Opening Statement



Thursday, 17 October 2013

Reinstate Richard Brock: Introduction


[My Ontario Teacher + Union Acronym Guide list is @ Dictionary]

Guest Blogger: Mr. Cafferky is well known on my site for his articles last year on the OECTA MOU, the Brock Decision this fall, as well as for his participation in the dissident Metro 7 teachers group, whom joined in the OECTA MOU ORLB compliant. Here's is his latest blog:


The Reinstate Richard Brock Campaign.

I write this article to explain (in detail) why I oppose OECTA’s dismissal of Richard Brock, president of Halton elementary unit. At first I must apologise for the length of my analysis; however, some problems are just too important to be argued with sound bites.  To make amends for today’s lengthy offering, I promise to submit in the next few days a petition co-authored by a group of concerned OECTA members—it will be succinct.
 
After OECTA signed the MoU with the McGuinty Government, a group of concerned members challenged OECTA at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). Although several complaints were possible, we concentrated on the right to ratify our contract. To this day it is scarcely believable OECTA disputed our right to vote on our contract, arguing at the OLRB that when the sole bargaining agent (OECTA) signs a binding contract with the government instead of with the direct employer there is no need for a ratification vote. Clearly, something is fundamentally broken and dysfunctional at the heart of our union.    

We were joined at the OLRB by four OECTA units, including the Halton Elementary unit, represented by its president, Richard Brock. These four units had independently determined that the sudden switch to provincial bargaining by OECTA had significantly disadvantaged their members. One must emphasize that while the process was civil, it was decidedly adversarial with neither side inclined nor willing to exchange casual courtesies. This adversarial friction continued into the AGM where president O’Dwyer was narrowly voted out of office, demonstrating that the MoU had deeply divided OECTA.

Supporters of the MoU in the units and in the bureaucracy were bitterly disappointed with Mr. O’Dwyer’s defeat. Thus, it came as no surprise that some advocates for the MoU lodged a complaint against Richard Brock, the leading anti-MoU voice in our Association. What did come as a surprise was the outcome of that complaint and the procedures and process employed in arriving at that outcome. This article concentrates on the procedures and the process concerns but for completeness I must briefly comment on the punishment.  

The discipline panel that tried Richard Brock declared that in their judgment he had injured in some manner the interests of the Association. As punishment, they suspended his membership privileges for two years, which automatically set aside his election as president of the Halton Elementary Unit. This discipline panel meted out one of the most severe punishments in our Association’s seventy-year history, a penalty of such extreme severity that it inevitably raises questions whether the punishment fits the crime. A puzzling aspect of the Brock case is determining the exact offence he is supposed to have committed. The sole body that has unambiguous authority to declare the interests of the Association is the Provincial Executive. In this case the Provincial Executive failed to warn Mr. Brock that his conduct was injurious to the interests of the association (that finding was made by the panel at a much later date) which contradicts OECTA’s long standing insistence that our employers must warn teachers and at least offer some corrective intervention before administering severe punishment or dismissal. When dealing with our employers, we object to any form of ambush, insisting on documentation and warnings before action is taken. What justifies OECTA to conduct its internal affairs by a markedly inferior standard to what we demand from our employers? It is an outrage.


You too?

Furthermore, the punishment took no account of many extenuating and mitigating circumstances far too numerous to list in this article. For example, because the MoU was so poorly negotiated, many implementation problems arose that the secretariat could not easily resolve which resulted in a near shutdown in the information flow out to the units. This lack of clarity resulted in all unit presidents operating in the dark to some degree and with the presidents of the more disadvantaged units wrestling with intensely confusing and frustrating problems—Richard Brock was one such president.  He repeatedly asked for information, direction and clarity from the executive and the secretariat, and just as repeatedly, he received no answer. Given the prevailing climate of tension and division created by the MoU, the penalty imposed on Richard Brock strikes me as wildly disproportionate to his alleged offence.  

When reviewing the process and procedures in the Brock trial, one must remember that OECTA is a democratic association.  Democracy is a method of self-governance that allows the voters to overturn the rulers without a bloody civil war. However, a democratic victory is tempered by a legal obligation to respect the rule of law. All mature democracies have the plebiscite and the rule of law, and OECTA is no exception. In the disciplining of Richard Brock, an appointed tribunal set aside the valid election of a unit president. Elections belong to all members of the Association and it is a grave matter for an appointed tribunal to undo an election as punishment—the issue goes to the core of who we are. All members of OECTA not only have a stake in the democratic process of our Association but also have a duty to preserve and protect that process.

For the past two decades, the Ontario courts have consistently set higher standards of procedural fairness in administrative justice cases, especially when those cases affect the individual’s ability to earn their income. A legitimate discipline process must respect two principles of natural justice: 1). “nemo judex in sua propria causa debet esse – no person, faction, group or body should be a judge in their own case or more simply said— the process must be free from bias; 2) “Audi alteram partem” the other side has a right to be heard in full. The standard for a tribunal today is that it must not only fulfill the requirements of the procedure but it must go the extra mile to ensure the process is fair and just. In the celebrated words of a great British jurist, it is not merely of some importance, but of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly be seen to be done." I anticipate unanimity on fairness because no member of OECTA wants anything less than an absolutely fair, impartial, legitimate, professional and just disciplinary process.

 
 
Politics in our Association must be isolated and hermetically sealed from discipline.  In this respect, I feel uneasy that Mr. Jarvis failed to recuse himself from the case when he first received the complaint against Mr. Brock. From July 5th, 2012 onward, both Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Brock vigorously advocated their pro- and anti-MoU arguments in the forums of our Association. These men were political opponents as demonstrated by their sitting on opposing sides of the table at the OLRB last year.  When Mr. Jarvis received the complaint about Mr. Brock, our procedures outline the following steps:

4.138 The decision of the general secretary with respect to the question of jurisdiction shall be final.

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.

Mr. Jarvis was called on to judge his opponent’s activities. In the interest of preserving procedural fairness it would have been preferable if the general secretary designated an impartial member of the secretariat to handle the complaint from the beginning—justice must be seen to be done.

Mr. Jarvis referred the complaint to the discipline board, whose chairperson, Mr. Ryan, was then obliged to:

4.143 Upon receipt of a 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.

Mr. Ryan appointed himself to the panel despite his having served as president of Durham, one of the complainant units against Mr. Brock. The standards of fairness require that the individual sitting in judgment must be totally detached from the disputing parties; must be absolutely impartial; must be committed to fairness and truth. Mr. Ryan appointed to the panel Mr. Tomcko, the immediate past president of Thunder Bay Elementary unit, a unit that supported the MoU throughout 2012/2013. Mr. Tomcko served as the chairperson of the audit committee and attended the first vote of the COP on the MoU where he witnessed the beginning of these bitter disputes.

When the discipline panel is selected, the Handbook provides for the following procedures:

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.

4.145 The complainants and the respondent shall be the parties to the hearing and shall be entitled to appear in person and, assisted by the secretariat member assigned to each party or the agent, shall be responsible for the presentation of evidence and the making of submissions.

4.146 The  chairperson  of  the  discipline  panel  shall  conduct  the  hearing,  and  at  the conclusion of the hearing the panel shall determine whether the respondent is in breach of the constitution, by-laws, policies or procedures of the Association

These procedures are formal and they correspond with Robert’s Rules of Order Page 663, “FORMAL NOTIFICATION OF THE OFFICER OR MEMBER”. As a reminder, OECTA’s constitution stipulates that:

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

Robert’s Rules indicate the formal process begins with the letter of notification and continues through to the completion of trial (Robert’s uses the term “trial”). The notification sent to Mr. Brock failed to mention any special rules of procedure; thus, the formal rules of procedure are restricted to those found in the Handbook and in section XX of Robert’s Rules. Neither the Handbook nor Robert’s Rules provides authority to the chairperson of the panel to set his own rules of procedure.


Much confusion has arisen regarding the discipline board, the chairperson of the discipline board, the discipline panel, and the chairperson of the discipline panel. The board and its chairperson are provided for in the by-laws, while the three-member panel and its chairperson are selected by the board chairperson under OECTA’s Procedures. A particular discipline panel has no authority to set its own procedures and policies on evidence, otherwise we must contemplate the possibility whereby two members are tried for the same offense under radically different rules of procedure, a possibility that must be summarily rejected.

Robert’s rules of Order 11th edition (the latest, published in 2011) states in Section XX under TRIAL PROCEDURE P. 663-665:

The trial is a formal hearing on the validity of the charges. At the trial, the evidence against the accused officer or member is presented by the managers for the society, and the officer or member has the right to be represented by counsel and to speak and produce witnesses in his own defense. … If the plea to the charge is not guilty, the trial proceeds in the following order, the chair first explaining all the steps, then calling for each of them in sequence: (1) opening statements by both sides—the managers first; (2) testimony of witnesses produced by the managers for the society; (3) testimony of defense witnesses; (4) rebuttal witnesses on behalf of the society; and then on behalf of the defense, if any; and (5) closing arguments by both sides.… Cross-examination, redirect examination, and recross examination of witnesses is permitted, and witnesses may be recalled for further testimony as the occasion may dictate.

The accused not only has the constitutional right to call witnesses but to recall them if so desired.  OECTA’s disciplinary panel denied Mr. Brock’s constitutional right to call witnesses in his defense. The panel justified its decision because Mr. Brock had not provided  “will-say” statements for his witnesses. The OECTA Handbook and Robert’s Rules of Order are silent on will-say statements; therefore, the obligation to provide will-say statements is a procedural rule of the discipline panel, a rule that cannot nullify Mr. Brock’s constitutional right.

 Mr. Boyle, agent for Mr. Brock, twice asked Mr. Ryan for a copy of the manual and guidelines being followed and adopted by the discipline panel. Egregiously and with prejudice to Mr. Brock, Mr. Ryan ignored these requests. Robert’s Rules is explicit about specifying the details of the trial. Robert’s Rules of Order, TRIAL PROCEDURE, page 664,

At any time before the commencement of the trial with the first of the "preliminary steps" described below, the assembly may, by majority vote, adopt a resolution to govern the trial specifying details not inconsistent with the procedures described here*. (The  Asterix on this reads as follows "the assembly may vary the procedures described here through adoption of special rules of order for disciplinary proceedings either by previous notice and a two-thirds vote or by a vote of a majority of the entire membership.) The resolution may include an agenda that establishes times for portions of the trial, such as time limits for opening and closing statements. If time limits are imposed, they must allow the defense at least equal time for each element of the trial as that allowed the managers, and this rule may not be suspended without the consent of the defense.

Robert’s Rules of Order do not confer on the chairperson the authority to alter the procedures or the details of trial. Thus the request by Mr. Boyle to receive a copy of the handbook and guidelines being followed by the discipline panel was both the constitutional right and the natural justice right of the accused. Mr. Ryan chose to disclose neither the authority nor the guidelines he had used to alter the procedure set out in Robert’s Rules of Order. Constitutional rights always trump procedural protocol. The discipline panel had a duty to act fairly, to conduct an impartial trial, and to ensure the accused’s right to present his case in full. They failed in their duty, conducted a flawed hearing; consequently, rendered an invalid verdict.  As guardians of the Association’s constitution and by-laws, the executive should take corrective action and set aside the discipline panel’s ruling.


The discipline panel that tried Mr. Brock ensnared him in legalistic technicalities so I would like to adopt the same legalistic spirit to the appointment of the discipline board.  

The By-Laws pertaining to the Discipline Board are:

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.

2.196 The duties of the discipline board chairperson shall be:

2.196.1 to hold a meeting of the discipline board when the chairperson deems it necessary;

2.196.2 to  receive  complaints  forwarded  by  the  general  secretary  and  deal  with  them  as required by 4.136 to 4.151;

2.196.3 to submit to the general secretary an annual report for inclusion in the agenda of the annual general meeting.

The terms of office for members of the discipline board are unique in OECTA because they must be explicitly stated for each member upon appointment. The only restriction on the Executive is that the term of office must not be less than three years. It would be perfectly correct for the Executive to appoint a member to the board for five years, and it would be legal, if not very wise, to appoint a person to the board for seven or more years. There is no motion in Executive minutes of the appointment of the discipline board members—presumably one should find six such motions.  Consequently, we do not know when these individuals were appointed, for how long they were appointed, and when their terms of office expire or whether some of those terms of office have already expired. The simple truth is that OECTA cannot validate the membership of the discipline board, and as a result, OECTA cannot certify or validate the terms of office of these six individuals. Having a discipline board whose members have indeterminate terms of office contravenes our by-laws: There is no remedy for the missing terms of office so we must conclude the members of the board were not validly appointed; hence, the discipline board has no authority. One might now ask: If OECTA’s Provincial Executive did not appoint the discipline board, who appointed them? And to what purpose? However tempting, that is a battle for another day.

In summary: A valid presidential election for the Halton Elementary Unit was set aside by an appointed three-member discipline panel. The panel denied Mr. Brock his constitutional right to call witnesses in his defence on the basis of their procedural rule of demanding will-say statements, a rule emanating from guidelines they refused to disclose to the defense. The discipline panel emanates from a discipline board whose members, contrary to our by-laws, hold office without receiving the sanction of the Provincial Executive, members whose individual terms of office are indeterminable and could even be expired. It is a travesty of justice when a tribunal which cannot establish its own legitimacy sets aside a valid election on the strength of a legal technicality that it had created without the authority of the Handbook, Robert’s Rules of Order or our AGM.

The Provincial Executive is empowered to run the association between AGM’s in accordance with the constitution and by-laws of our Association. I call on the executive to declare the discipline board vacant because the legitimacy of its appointed members cannot be established, and/or to set aside the decisions of the discipline panel because the procedure followed by the panel violated Mr. Brock’s constitutional right to have disclosure of the rules of procedure and to call witnesses in his defence.

John Cafferky,

Blessed Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School

Scarborough


Next Time: The Petition!
 

 COMMENTS:

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

It can be argued that in the rush to discipline Richard, due process was not followed. If the discipline committee was not properly constituted, it does not exist. Therefore their decision does not exist. Therefore, reinstatement is automatic if he was never legally removed.

Anonymous said...

So I guess he should just show up at the next COP meeting, since he is suppose to be there.
Then what?

Anonymous said...

A sociologist named Robert Michels presented a view that all democratic organizations were bound to become oligarchies with swollen bureaucracies (the Secretariat) (an Iron Law of Oligarchy) because of the size of modern organizations and their rate of growth. The specialization of officials and the division of labour would lead the members to be unable to understand their leaders’ actions (MOU). Subsequent sociologists theorized that this would not happen if the leadership did not monopolize communication with the members (@OECTA) and if organized opposition to the leadership could form.(Judging from what happened to Richard Brock there will not be too much opposition). It is evident that our organization is in fact turning into an oligarchy and this must be put to an abrupt stop if our union is to serve its members and possibly even remain in existence at all.

Anonymous said...

It's not only time to FREE RICHARD, it is time to FREE OECTA MEMBERS from this tyranny and dictatorship! FREE OECTA MEMBERS!

Anonymous said...

OECTA has broken a cardinal rule of labour. It has dismissed someone without the rules being followed. OECTA has lost all credibility. respect, and reason to function. A labour union that commits the most serious atrocity that an employer can be accused of; the removal of a member without providing fair and due process under the constituted rules, is without any rational to defend its existence.

When persons without power are left to use instruments that are not within his/her jurisdiction, without being stopped that union ceases to function under its own mandate of authority and thus has no relevance as to decision making. This has occurred here and the PE has become irrelevant.

Fear and unfocused dysfunction have led OECTA to a place where the members, the COP, and the PE. are now simply arms to be used to achieve the hidden and personal agendas of a few. The truth can never come out because it would destroy those agendas and the OECTA elite are only concerned about protection and not truth or justice. They have and will sacrifice us all to achieve those ends.

It is time to wake up from our imposed and incorporated sleep.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
Thomas Jefferson

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.
Leonardo da Vinci

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.
Leonardo da Vinci

Every great advance in natural knowledge (justice) has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
Thomas Huxley

Anonymous said...

Whether you agree or disagree with John, he does write very well.

Anonymous said...

A petition sounds like a good democratic way to let leaders know that abuse of power will not be sanctioned by the membership.

Anonymous said...

Down with tyrants and oligarchies! This total abuse of power has to end- first the MOU without member consent and now the wrongful dismissal of Richard Brock! When will the sheep start fighting back! These tyrants are way behind the pale!

Anonymous said...

Definition of democracy- governance of the people, by the people and for the people. Members are not as stupid as OECTA thinks. We can see when these principles are not being followed in "our" organization!

Anonymous said...

Make FREE OECTA MEMBERS signs and start protesting in public. Enough of this destructive leadership! We need to create public awareness and retake this union before 2014 negotiations or we will have more concessions!

Anonymous said...

The problem with the previous member's comment is "Are any more concessions possible as everything we gained in the last 40 years of collective bargaining has already been given away by our brave "leaders". What is left, our air?

Anonymous said...

The previous commenter should wait until Richard is restored to his rightfully elected position first! One issue at a time.

Anonymous said...

Reinstating Richard to his unit presidency does not mean the end of this destructive leadership and concession bargaining/contract stripping by Oecta's Provincial Leadership. The Presidents change but the complete arrogance and unaccountability to rank and file OECTA members continues. One member one vote for all OECTA members. BAN the ME TOO Clause! Members expect contract improvements in 2014, not more Oecta MOU cutbacks.

Anonymous said...

At least we would have one proven good leader around if Richard was back (one who actually looks after the interests of his members)!

Anonymous said...

I think that the previous commenter is absolutely right about the one member one vote issue and the Me too clause. The former increases accountability to all the members and the latter encourages fair bargaining- one "bargainer" can not do nothing, give up, and set the bar abysmally low for the other unions, while getting big bucks and subsequent promotions for doing zilch or worse than zilch, and then reap the rewards of what the other unions work hard to get back for their members. I was disgusted by that during the wonderful OECTA MOU "deal".

Anonymous said...

Can this OECTA union not handle more than one issue at a time? All teachers in OSSTF, ETFO and OECTA expect contract enhancements in 2014 not more OECTA MOU cutbacks and concessions to the government. Unions exist to IMPROVE workers' conditions not make them worse like with the OECTA MOU. Correct me if I am wrong?

Anonymous said...

In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
Pastor Martin Niemuller

Anonymous said...

Since we have a discipline panel/board eager to discipline OECTA members, why aren't the members of the Provincial Executive of OECTA who voted YES to the MOU and imposed severe cutbacks on all members being disciplined?

Anonymous said...

Please sign the petition. I would have written differently. You can copy and paste this into the comment section on the petition if you want to.

1. Restore Richard Brock as Halton Elementary Unit President, acknowledging that his “trial” lacked fairness, transparency, and due process; that the discipline board lacked the authority to try him; that our Association opposes rather than perpetrates unfairness and inequality; that all members have a moral duty both to combat and to right injustices committed in the name of our Association.

2. Undertake to govern in accordance with the constitution of our Association, promoting democracy, member rights and rule of law within OECTA and denying our bureaucracy any opportunity to appoint the discipline board without the requisite sanction of the Provincial Executive; prohibiting that same bureaucracy from employing the Association’s legal contractors to justify the unjustifiable.

3. Respect the right to free speech of all members, protecting that right when any member voices their concerns about the direction of the Association.

4. Commit publicly and unreservedly to treat all members fairly and with due process, undertaking a disciplinary process that exhibits transparency and impartiality; that embodies fairness and justice; that clearly complies with the standards of administrative justice in Ontario.

5. These are being asked in part but not exclusively because the Discipline Board met before the AGM without being appointed by the Provincial Executive, without the knowledge of the Provincial Executive, where this non-existent board produced a report that could not be seen as in order under our rules and because it the duty of the Provincial Executive to ensure that our constitution and by-laws are followed.

6. • 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.

David Chiarelli said...

Some excellent ideas here on how to sign the petition but still clarify the wording differences! Cut + paste or word it yourself, there is a comment box on the petition for you to have your say. Also, get this! It is my understanding that Change.org instantly forwards your comments to OECTA Provincial! Can you imagine them getting hit with hundred of these a day???

Something else: Ask Angelo: A new Q+A Blog Feature will start to be posted this week! Angelo, of course, is a COP President. He can address your Constitutional, By Law and other Procedure Questions and is key to the new OECTA Justice Committee our concerned independent OECTA members are setting up.

I need to post the Donation 4 Richard Brock's Legal Costs blog next, and like to give each blog at least a day or 2 top of the page before it gets dropped down one so more folks will notice it right away and it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

I trust these accommodations will help with any concerns readers might have with which draft of the Brock Petition was forwarded to me first, while also allowing us to sign it and not lose the momentum the current opportunity provides.

Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

Without due process, rule of law, and justice based on truth we have nothing. That seems to be what we have; a whole and heaping bunch of nothing. Oh, that does not even make sense. Exactly, none of this make sense because you cannot make sense out of nonsense. James, I am sure you know this so I can't understand why you would let yourself be dragged or duped into something that is indefensible. You are better and smarter than this. You have got to be in deep internal turmoil. Only truth and justice can set you free. Free yourself and smile.

Anonymous said...

FREE OECTA MEMBERS JAMES!

Anonymous said...

I really hope that some of these COP leaders have cajones as no one no one else seems to have them- our provincial executive seems to like their titles but to have no gumption to enforce the handbook rules at all! Maybe they need to be replaced by those who show gumption in the COP asap. An organization that is willing to give up the authority given to them at the AGM to unelected usurpers needs to be thrown out to save this union!

Anonymous said...

The truth shall set this union free James and you are the Captain of this ship! Don't let the ordinary seaman mutiny and take your power that members have given to you in good faith away without a fight!

Anonymous said...

Justice delayed is justice denied!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess the only answer is to vote Tim Hudak so he will let us opt out of paying union dues OECTA, which has lost all credibility. Sad, but OECTA no longer speaks for me.

Barry Weisleder said...

Reinstate Richard Brock!
Rescind the 10 Year Ban in OSSTF!
Democracy is the oxygen of all unions. Union bureaucrats are strangling members and serving management. Restore union democracy!
Visit: torontosubstituteteachers.tripod.com

Barry Weisleder said...

Reinstate Richard Brock!
Demand that OSSTF Rescind its 10 Year Ban!
Democracy is the oxygen of the union movement. Labour bureaucrats are strangling members and serving management.
Restore democracy in the unions.
Visit: torontosubstituteteachers.tripod.com

Anonymous said...

Anonymous posting of October 29, 2013...You are kidding, right? This is a ridiculous response. You don't want to be an OECTA member when faced with unsafe working conditions? When you are dealing with unreasonable and accusatory parents? Violent students? Inappropriate administrators? When wading through STD and LTD paperwork?

You don't like the state of YOUR union (neither do I)? Work to improve the situation. You can't respond with whining because it is not as you would have it. These internal struggles within the labour movement are not new. It is an ongoing struggle. In the meantime, thousands of volunteers run the local units which act to protect your interests.

David Chiarelli said...

Hi All!

I regret that I am going to have to require those who wish to make a claim on what is currently going on at Halton Elementary identify themselves. I M getting numerous very conflicting and disturbing allegations about what is happening at the unit office, meetings and so on and so forth, sounds like a real horrorshow. Very chaotic. Not sure whos in charge or who is doing what. Cant make much sense of it myselff enough that I can print anonymous claims. Trust you will understand.

Anonymous said...

What is going on? An executive that is being directed by Richard in violation of the discipline. Do you think this would cause chaos? Might there be some people who feel the unit should operate in the interest of the membership rather than operate in the interest of Richard Brock?

I have respected your willingness to post opinions that are contrary to yours. Also, I respect your hesitancy to post due to the chaotic situation. It appears that you (David) are involved in raising money for Brock's legal defense because you feel he was not accorded due process. Are you aware that Richard's legal case is not about the process. Rather it is about wrongful dismissal. The units and individuals who have donated with the understanding that he was going to fight the process have been deceived. His legal case FROM THE BEGINNING has been about the dismissal.

I understand that you will not post this. My purpose is to inform you because you appear to be a person of integrity. Richard Brock is not.

David Chiarelli said...

OK. Fair game. This is an opinion. Others can argue or agree. You know my position.

Anonymous said...

I guess we know in whose sand box anonymous. Feb 5th plays in. If the whole process is wrong, I don't accept the out come or anything else as right, why would you judge a man for trying to defend his name and question his integrity. It is the limes of you that allow injustice to happen. Discipline panel was a bogus tool in a vendetta and they call this union Catholic?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the response to February 11th wasn't posted.

David Chiarelli said...

A.Mon's: See my comments from Feb 5 above. You've each had your say, more than I was originally going to allow for reasons given. That takes care of that. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just to clarify things I posted Feb 11th, I did not post Feb 17 so it is someone else. It is not just 2 people.
I have a question: When you are being harassed by the people that are supposed to protect you, where do you go? When there are accusations and your side of the story is not heard, where do you go? When the process so flawed... is being repeated on other people with the support of the PP, where do you go? When the democratic possess is being followed and those who loose complain of wrong doing (and they are believed), where do you go? When the minority is right and democratically found majority is wrong, where do you go?
OK.... many questions.

Anonymous said...

If I understand you correctly, you are asking what recourse Richard Brock has in the face of harassment, accusations and being subject to a flawed process. This is how I interpret your comment and I would like to respond. Richard, like any other member should observe the discipline. Why? Simply because these are the rules of the Association. I understand that you feel Richard has been treated unfairly. This however, does not negate the need for compliance. The alternative to compliance is for members to choose which rules/guidelines they will follow on an individual basis. This alternative is fraught with obvious problems. I will put to you that Richard's continued involvement in unit business and the non-compliance of the Executive following the decision of the discipline panel is unacceptable.

Your comment "is being repeated on other people with the support of the PP," is interesting. I'm assuming you mean Marshall Jarvis and James Ryan attending unit executive meetings to ensure compliance with the discipline. Be aware that members were in attendance at the last executive meeting and observed. The list of motions presented at this meeting were I am assuming, initiated by Richard Brock. I make this assumption based on the content of the motions. These motions were numerous and inappropriate (e.g., the unit will pay for Bob Boyle's flight from Florida to attend the meeting).

I would also like to refer to your question: "When the democratic process is being followed and those who loose complain of wrong doing (and they are believed), where do you go? Rather vague. I would like to respond with specificity. It is inappropriate for the executive to go in camera to remove people from the AGM delegation because "they can't be trusted". This removal is disciplinary and those on the executive who sought to do this do not have the authority to discipline other members. That a member reported this action is within the rules/guidelines of the Association. In camera sessions to vote on disciplining other members based on their non-support of Richard is not a democratic process. Are you saying the act of voting made this democratic? If you do not have (within the guidelines established by OECTA) the ability to discipline members for any reason then your vote is void.

Lastly, I will respond to your final question as to recourse when the minority is right and the majority is wrong. Right and wrong in this context is an OPINION. That opinions differ is precisely why we have rules/ guidelines. The rules of the Association provide the parameters within which we dialogue. This necessitates compliance to the rules of the Association. I empathize with you that you feel Richard has been treated unfairly. This opinion of the situation does not justify continued involvement in unit business by Richard or non-compliance on the part of the executive. His recourse at this point is to pursue his case legally.

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