Catholic Boards to teachers ...
The following letter was sent to all OECTA members last week by President James Ryan. It outlines the problems many units across the province are having implementing the MOU + Me Too clauses of the July 5th agreement. I have documented some of these problems, and their root causes in a number of blogs over the past year or so. These are added at the end of today's to provide you with a study guide of the situation. A number of other noteworthy related communications will be forthcoming over the next few days. Here's James letter:
Dear OECTA Member,
It may be hard for you to believe, but the struggle to implement agreements reached by OECTA with the provincial government in 2012 and early 2013 is still going on in some parts of the province.
You may not have encountered any problems in your unit. It’s possible that your board administrators respect your professional judgement when it comes to testing. Perhaps occasional teachers in your unit are appropriately interviewed, their credentials and experience evaluated and their applications for LTO positions treated with seriousness. And maybe your colleagues are benefiting from longer maternity leave, for example. If that is the case, your board officials deserve to be congratulated. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in all boards.
Since July 2012 we have witnessed two main trends.
Some boards have adopted a positive, respectful attitude towards OECTA’s settlement with the provincial government. These boards have implemented all aspects of the 2012 agreement and the 2013 Update to that agreement and OECTA members are benefiting.
On the other hand, a large number of Catholic district school boards have refused to put the entire agreement into effect. And because of this, many OECTA members are losing out when it comes to more generous maternity leave provisions, transparent hiring of occasional teachers, sick leave, and more.
It is the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) that has been orchestrating much of the resistance to implementing our provincial agreement. On one hand, most boards have been quick to implement claw-backs from teachers, for example, the end to retirement gratuities and sick leave banks. On the other hand, most refuse to honour provisions that respect teachers’ professional judgement in testing, and protections for occasional teachers. They must be shown this is fundamentally unfair.
So much for being Catholic ...
We believe OCSTA is positioning itself for the new provincial bargaining system that will come into effect if Bill 122, now working its way through the Ontario Legislature, becomes law. If that occurs, OCSTA will benefit from unprecedented influence at a new provincial bargaining table. The trustees’ association doesn’t like the 2012 agreement and would like to pretend it does not exist for the next round of bargaining, expected to start early in 2014. This explains some of their actions in the past 12 months.
OECTA has attempted to correct boards’ damaging actions locally, and we have repeatedly urged the Ministry of Education to pressure reluctant boards to show their good faith by acting on these agreements. Responsibility for many of the problems we’re facing across the province must be laid at the ministry’s door.
Because our efforts have not produced the desired results, OECTA is committed to taking whatever action is needed to compel local school boards to abide by the collective agreement, which is, after all, law. To this end local bargaining units will be engaging in action that we hope will convince the offending school boards to change their ways.
As a sign of OECTA’s commitment to these efforts, our Provincial Executive has authorized significant financial and practical support of local actions. One example, working with local bargaining units the provincial Association is producing a comprehensive version of every collective agreement, including local understandings currently in effect, so that all members have that tool in order to evaluate their employer’s faithfulness in implementation.
Your local bargaining unit will provide you with more information on their plans as these are developed.
Study Guide Links:
My OECTA Study Guide with the MOU + supporting materials @ July 2012
OCSTA screwed Catholic Principals when left PDT talks @ July 2012
TCDSB agrees to OECTA MOU @ Aug 2012
OCSTA + COPC not happy campers @ Sept 2012
OECTA MOU Me Too controversy @ May 2013
OECTA Me Too? Or Me No? @ May 2013
Sick day plans + the unpaid medical leave crisis May 2013
OECTA verses the OSSTF sick day plan dilemma @ June 2013
Join me on Twitter: I regularly tweet related archive links + updated info. My hashtag is
A Merry Christmas Present: From the Catholic Boards to the teachers ...