Opening Statement



Wednesday, 27 May 2015

OECTA's Autumn Strike Memo!


The following OECTA Member Update, now circulating online, was sent to OECTA's tens of thousands of teachers on May 27th and is being widely commented upon in the media. The text follows below, for your consideration:



Your Provincial Bargaining Team met with the employer side of the bargaining table, consisting of representatives from the government and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) on May 21 and 22. This was the first time the parties had met with the assistance of the mediator, Jim Breckenridge. He helped the parties engage in talks regarding a major stumbling block: superior provisions.

We will continue these mediated talks on May 28 and 29 and June 4, 5, 6, 24, 25 and 26.

However, given all of the contract strips that are still on the table, and in light of the difficulties confronting our sister affiliates regarding employer intransigence, OECTA continues to prepare for job action in the fall.

It will not be business as usual in Ontario Catholics schools in September.

Some members may be in the process of planning activities for the fall that would take place outside of a teacher’s regular instructional day duties – duties that would be cancelled in the event of a job action. As such, you are advised not to schedule any activities in the fall that are outside of your regular instructional day duties.

In addition, you should consider notifying your financial institution to make arrangements to discuss monetary obligations such as mortgage payments, loans and leases.

Please continue to monitor the situation via provincial bargaining updates and e-blasts. Bargaining information is also available on the OECTA website (www.oecta.on.ca) in the Provincial Bargaining Updates section of the Members’ Centre.

If you have any questions or concerns about the bargaining process, please do not hesitate to contact your local bargaining unit president.




OECTA: Me too!?

COMMENTARY:

This "bulletin" might make it seem that OECTA is doing more than they presently are as a part of the union battle plan, while ETFO steps up their WTR strategy and the striking OSSTF teachers are being legislated back to work. Like the cavalry in the wild west, it suggests OECTA Provincial might be expected to come to everybody's assistance, come September. 

The media is making much hay out of the advice that members contact their financial institutions about any outstanding loans, payments and leases. However, this is pretty common practice in the case of any possible strike action, and, well, the members have voted for a strike. 

One might well argue that OECTA is just being prudent. Then again, the media are now using the memo to boost the "rising tension", that is the spectre of Ontario's teacher unions preparing to strike in mass this fall. Is everybody and everything spilling out of control as the OLP's new CB process unravels?!? Staid OECTA too??? No matter! The attention creates the illusion that OECTA provincial is doing something/ anything besides just continuing to try to negotiate with the intransigent OLP MOE. Hopefully, the members will feel reassured about OECTA Provincial's questionable leadership ability. The MOE is advised accordingly. Maybe for OECTA provincial this is as rough and ready as it gets this spring?

Job actions, outside of not planning any activities outside of the regular school day for next year, otherwise remain vague. OECTA isn't about to get boxed into any corner for strategic reasons. Fair enough, but the advice, and list of upcoming meeting dates though interesting tidbits are very minor all the same.

Do you feel better all ready?! The messaging isn't exactly reassuring! The offerings? Still pretty slim pickings indeed, considering their track record with the 2012 OECTA MOU!



She: "I .... I .... I .... feel better all ready!"

FURTHER READING:

No teacher strike actions! Is OECTA to be believed? @ Here!

OECTA: Manufacturing Consent @ There!

News links are posted @ News + Views and Contract Guide!

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