Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Guest Blog: Democracy in OECTA [Part 2]
Since my last blog “Democracy in OECTA?” [ LINK ] nothing has happened that would change my opinion. Instead, OECTA Provincial is steadily digging its own grave deeper. There was evidently not enough leadership in OECTA provincial to remedy its summary wrongful dismissal of elected President Richard Brock of Halton Elementary unit, this past August. Instead; this OECTA debacle has escalated into an expensive court case with OECTA Provincial having all of our member dues at its disposal and the multi-million dollar strike contingency fund.
To alleviate this obvious power/financial imbalance Halton Elementary Unit gallantly set up a legal trust fund for the defence of President Richard Brock (whose only crime was looking out for his unit members’ interests and rights as he was elected to do). Rather than being thanked as one might expect, Halton Elementary Unit is now being actively persecuted and blacklisted for having dared to try to help their President (who had been re-elected for a period of 20 years). Halton Unit is seemingly being targeted by OECTA Provincial as an example of what happens to “bad” units, who support presidents that commit the “crime” of speaking out against bad “deals” by OECTA, and thus; who do not toe the OECTA Provincial line. Welcome to the “Catholic” “Teachers’” “Union” which increasingly resembles the KGB of the old Soviet Union with its open reprisals against anyone in our union who appears to be pro-democracy or even pro-teachers.
Instead of serving its mandate to protect the rights and interests of union members against exterior forces; OECTA Provincial is plainly attacking and persecuting its own union members and making a mockery of both unionism and Catholicity. One cannot but wonder who is minding the shop (what is left of it after the MOU of July, 2012) while our leaders spend their time, energy and our resources in such “worthy” endeavours. Perhaps, these present reprisals are aimed at ensuring that President Richard Brock runs out of funds before his case reaches the civil court; which would definitely not look upon OECTA Provincial’s increasingly shady dealings with amusement. The courts will undoubtedly regard this further violation of Richard’s civil rights and his rights as a member of this union with severity, and will likely also, look upon the blacklisting of his unit, as an attempt to undermine Richard’s legal rights and the integrity of the civil court proceedings, by silencing his supporters.
York President Liz Stuart says in her York Sentinel article “Challenging Times Ahead” [ LINK ], that “according to the handbook the Provincial Discipline Board is to be established, as are all provincial committees, by the Provincial Executive”. Members of Richard Brock’s “panel” were not selected by the provincial executive and the “trial” itself had many glaring irregularities.
A petition by our independent OECTA Justice Committee is still on line and open. A hard copy was put in the hands of President James Ryan on November 22nd, 2013 at a meeting with the OECTA Justice Committee. The petition details facts about the case and documents member support for its remediation @ PETITION
Delegates to the upcoming AGM have an opportunity to vote to have Richard Brock restored to his rightful position as President of Halton Elementary and to let OECTA know what we think of their unsavoury tactics and abuse of power in a free vote on an Action Directive submitted by Halton before they came under attack by Provincial.
The Action Directive put forward by Halton Elementary reads:
[132 Action Directive, page 80 (Halton Elementary]
"That the Association annual general meeting 2014 declare null and void the August 29, 2013 decision of the discipline panel. That Richard Brock immediately be re-instated as duly elected president of Halton Elementary unit with the restoration of all rights and privileges of membership. That the respondents be reimbursed for the costs incurred, damages, lost wages and the inconvenience arising from the wrongful action".
Rationale: The Supreme Body, the AGM, in recognizing the errors in process, can overrule the entire handbook and reverse the decision of the discipline board with one simple majority vote by the member delegates.
This can be done by AGM delegates and must be done in my view to save any integrity that OECTA still possesses. Ask yourselves the following question:
Do we as delegates want OECTA Provincial to get away with assuming the powers of a dictatorship or an oligarchy? This is the issue, and the Richard Brock and Halton Elementary unit cases; are just a microcosm of this issue which must be dealt with here and now if our OECTA can survive as a viable union ruled by the wishes of its due-paying members.
Please show Provincial that we know who has the ultimate authority in our union and that the executive is responsible for its mistakes, by voting in favour of Action Directive 132. Justice must be done and be seen to be done, if our organization is to have any credibility.
For a discussion on the issue of democracy in our union see @ Reinstate Richard Brock
OECTA Staff Representative
Mary Ward CSS
Posted by David Chiarelli at 18:59