Opening Statement



Friday, 1 November 2013

Guest Blog: An OECTA Bill of Member Rights!

Teacher + Union Acronym Guide is Here!  Also: Democracy in Our Unions: Electronic Voting now posted @ HERE! You can follow me on twitter  #davidchiarelli


Hello David :
 For the last two years OECTA has not functioned as a DEMOCRACY. Our current union structure was unable to handle the challenges of collective bargaining in today's real world.


                                 
What OECTA Members need is an OECTA BILL OF MEMBERS' RIGHTS enshrined in OECTA's CONSTITUTION. This OECTA BILL of MEMBERS' RIGHTS needs to provide:

1. One Member One Vote- on tentative contracts and all candidates running for OECTA's Provincial Executive. OECTA members deserve an individual vote.

2. Ban the use of any ME TOO clause, or similar clause, in all OECTA contract bargaining.

3. Create a new OECTA SUNSHINE List of Provincial Executive members and Provincial Staff members salaries and compensation/benefits packages. Rank and file OECTA members pay 100% of these salaries as shareholders of this union and are entitled to this information.

4. Electronic voting for all OECTA members be enacted immediately. OSSTF and ETFO can do it, why not OECTA? Are OECTA members paying a lower teacher fee? NO. So why don't we have the same service level from our union? This could be used to hold periodic referendums on issues important to the union membership. OECTA Listens is asking about 21st Century Learning-why isn't our union embracing and leading in technology?

 5. Reduce political party contributions by OECTA to minimal levels. BILL 115 proved that political parties will do what they want to do regardless of donations, so why not reduce the dollar amount of political party donations and refund saved fees back to the teachers who paid them? Decrease the teacher fee for a change.

6. Any other ideas to return this union back to serving its members who pay all the bills are most welcome. Open, honest, transparent, and accountable leadership and ACTIONS might just save OECTA!
OECTA MEMBERS: The last two years have been divisive and we have suffered huge contract losses. Do you want this to continue in OUR OECTA?

The time for real change is now. If you agree with this Bill of Rights, copy and paste it and email it to your Unit Presidents and Unit Executive Members and tell them you want it adopted. NOW. Or print it and send it to other OECTA Members.
         
SIGNED -A PROUD LONG TIME OECTA MEMBER


COMMENTS?

17 comments:

David Chiarelli said...

Dear Proud Member!

Thanks for sharing this with us to consider. Here's a few suggestions on how to get out the word:

Copy my link [right click, copy, paste] from the address bar above. Email it with a message for others to come here, see it, cut + paste, what have you. I can also email you the correct exact link for when the next blog comes along + it gets bumped down one.

You will need to write this up as a motion, or series of motions perhaps, and submit them to your local unit in time for this years Resolution meeting. That's probably very soon so you need to get the forms from your local office + write them up asap.

You then need to go with some other members to your local unit Resolutions meeting to vote and have it approved to be forwarded to the Provincial AGM for this spring. If unsuccessful you could also say that you want it forwarded as a minority report. It probably won't make it to the floor, but folks will read it, and then you try again next year until you get it approved.

It would help to have it put up on the Change.org Petition site like the "Reinstate Richard Brock Petition" to get it out there and create a buzz. Members can sign, share the link, and send comments to provincial on why they support the Bill. If you check out the site you should find out the info on how to proceed.

Once its up there you could forward the link here to put up on my teacher blog site to promote it too.

If you have any more questions, I would urge you to check out the "Ask Angelo" blog below for more + probably better advice on how to get your Bill into the OECTA Handbook.

Cheers!/
Solidarity!

David C.

Anonymous said...

Here are the facts:

1. Every OECTA member will get a vote on provincial agreements. One member one vote for provincial executive elections requires a change to the OECTA handbook. The resolution deadline for this year is November 28th.

2. You raise a good point on the "me too". Go to your CB Regional meeting and express it. An AGM resolution on this also wouldn't be a bad idea. An action directive will do in this case.

3. This already exists. PE members -
President 166% of TECT A4 MAX
First VP 133% of TECT A4 MAX
2nd VP $0
3rd VP $0
Treasurer $0
Councillors (2 of them) $0
Table Officer - normally $0/every 4 yrs salary paid by OTF and listed in OTF handbook

Secretariat and Support Staff - paid according to their collective agreements which are available upon request from the OLRB.

4. Done as of March of last year. Also voting at this year's AGM will be done electronically.

5. This could happen if we want to have no effect on the politics of the province. It will not however, benefit OECTA members. We can also reduce the OECTA fee but members will see service cuts and a less effective union.

6. The last 2 years have been divisive. Our contracts were stripped by a government that stabbed us in the back. Every 20 years we seem to suffer a great setback. How to change this? GET INVOLVED! Get involved in your local, attend the AGM, tell others your opinions but also LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that interesting comment posting your version/interpretation/opinion of the FACTS, as you see them.

OECTA members: notice how each point just evades giving union members what they should have: a voice, a vote, open, transparent, accountable leadership?

Talk in circles time as usual, rather than deliver the Bill of Rights to truly give OECTA members the power they should already have.
This comment poster's FACTS ignored:

1. An individual vote for every OECTA member for all candidates running for Provincial Office.

2. Self evident, so adopt the "ME TOO" clause immediately without the red tape.

3. Again, stop the circle talk, Members want to see exact figures of pay and benefits of Provincial -they pay their salaries-this sunshine list should be published in @OECTA newsletter. Remember service to members as the number one priority for OECTA's existence?
Also-why should OECTA members have to apply to an outside body to get information about Provincial Staff salaries and benefits that are paid from OECTA members' dues. Why advocate hiding this salary information?
Also, going to the OLRB sure worked out well for Halton? Great advice on that one.

4.Miss the point entirely. Electronic membership wide voting for all OECTA members, not just the inner circle who get to attend the AGM.

5. Try it for a trial period. New ideas might help this union. You must be awfully tired from carrying the responsibility of knowing exactly whether or not an idea will work in the future. Let other members who want change share this burden with you.

6.The last two years have been divisive. Why? Simply because OECTA Provincial leadership prevented its members from being involved by not letting them vote on the MOU which allowed the government to impose massive contract strips on all teachers. Can a union that denies its members a vote on the MOU ever rebuild? We will see.
What we don't see is the main architect of the MOU and its fallout, Kevin O'Dwyer, involved in OECTA and trying to heal all the wounds on OECTA that he inflicted.
Create chaos and divide the union/labour movement and then dump all the mess created unto James Ryan to fix. Good Luck James.
What OECTA needs is less circle talk and more member empowerment action reforms.

Anonymous said...

O'Dwyer didn't dump anything on Ryan. He ran against Ryan and lost by a small margin. Don't make stuff up to push your own agenda - exactly what the Liberal government did to teachers.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a look at those "huge contract losses". What should our PE and negotiators have done? I would suspect that you (and many like you) would have been in favour of a mass walkout - join all of the other Affiliates (who I'm sure you feel had the support from their members to walk) and hit the bricks until such time as the government withdrew their opening position (remember what that was? 6 days of sick leave; no grid movement; etc.). So we walk - and the public is behind us just like in '97 (I don't think so!). And after two weeks, we get legislated back because the Tories are breathing down the throat of the government and garnering public support to stick it to the highly paid, underworked teachers with the gold plated pensions (and don't tell me you haven't heard that many times before). Now the Liberals can really put the boots to us. The original offer is now off the table, because to hold on to power, they have to cave to the demands of the Tories who want to stick it to the teachers (and all public servants for that matter). So now, after two weeks without income, we are legislated back and are facing more cuts than originally proposed - all of it legislated and backed by the Tories. And so the teacher affiliates, start a lobby campaign to oust the governing Liberals. The public views the campaign as further evidence of a group of public employees out of touch with reality and promptly elect the Tories giving them the mandate to enact all of the union busting tactics contained in their various white papers. And now we are in a far worse position than the Quebec teachers were in the 1970's where their salaries were cut 25% and from which they have never recovered. So...were we hit hard with the MOU deal? Of course, but not nearly as hard as it could have been. Our negotiators mitigated much of the damage and the "me too" clause enabled us to secure any additional items that would be of benefit to our members as the other union groups signed off on their respective deals. Follow the logic; think this through. It could have been much worse if not for the insightful thinking and fortitude of our elected officials and hired secretariat members.

Anonymous said...

".... Our negotiators mitigated much of the damage and the "me too" clause enabled us to secure any additional items that would be of benefit to our members as the other union groups signed off on their respective deals. Follow the logic; think this through. It could have been much worse if not for the insightful thinking and fortitude of our elected officials and hired secretariat members. "

What utter nonsense!

United we stood and divided we fell. OECTA screwed all teachers.

Maybe a case of economics - a competitive market - OECTA was the lowest bidder for the job. Take a lower wage and the job won't be moved to the public boards. Take a wage cut and there will still be Catholic school boards.

What happens in the next round of discussions with the Ministry? Did the MOU stave off the inevitable loss of Catholic funding for two years?

We all know that that is the ultimate end result.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous "huge contract losses" above:

I have spent 29 years in the teaching profession and I was proud to say that we as a group (OECTA, ETFO, OSSTF) always fought for our rights during that time. This fight (Bill 115) went way beyond the scope of what Mike Harris did. We lost many things, and the cowards at OECTA were okay to sign away our democratic rights to proper negotiations, not "mitigate the damage" as you say they did. That left OSSTF and ETFO to fight the fight against contract stripping while OECTA cowardly waited for the "ME too".
In 1997 we did walk out for two weeks. It was probably the best camaraderie, most empowering time in my career. We stood up and fought (pardon me) like men and sent a message. This time OECTA was okay with everything that was stripped away. It saddened me to think that all of the work for the past 40 years had been stripped away and what did we do about it? ETFO did the most but hardly sent a message. The watered down contract we eventually signed was not much better than Bill 115. Had we all stayed strong the government would have been defeated, yes. However, a minority Tory government would not have been able to do much for two years. The other scandalous, wasteful activities from the Liberals certainly cannot be ignored (Gas plants, E-Health, Ornge, the kindergarten mistake). It appears to me that Hudak will be needed to correct the problem now and as I retire next year I look forward to watching how the teachers get sc$%#ed further. Huge contract losses and you were okay with it? Accepting the beating means there is more to come.- you must have worked for Ken Coran's campaign. Hard to believe your logic.

Anonymous said...

And I suppose you have a Support One Publicly Funded Education System bumper sticker. If you think OECTA signed the MOU to preserve Catholic funding you are extremely naïve. You're best to stick with ETFO's 2% mistake. It seems better suited to your logic.

Anonymous said...

The OECTA Bill of Rights is about OECTA empowering individual members and protecting individual members.

Cut the Circle Talk and grant individual OECTA members more power in controlling how their union dues are spent and how their union is run.

Tired of all the CIRCLE Talking that accomplishes nothing and provides no GAINS to individual OECTA members? WE ARE.

We need to have built into the Constitution real power checks on anyone who feels the need to not play by the rules and grab for ABSOLUTE POWER to the detriment of rank and file OECTA members.

Someone stated that OECTA's AGM delegate voting system has been used since the mid-1940's.
What kind of business/union/organization doesn't look to modernizing itself to serve members better?

What the MOU proved is that binding contracts could be put in place with NO MEMBERSHIP WIDE voting approval needed. Do we need more of that?
OECTA needs REAL CHANGE and NOW.

OECTA members need the OECTA Bill of Members' Rights adopted/enacted NOW. Tell your Unit Presidents/ Executives you want it.

Anonymous said...

To support member democracy and due process in OECTA go to
http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/oecta-executive-reinstate-richard-brock
and sign the petition which is at 76% of quota at the moment!

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the Kevin O'Dwyer and appeasement sympathizer does not mention that teachers were the only worker group that paid for the government waste- no other groups- caved without a fight or even a ratification vote by members! This is why they did not lose and we DID!

Anonymous said...

The OECTA BILL of MEMBERS' RIGHTS is all about individual rank and file OECTA members getting improvements and gains in information and more VOICE in how their union which they pay all the bills to run.

Regardless of whether or not you are a Kevin O'Dwyer sympathizer, as an individual OECTA member first, why would you not support it?

Do you want more service and accountability from your union or less?
No more MOU replays for 2014 negotiations.

Anonymous said...

I will stick with ETFO. I'd hate to be in the trenches with you. I'd probably take a bullet from you so that you could "mitigate the losses". What a joke.

David Chiarelli said...

Worth noting: As of Feb 12 2014 this blog has gone on to become the 2nd most all time read posting on my blogsite. It's been a long steady climb since it was 1st guest blog posted here on Nov 1 2013! Most readers are from Ontario. Also the US and UK in substantial numbers too. Yet there has been little commentary or debate, though that which has been posted is interesting. If the writers or readers would like to post a follow up blog please let me know via davechiarelli@gmail.com

Cheers/
Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

Love this idea of a Bill of Rights! Every unit member should ask their units to create a sunshine salary list of every Unit President, all Unit VPs, Unit Councillors, Secretary/Office Staff, Release Officers. Exact dollar payments for these leaders with union unit dollars. Not convoluted budget figures of 130% of A4 Max. Exact Salaries.

Anonymous said...

Time allows for interesting facts to appear. Did the OECTA Secretariat and OECTA Provincial Support Staff get to keep their accumulated sick days banks? Or were they removed with no vote like with OECTA Members? Ask that question union brothers and sisters. Follow that logic!

Anonymous said...

Time has answered that question theOECTA Secretariat got 22 sick days a year and raises every year during the MOU from 2012 to 2014. How did OECTA members do?

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