever was involved in concocting this scheme to quite clearly throw the book at Richard with extreme prejudice + blatant disregard for our associations need for reconciliation + our common wellbeing. There's just too much of a disconnect with reality and common sense, however one might want to justify it with technicalities. If it looks bad, feels bad and does bad, it's quite plainly just bad news.

I think for me that's the bottom line. I hope justice will ultimately be done.

I was somewhat concerned that none of our local presidents have shared this with their members, though it is out on the web. Then I thought about the political targeting and bullying that would result. Quite frankly, I respect what the presidents are doing, and am glad to be the one to post it here for common reference of officers + rank + file alike in our blog discussions.

Please, share the link, if this helps in the constructive efforts being made to right the awful wrongs that have been committed towards Richard, Halton Elementary + the terrible precedent the decision sets for all teacher unionists, if it is allowed to stand unchallenged.

Hope this helps!

Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

This idea of waiting for the courts to settle OECTA problems is foolish and doesn't serve members. It's like we had no choice and we had to sign the MOU behind closed doors all over again. Maybe leadership should do the job it is elected to do and LEAD by cleaning up this mess they created before it hits an outside body like the courts. Time to take responsibility for ourselves?

Anonymous said...

David, you wrote, "However, I do know that when that becomes obsessive it misses the point, as well as the spirit of our guidelines + laws."

I disagree. I have not seen anything that could be seen a obsessive. The blogs are making a clear argument based on our own internal rules. They make a strong case why we would lose and should lose any court case on this issue,

Not following the rules and handing over authority to non-elected officials is very serious. Wasting our money goes to the fiduciary duty that the PE has to protect those funds and MAKE SURE the rules are followed when they spend our money,

This goes far beyond Richard Brock. This is a transforming moment in OECTA. The PE needs to decide where we are headed and do we want to go there.

OECTA legal counsel should be protecting all the members and not just coming up with strategies on how to protect a very few people.

By choosing to protect the few, when the interests of the members is being put on the line is a prima facie dereliction of duty. This is how I read the blogs on this page and on, http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-brock-dismissal-some-legal.html .

David Chiarelli said...

Hmm. Interesting. I don't disagree! I think the case should be pursued + argued all the way for the very reasons you seem to state. I think the justifications, denials, secretiveness + legal wrangling that has been used at provincial to try to convince us that the Brock dismissal is fair + just by our bylaws + guidelines + can't be changed anyway is what looks, feels + does bad towards Brock and the OECTA membership.

The arguments of justice + necessity for Richards dismissal has been laid on us so thick that I do see that as obsessive, so much so I definitely smell a rat. As such I thoroughly agree that the fight to restore justice, of which you speak, is perfectly understandable + necessary at all costs.

Check the dates on the documents I have reposted here from OECTA over the past month or so. I can't believe they couldn't have been posted well before I did, for the information, transparency and the good of our members. Consider the way the hearing was all quickly executed over the summer while most of us were away, and then presented as a fait accomplishment, whenever more details are finally mentioned. It seems obvious to me that the strategy of whoever is behind this was for it to not be seen or understood by most of us until it was too late.

Maybe when COP met in November, by which time it would've been old news + way too late in the face of more pressing issues. Maybe the membership would've been told oh well, you can fix it at spring AGM, just like with the MOU ratification process last year, and God knows whatever next year and the year after that.

I don't believe the info is all so sensitive + confidential that it has to be withheld for as long as possible and then interpreted for the membership through a supposedly wiser and more all understanding filter for the common good, in a way we can understand. What BS!

After what happened last year the days of that are done. Not just for OECTA either. When you look at what all the other affiliates have since settled for with the MOU's, one would be foolish to just trust the PE's and office secretariats to take good care of us anymore. That trust has long since become dubious at best + violated in some very disturbing ways, the protests of necessity not with standing.

That trust, of those we elect or hire to represent us should no longer be necessarily assumed, nor can it be taken for granted anymore. As well educated professional teachers we have the right to know what exactly is going on, question it openly, and discuss it freely among ourselves rather than just have it explained to us like some nincompoops who can't do that for + by ourselves.

It's particularly odd to me that the association is so obsessive with secrecy, in camera discussions, decisions, legal wrangling + twisted pretzel logic about our supposedly hallowed by-laws and constitution. Who works for who here? It is quite clearly no longer for the best interests of the local unit representatives and grass root members. That somebody is somehow prudently + justly deciding this all for us is what defies all common sense logic and requires that we know what's going on and take action now. We are the unions. We should expect nothing less.

Keep up the great work everybody. I am solidly on side!

David Chiarelli said...

That said, let me add one final point: I believe in thought, talk, debate + considering all points of view and possible options up to the point where it becomes unreasonable. Then I think action is absolutely necessary.

To just continue talking or accepting further delays is either an excuse for inaction and dithering, or it undermines your momentum. The longer action is put off, the less likely it is to occur. Ask any lawyer or school board official!

A court date will be a long way off. Is that in the best interests of the many OECTA members who are feeling bullied, intimidated and uncertain? Is it in the best interests of Halton Elementary who have not just had their duly chosen president arbitrarily removed without their consent, but also still have no resolution for the many issues he was fighting for in the lead up to his dismissal. The members death gratuity buyout is just one urgent case in point.

Also consider this: The verdict states Richard is not allowed to attend any union meetings or be involved in any union affairs. Not only is he past president, but he has been on executive for over 25 years. Is it fair that any unit business he was working on, for example grievances, or necessary expertise and knowledge he has acquired over the years, now be denied to them while the unit members + executive await a long off court decision?

Also: OECTA has a bottomless lawyer expense pocket, but does Richard? No.

I think one should also consider other options as well for what to do next, in the more immediate sense, than just necessarily deciding upon a court case and the indefinite wait that will entail.

Just a thought ...

Anonymous said...

If the board met In February without the PE knowing and submitted a report that was accepted and became part of the GS report to AGM, then the AGM was fooled into thinking they were duly constituted. The AGM received a non-valid report and was not told that the six people were not appointed by the PE.

As previous posters have noted the PE did not follow any of the acceptable ways of appointing these persons and the AGM was kept in the dark.

At that AGM, like all other AGM's, the body confirmed the rules in the Handbook which includes the two by-laws that make it a duty of the PE to appoint and the constitution which makes Robert;s Rules mandatory unless special rules are adopted by the assembly.

When the PE received the report, they were also not told, that someone else had selected them and put them in place. If it was the GS it is a very serious problem because he would have selected the "independent" group that he would have to refer discipline proceedings to. In this case the GS would have exercised control over a group that must have no control over.

Anonymous said...

Richard is being set up and treated like some awful anti-union pariah for making essentially a procedural mistake, while all the OECTA "leaders" who voted YES to the MOU and set back collective bargaining about 40 years and forced severe cutbacks onto all OECTA members remain "undisciplined" for their actions. Can someone explain that?

Anonymous said...

Having read the comments (which I agree with), and the publication @OECTA (horrifying), I find it demoralizing in the extreme that our union would treat any dues paying member who was acting in the interests of his members (what exactly is the "business of the association" anyway?) that might not have agreed with the PE, in this manner. There's that concept of the law and then there's the "spirit of the law". Further, that OECTA can access it's nearly bottomless legal fund (our dues), while it seems Richard has to hire his own legal council? doesn't seem right as he hasn't broken any laws of the land. That one gets the benefit of our dues and the other not, doesn't seem right. Having said that, our dues should be used in ways that benefit the entire membership, not the PE and a handful of its friends. I've been saying for some time that there's something broken in our union. We used to have a backbone in bargaining and we used to send a clear message of solidarity (1997 protest). Now, OECTA has rolled over to the tune of the Liberal government and taken all of the other affiliates with it. OECTA might need deep legal pockets if the other affiliates choose to launch legal action for its having interfered in their bargaining. . . Clearly this isn't nearly over.

Anonymous said...

Why is James Ryan and the Provincial Executive waiting for Richard Brock's hired lawyers to clean up Oecta's problems?Can't they fix them without always relying on outside bodies to act first?They seemed to act fast when it came to publishing the @OECTA newsletter.

David Chiarelli said...

James was by my blog recently during some down time in an unofficial capacity. Looked over the reader Comments. Said there were some good points. I don't want to put any words into his mouth. It was just a friendly visit. He certainly wasn't mad or anything. James has been regularly checking out the site since I started, not so much now I suspect because of all his duties as President, but he still keeps tabs. Keep the Comments coming!

Anonymous said...

This is from my perspective as an ETFO member.

If somebody with gumption like Richard Brock had been OECTA's president (or general secretary) last year, the concession bargaining OECTA Provincial decided to engage in would never had occurred. With that concession bargaining, OECTA effectively destroyed the ability of the other teacher unions to get through this round of bargaining unscathed. OECTA's provincial exec members also gutted THEIR OWN MEMBERS' contracts and told members it was a GOOD THING, which we on the outside still can't understand.

We at ETFO have not forgotten OECTA PE's betrayal. We also haven't forgotten that a majority of your provincial executive continues to think that the OECTA MOU was a great idea, and so we are primed for the real possibility that OECTA PE will once again stick yet another shiv in the backs of the affiliates in the upcoming round of bargaining and engage in further concession bargaining. As far as I am concerned, and as far as every other ETFO member I know is concerned, the decision to remove Mr. Brock from office for publicly speaking truth to power only confirms that the following expression: "Meet the new OECTA PE; same as the old OECTA PE."

If I was an OECTA member, I'd set up an email list with the emails of all your politicians (i.e., provincial executive members and local presidents) and write them frequently to say that I expect them to not engage in concession bargaining this next round and at least pretend to cooperate with their union partners. My apologies for sounding so angry. I appreciate all the OECTA members who came out to rallies and provided so much support last year. OECTA members are fabulous, sensible and brave people; but the politicians seem to be cut from a different cloth.

Anonymous said...

That ETFO analysis of OECTA's Provincial "Leadership" these past two years hits the nail on the head. OECTA members who have had enough of this dictatorial leadership (No vote on the MOU, No appeals process on the Discipline process/decisions, contract stripping, refusal to get members gains like Halton's members cash payout for vested sick days that other teacher affiliates got for their members) need to send this email to James Ryan and the Provincial Executive of OECTA (j.ryan@oecta.on.ca):

I am an OECTA member and I want a union that fights for my gains, lets me cast individual votes electronically and does not pride itself on personal divisive vendattas. I want a union that can handle differences and treats all members equally. Sign your emails...FREE RICHARD.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone, I thought many of you would like to know some news.
One of the individuals that signed the original OECTA MOU dated July 5, 2012 which gave away 40 YEARS of collective bargaining gains, and caused division and mistrust within OECTA and among our labour brothers and sisters ...has been rewarded.

He has been hired on as OECTA staff, which brings with it a significant raise in salary and benefits. This means that the MOU concessions will have NO effect on him.

This individual defended his actions and defended the DEAL as the best...YET THE FIRST CHANCE HE HAD TO GET AWAY - HE TOOK!
Coincidence.. I don't think so? I wonder who was on the hiring committee.

Anonymous said...

Fair hiring is a joke within OECTA. Kevin O'Dwyer has been hired to the Provincial Office and given about a $60,000.00 raise. He has been exempted from all the losses he forced down our throats. On top of this he has better benefits than all the rest of us. AND benefits are next on the provincial. We will lose benefits and our premiums will go up. The person who brought us here, did everything in secret, did not tell us about significant concessions to our CA's until if was signed and done deal, and CHOSE not to give all members a ratification vote on our own conditions of employment, is highly and deeply rewarded. There is something very wrong in OECTA when this can be let to happen. The person who brought us down to a laughing stock in the labour movement and forced us to lose so much has personally gained an enormous amount of money and removed himself from the pain the rest of us must endure. OECTA has become a farce. Hoe can I join OSSTF or ETFO?

Anonymous said...

Since Kevin has been hired to the Provincial Office, five people who were elected at AGM taking the position that they opposed the MOU and MOU process have now a decisive majority, We will soon find out if the news PE is the Same as the old PE,

FREE RICHARD! FREE RICHARD!! FREE RICHARD!! or admit you are no different than the 5 PE members that, in July, 2012, caused this whole mess.

Anonymous said...

To the ETFO member,

I must defend the Council of Presidents within OECTA. Many of us have raised the right questions and brought forward the required concerns since the MOU process started in early 2012. There are many of us that have also raised concerns about the Richard Brock process. It is unfair to paint us all with the same brush. Three Provincial Executives voted not to ratify the MOU. COP was told that our endorsement vote meant nothing before we voted. That vote meant absolutely nothing. OECTA members and the vast majority of the presidents have tried to do the right thing and continue to do so. We are being kept hostage by a few people at the Provincial Office but a revolution is coming.

David Chiarelli said...

Kindly continue these discussions on the new Oct 4 blog: is OECTA to be trusted?

Anonymous said...

Oecta members need to phone, mail, or email each Provincial Executive member and ask him or her: "Do you get more than 11 sick days a year as part of your payment package, paid for by my union dues?" When you get an an answer, please post their answers on this blog for open accountability and transparency to every dues paying Oecta member. Thank you for building trust in our union.

Anonymous said...

Free Richard and free the OECTA membership who he represents!

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