WHEN WILL OECTA TAKE ACTION?
This is a result of legislative requirements. OECTA was delayed, and as a result, is following different timelines. Nonetheless, OECTA is in constant contact with our sister affiliates and is working closely with them.
In 2013, the Minister of Education introduced provincial bargaining legislation in the Ontario Legislature. The legislation, called the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 (or Bill 122), mandated a two-tiered approach to bargaining, where certain items are negotiated at the provincial bargaining table, and local specifics are bargained between individual school boards and the union districts.
If both the union side and the school trustees/government teachers’ side can reach agreement on which issues are local and which are provincial issues, bargaining can commence. According to Section 28 of Bill 122, parties may refer issues that cannot be agreed upon to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).
The affiliates on the public side of the equation were able to reach the necessary agreements with the public trustees and government, thereby avoiding any OLRB hearings.
OECTA’s provincial bargaining team met with the employer side of the provincial bargaining table (representatives of the government and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association) in October 2014 to establish which matters would be dealt with at the provincial bargaining table. Although both sides agreed on 17 items, they did not reach agreement on the five matters to be included in the scope of provincial bargaining (matters relating to sick leave, staffing provisions, etc.).
Since an agreement could not be reached, the parties referred the matters in dispute to the OLRB to make a determination. We did not receive a ruling until February, putting us behind the other affiliates in terms of the bargaining process.
Meanwhile, both OSSTF and ETFO moved ahead on their own different paths. OSSTF is in mediation at the central table. At the same time in local OSSTF negotiations, conciliation was sought and ‘no board’ reports obtained in several areas. Currently, OSSTF locals in Durham, Sudbury and Peel are on a full withdrawal of service. ETFO chose to apply for conciliation at the central table and received a ‘no board’ report from the Minister of Labour, enabling them to initiate province wide strike actions. ETFO began “phase 1” of a work-to-rule strike action on May 11.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR US?
While OECTA members provided their union with a strong strike vote mandate of 94.2% on April 24, the Association is committed in trying to reach a negotiated settlement. Most recently, OECTA announced it would continue to bargain, with the assistance of the Ministry of Labour, in an attempt to move OCSTA/trustees off of their entrenched positions – similar to OSSTF’s provincial bargaining approach.
Our upcoming bargaining dates are May 21, 22, 28, 29 and June 4, 5, 6, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26.
If we are unable to secure a fair and just agreement, we will move forward and apply for conciliation. This would likely place us in a provincial strike position in September, a more realistic and tactically superior time to commence any type of action than mid-June. This is the earliest OECTA would be in a position to start any action if we filed for conciliation immediately, because of the mandatory procedures and timelines under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
1] Coincidence? In late June 2012, OECTA President O'Dwyer, now a Contract Services Officer on the current provincial negotiating team [Here], denies OSSTF and ETFO's claim that a "secret deal" is imminent. [Yes][No] Surprise! On July 5th, the OECTA MOU is ratified on the members behalf, in their absence, after everyone had left for summer holidays! [Here]. Fool us once, shame on you .....
2] The OECTA Road Map or "Putting Students First Act" is @ August 2012 Also see "Comparing the OECTA and OSSTF MOU's" @ April 2013 ETFO's MOU is
3] The OECTA Secretariat 2012-14 contract is @ Download The 2012-14 OECTA MOU that they helped negotiate for the membership is @ Doc Compare? Contrast? Conclusion?
4] See "OECTA: Manufacturing Consent" @ Here