Opening Statement



Monday, 23 March 2015

TCD$B Deficit: The Local Union Leaders Letter!

My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! 



TCDSB Song + Dance Over Missing Budget Deficit Details Continues!

I'm glad to independently share this joint letter with my readers for your erudition. The TCDSB is notorious for its lack of openness, transparency and accountability despite it's funding on the public dime. "Consultation" is not really a word in their vocabulary, as the letter below amply points out. In addition, the TCDSB's attitude towards its teachers and staff are anything but Catholic, as seen by it's blatant disregard for it's community of concerned workers. The public should be aware of the real situation faced below by our TCDSB colleagues in the union movement, in light of the TCDSB's "budget deficit" which you will be reading a lot about in the mainstream news during the week[s] ahead. Here's the letter:

March 23, 2015

Dear Colleague,

Amidst these very difficult and trying financial times in our Board, we hope that you were able to find time to rest and replenish over the March break.

This letter is signed by the leaders of the 7 union locals of the TCDSB representing over 10,000 unionized education workers and is being sent to all the members of each respective local.

By now you are aware of the fact that the TCDSB is in a deficit budget position and has been debating how to deal with the challenges this presents.

Your executive and executive members of each of the respective union locals, have attended regular Board meetings, several Board Committee meetings and several “consultation” meetings with senior staff and trustees.  Throughout, we have tried to seek answers and resolutions to deal with both the Board’s in-year structural deficit and the Board’s accumulated debt on a go-forward basis.  Regretfully these sessions have not been as productive as we would have wished.  While having been given some information, we have not been provided with the necessary and requested information in a timely manner that would allow us to fully and effectively engage in informed consultation.

At the March 12 Corporate Affairs meeting, the report to be discussed, suggesting prioritization for cuts, was only posted on-line 2 hours before the start of the meeting - hardly enough time for any of the stakeholders to prepare an adequate response or to present feedback at that committee meeting.

Later in the meeting on March 12, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the opportunity for educational workers unions and parent groups from addressing the Board and Committees.  We object strongly to this silencing!


All the unionized worker groups have been working together with Board staff and the trustees in good faith to find the least destructive course of action and to remove timeline barriers to allow for a more fulsome discussion on how best to deal with the Board’s financial shortfall.  As major stakeholders, our hope throughout has been to provide input and solutions that would have the least impact on student learning and student outcomes.  Regrettably, the majority of the voting members of the Board of Trustees has decided they no longer need to hear from those who are closest to the needs and most affected by any budget cuts.

Senior management intends to visit all worksites to message to the members directly.  We have asked to have a schedule of the senior management visits to worksites in order that we may attend and observe.  The Board has denied our request.

Therefore, since we cannot speak to our members with senior staff present, and since we cannot speak directly to the Trustees any further, we need to express our concerns directly.  The next decision-making meeting by the Board is Thursday March 26 at the CEC, 80 Sheppard Ave. East.  We encourage all members to attend to express your concern visibly if we cannot express it verbally.  Please be there by 6:30 p.m. to meet with your union representatives.

At the same time, we would take this opportunity to remind everyone to contact their MPP to express your concern over potential education cuts.  Let your MPP know that as a constituent in their riding, you are upset.  Find a map for your riding here:

As well, you may wish to contact the Toronto trustee for the ward in which you live to express your concerns as a Catholic ratepayer in the city.  Trustees can be found at: https://www.tcdsb.org/Board/aboutus/Pages/default.aspx

In solidarity;


Mario Bernardo
President, OECTA-TECT

Maria Teresa Luiz 
Treasurer, CUPE 3155

Julian Farinha
President, CUPE 1280

Julie Mazzuca-Peter
President, APSSP

Lina Naccarato
President, CUPE 1328

Felix Salazar
President, OECTA-TOTL

Dave Szollosy
President, OECTA-TSU

FURTHER READING



The TCDSB's Heavy Handed Consultation Process Leaves Much To Be Desired!

My monthly Teacher Free Speech News and Views blogs document and provide news links for the TCDSB budget deficit story, the mystery of the GSN's and OECTA TSU/ TECT'S attempts to get their concerns properly addressed, under TEACHER + UNION @ [Jan] [Feb] [March

Here's a handy guide to Bill 122, the new 2014 Collective Bargaining Act. It looks at it's possible impact on the Catholic boards @ CBA

Is it a co-incidence that the TCDSB's "mystery deficit" is announced without accounting details just as the board is entering contract negotiations with the teachers and staff? See the Catholic trustees' "MOU Part 2" initial contract offer to the OECTA teachers @ [OCSTA]

In God we trust? TCDSB previous hanky panky with the terms of the OECTA MOU Sick Day Plan resulted in teachers being left stuck on unpaid medical leaves @ Sick Daze

OECTA's MOU clauses concerning the  Catholic trustees' "Unfair Hire" practices [read nepotism] and complete disregard for "Teacher Professionalism" judgement resulted from OCSTA's past practice and heavy handed bargaining tactics and demands @ 2012 MOU!

COMMENTS:

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

These Unions are showing us what working together means. If only all the teaching affiliates were like that. Would it not be something if all the public worker unions united and said ENOUGH! The balance the budget on the backs of workers instead of showing restraint on the way they operate would be over.

Anonymous said...

Toronto CATHOLIC unions keep leading by example....maybe OECTA will get cleaned up one day!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above: Where have you been? The time for unity and working together was in 2012 - and OECTA was first off the cliff - sticking it to the other teaching affiliates also with the "me too" clause - and all workers in the ed sector suffered the consequences. You're right about one thing though, we better stick together this time!

David Chiarelli said...

My trust & confidence in OECTA TSU/ TECT remains high. Tho for Provincial it is zilch.

Anonymous said...

You can't segregate the two as the locals go along with Provincial for the most part and if they don't punishment is very quick! Lately since the case of Richard Brock the locals do all the dirty work for provincial in the AGM's for instance.

Anonymous said...

Birds of a feather flock together.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree with anti-Toronto local unit comments-they are a few of the units fighting for good and freedom of speech in OECTA. What I can't believe is that collectively as a group, all unit presidents allowed themselves to be kept muzzled (in camera?) about the information about 4 resignations from the OECTA Provincial Executive released at the COP meeting on March 1, 2015. How does the non-release of information help members?

Anonymous said...

We still only know about 2 resignations- Chris and Paula. Who were the other two people who resigned and do we get to see their reasons?

Anonymous said...

Sorry that should have read Julia Pauliteg.

Anonymous said...

Julie and Sonia outspoken anti -MOU activists and good Catholics and people. See a pattern in resignations?

Anonymous said...

There have been no "resignations". There wer THREE people who decided not to run- Chris, Julie and Sonia.

Those three sit on Executive until their term is up.

Two of the three wrote letters that were published to the COP and that someone cut and pasted to this rumour mill.

Sonia did not write a letter to COP, nor did she make any public statement at AGM - even tough she had a mic and plenty of opportunity.

The REAL reason the three dropped out? They can count votes. Their ego wouldn't let them lose an election.

End of story. No conspiracy, no muzzleing. They found themselves on the outside looking in.

Take off your tinfoil hats, and let's move on to fight the austerity agenda. Let's work to show the public the value in what we do. Let's show the public that we value them and went everyone to do better too.

David Chiarelli said...

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus .... an Easter bunny too!

Anonymous said...

Yeah that is the REAL story for sure-notice how hostile some people become when people dare question reality. Why is information at Council of OECTA Presidents not published openly to all dues paying union members? Tin hats result in bad hair. Long Live David's blog and the truth that it releases.

Anonymous said...

David the provincial government did not make the expected cuts to Education! Maybe we will be able recoup some of our losses from the last MOU- remember the inflation rate has been at about 2% for the past 3 years wherein teachers enjoyed a pay cut. We would have to get our previous salary level back plus a 6 percent raise and we still would not break even. Teachers have paid enough for government waste!

Anonymous said...

We would like to hear what happened to those contenders for provincial executive positions. It must have taken some very irregular event to result in these resignations by good people with proven track records. And given OECTA's "policies" for the past several years it was probably not a natural event or a positive one! Due paying members deserve to know what is happening in "their" union!.

David Chiarelli said...

It would be great to think of recouping some of the MOU strips. Hoever, doesn't the OECTA initial proposal pretty much look like all they've asked for is status quo?

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody-they just released the 2015 Ontario Sunshine List and:
Halton OECTA Elementary Unit President 2013 Salary is $101,621.89 and 2015 Salary is $138,248.11. That is an increase of over $36000.00 in one year. Teachers how much did your salary increase in one year?

David Chiarelli said...

To be completely fair, did AGM change the rate at which presidents salary are determined, perhaps for the smaller units?

Anonymous said...

Note that the inflation rate is 2% per annum- for three years it would be 6% taking into consideration inflation alone without considering the wage cut for three years or the loss of teacher assets- eg accumulated sick days were wiped out of existence.

Anonymous said...

Was the wage increase for the Halton OECTA Elementary Unit President due to her tremendous experience or was it the result of some favour she had done for the Secretariat?

Anonymous said...

Sorry 2014 salary is $138,248.11, the figure was listed on the 2015 Sunshine List released today.

Anonymous said...

OSSTF seems to be the only strong union this round, with a possibility of 7 districts going on strike before the end of April. And yes, OSSTF has been offered the same initial contract as OECTA, wanting to strip us of our prep time and add in mandatory time that is not paid. What is the government trying to achieve by showing us no new money yet want us to take on more responsibility and workload? Are they TRYING to force teachers to strike?

Anonymous said...

To imply that the Halton President's salary is part of a conspiracy is beyond dumb.

1) the president came into office in the middle of a calendar year - so her annualized salary would not be reflected in last year's Sunshine List.
2) check the List in previous years. Dick's salary should match the President's.
3) if the President did get a raise it would have been ratified at their AGM by their membership and isn't the concern of anybody but Halton Elementary teachers.

Anonymous said...

The government wants a strike. Playing right into their hands OSSTF. Now the teachers look like the bad guys again. Oh and OECTA will ride your coattails once again. Genius!! Who makes these decisions? At least do some actions that force them to lock you out. None of the teachers I know want to be on a picket line.

Anonymous said...

Those salary figures for Unit President of Halton are available on the Sunshine Lists published by the Ministry of Finance so they are correct.
Richard Brock's salary never rose by $36000.00 in one year and his salary never went up when all of his unit members maximum salaries were falling at the same time.
How can a union boss take that kind of increase in one year during these zero per cent increase and austere times for all the workers they are supposed to be representing?
Will these union bosses be paid during the strike while teachers aren't being paid?

Anonymous said...

Why should anyone be surprised we are back in this position. Our lack of action and resolve last time coupled with the unwavering support of the OLP in the last election just encouraged the Liberals and the school boards to attack us again. The fact that they have attacked this way again is our collective reward for the lack of leadership in the federations and the members allowing the same failed leaders to be allowed to continue in their positions. In 1997 all the teachers of this province walked out for two weeks without strike pay to send a message. In 2012 -13 one federation had there members on strike for one day! Do you think the Liberals and school boards did not notice the difference?

Anonymous said...

The Sunshine List reports annual salary Jan 1 to Dec 31. Unit Presidents take office July 1. So in a President's first year not all of their salary appears on the "List". I assure you the Unit President's salary in the Elementary Unit did not go up. The List just now reports the true annual salary.

David Chiarelli said...

Hello No Surprised!

Yup! The difference between teacher protest in the 90's and now IS as different as night and day! In part i suspect thats because union management likes to keep things tightly under wraps to maintain the status quo. Now we see the end result: Apathy, disinterest and a lack of effficacy. Just my opinion .....

Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

In Latin, qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent
"If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas".
This applies especially to our union "leadership" and their followers who are looking for scraps.

Ms. Chievious said...

Dear Anonymous of March 28 re: Halton Elementary President Salary increase,

Do you really expect anyone with a brain to accept the fact that a first year, inexperienced President, who just happened to take over the same local where OECTA Provincial, aka MJ, unlawfully ousted Brock, after 25 years, makes more than almost every President in the Province? Your rhetoric logic about the raise being democratically voted in is hysterical! Brock was democratically voted in and MJ was democratically voted out........Brock was unlawfully removed and MJ's still at the helm. OECTA is the antithesis of democracy. It's a full blown dictatorship and like all dictators, loyalists are rewarded and dissenters are punished.Classic OECTA. They should change the meaning of the C in OECTA from Catholic to Corrupt and Cowardly.

Ms. Chievious said...

Is anyone surprised that the 3 Presidents who chose not to run are all female? That fact alone speaks volumes about the paternalistic condescension running rampant in OECTA. Perhaps a joint application to the HRTO for sexual discrimination would prove fruitful. Time for the truth to come out and for OECTA to be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

yes indeed. im a young teacher myself, and i feel disgusted that many of my young colleagues are so passive and lacking in the will to fight back. especially true are the young LTOs who would do anything to get a job, and get upset when they hear possible strike actions as it means they would receive no pay. when will they learn that you cant always depend on others to fight ur battles..*wink wink* oecta

David Chiarelli said...

Hello Young Teacher!

Yes!!! It was very disturbing not to see teachers old or new protesting at, let alone even attending, last weeks TCDSB budget cut meetings. I did not even see a group of librarians who's jobs got chopped to bits!!! Along with 42 secondary teachers!!! And all the other cuts too!!!

Chair Del Grande demanded everyone be quiet and respectful as he run roughshod over them, and basically they did, while the board minions in the audience murmured their consent. Talk about lambs headed for the slaughter!!! And these are your jobs folk!!!! Unreal!

To their credit the OECTA TSU + TECT local executives were out in force. I also saw John P from the provincial bargaining team. The communications team has been great, unlike OECTA in general, the info HAS been out there!!! I'm even sitting there in the audience for Christs sake, and I am retired!

As you *wink*wink* above, our younger teachers are expecting way too much if they think other can take care of this for you! When they wake up, it will be too late. Indeed these jobs are NOW gone! Kaput!

As for these things taking care of themselves; attrition my ass! Everyone will suffer! Staffing models should be in the works now. Will be a real shocker this year! If you were asleep ......

Solidarity with those of you who did come out, are speaking out and can be bothered to get up off your butt and react! Had this happened in the Harris years there would've been a riot. And now? Whew!

This is profoundly disturbing!

David C

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the truism that all including our union "leaders" are missing is that if you don't fight for your rights you don't get any. Also you can expect that anything you do have will be taken away if you don't fight to protect it!

Anonymous said...

Love you Ms. Chievious. You do not suffer fools gladly!

Ms. Chievious said...

Thanks for the support Anonymous! Guilty-I do not have patience for fools, especially arrogant, manipulative, self-serving liars.

Thanks to David's site, intelligent, diligent, professionals who have integrity have a voice despite the attempts of OECTA's goons to the contrary. I am sick of being intellectually insulted by OECTA's self-proclaimed Gurus. OECTA has been spewing BS for so long while unilaterally controlling member access to the truth, they make Kim Jong Il look like an amateur. All due paying members are univeristy educated. It's high time that OECTA start respecting that fact.

David Chiarelli said...

Good way of putting it! We are "university educated". Thanks for the kind words!

Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

I agree that we are all educated, but we are scared sheep and the powers that be promote that.
Has it occurred to anyone that this very right wing trend to attack education leads to a less educated, easier to control populace? I smell dictatorship. Has any one read Freedom Shift by Oliver Demille? We are in a force shift when people are loosing their liberties. 1913?

David Chiarelli said...

Yes, there is a massive dumbing down of society going on! And I it doesn't seem like we have bottomed out yet! Haven't read DeMille yet, but will have to put on my list!

Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

I hate to alter the view of reality some have of the Halton Presidential salaries but here are the actual facts:

2012 Salaries (the last full year of Richard Brock as President)

Keith Boyd $127,434
Richard Brock $152,045

Source Ontario's Sunshine List: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/publications/salarydisclosure/2012/schbd12c.html

Anonymous said...

Sunshine List 2015

Keith Boyd 2014 Salary $121,273.08
Nina March 2014 Salary $138,248.11

Same link as above. Keith has been around forever and his salary is going down. Just like the salaries of the teachers he represented the last MOU years. Richard Brock is retired now so move on. Let go of blaming Richard for everything, you will grow personally.

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