Opening Statement



Thursday, 3 September 2015

OSSTF Deal: Vote No?

This is a newly revised + expanded guest blog from our OSSTF Activist readers:




Why it may be worth “gambling” on a NO vote:

It means agreeing to a continued decline in our real incomes!!!

The Memorandum of Settlement is not a net gain as would appear on first glanceConsider the following realities of accepting the proposed contract:

The “lump sum” of 1% during the 2015-2016 does not work to increase our base salary. 

In effect, our salaries are s for another year.

That set-back will be compounded for the remainder of our respective careers (i.e. we lose that 1% for each year following the 2015-2016 year).

In 2012 our salaries were frozen for three years – that set-back is already “in the mix”. 

In comparing our salary to the Cost of Living Increases since 2012, and an estimated yearly increase of 1.6% over the duration of the proposed contract we will observe significant gross losses in salary.

(See Calculation Summary below)

If we account for the cost of living over the 5 years (2012 - 2017)
we will have worked ¼ of a year for free!!




THAT IS EQUIVALENT TO A HALF SEMESTER FOR FREE!

Here are two examples of a teacher on the salary grid:

“Level 3” Teacher who started working in 2003

School Year
Gross Earnings
(incl. delayed grid movement)
Contract Gain %
CPI %
Salary with  grid movement and indexed to CPI
Difference
Total Loss
2011-12
$80, 256
We’ll use this salary as our base value of the last negotiated salary.
2012-13
$81, 641
0
1.5%
$85, 111
$3, 470
$3, 470
2013-14
$85, 651
0
1.2%
$89, 826
$4, 175
$7, 645
2014-15
$87, 449
0
2%
$91, 622
$4, 173
$11, 818
2015-16
$88, 323
0 + 1% Lump
1.6%*
$92, 539
$4, 215
$16, 033
2016-17
$88, 544
1% + 0.5% on 98th day
1.6%*
$94, 019
$5, 475
$21, 508

* Estimates based on the average of the CPI% from previous three years.

“Level 4” Teacher who started working in 2005

School Year
Gross Earnings
(incl. delayed grid movement)
Contract Gain %
CPI %
Salary with  grid movement and indexed to CPI
Difference
Total Loss
2011-12
$76, 600
We’ll use this salary as our base value of the last negotiated salary.
2012-13
$78, 063
0
1.5%
$81, 460
$3, 397
$3, 397
2013-14
$82, 055
0
1.2%
$86, 132
$4, 078
$7, 475
2014-15
$85, 861
0
2%
$91, 622
$5, 971
$13, 446
2015-16
$90, 140
0 + 1% Lump
1.6%*
$96, 345
$6, 205
$19, 651
2016-17
$94, 007
1% + 0.5% on 98th day
1.6%*
$101, 753
$7, 746
$27, 397

* Estimates based on the average of the CPI% from previous three years.

It fails the fairness test:

Teachers have been told that wage increases for us would be unjust to taxpayers.

Given that real incomes are rising across the province, and are expected to continue to do so, this austerity-based reasoning questionable.

We have already paid through a 5% decline in our real incomes between 2012 and 2014.  Under the proposed contract, the total decline in our real salaries (2012 and 2017) would, in all likelihood, exceed 10%.

If we continue to bear the financial burden, through decreasing real wages, the Provincial Government has little incentive to resolve its cash flow problem in other ways.



Agreeing to this deal sends some troubling messages about what we think is OK:

Shocking us with blatantly unacceptable demands (and then removing them) works, because we are so shocked that we will then accept anything.

It is OK for the Province to arrive at the bargaining table empty handed.

The enforced contract strips from 2012 will become permanent.

There is a viable alternative:

The negotiation process is equipped to cope with the rejection of a tentative deal.

When negotiation recommenced, OSSTF would return with a mandate to raise the bar.

Suggested Contractual/Bargaining Position(s) in terms of Compensation:

     Immediate Lump Sum to off-set the freeze since 2012.
    
    A provision of a cost of living adjustment as the minimum salary adjustment.

 (See the accompanying Excel file to track other examples, noting that the calculations do not adjust  for movement across grid levels or leaves of absence.) [Ed: Most regretfully, Excel documents are not  compatible with my blog program. Ditto embedded charts and varied indentation features. In solidarity! David C]


The new teacher contract deals: How will you vote?!?

PS: Guest blogs welcome!!! More info @ Link ]

 COMMENTS:

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can OSSTF even sign tentative agreement that is net zero or worse? Elliot repeatedly promised not to sign a net zero deal and rejected the Wynne austerity agenda! We are all being sold out! How many days were lost on picket lines last spring?

Anonymous said...

I agree, VOTE NO!

I feel that there are backdoor dealings happening here. There's no other reason why they would accept such a horrible offer.

No one is asking why is there such a big push for our health benefits? Do you really think that it will help any of us? No! It is because the people negotiating the agreement are on the Board of Trustees for OTIP. They benefit financially, and the rest of us have to deal with the reality shady politics. It is truly shameful.

Anonymous said...

Who specifically is on the board of trustees for OTIP?

David Chiarelli said...

The GS for each affiliate?

Anonymous said...

Ok then today is the time for the general secretary to get the same garbage contract terms being negotiated by union bosses. How much do the general secretaries of each teachers' union make? Why are their personal services contracts not published yearly to hold them accountable to all the union members who pay their inflated salaries and benefit packages while these same union members get garbage contracts?

David Chiarelli said...

Well, for OECTA secretariat contracts 2012-14 + 2014-16 see @ www.oectawatchdog.blogspot.ca

Anonymous said...

i was upset when i saw the poor deal we got. i'm even more upset now that i see the secretariat contracts! my union fees should not be going toward paying a $185,000/yr salary for making self-serving deals. the system is broken.

Anonymous said...

Hi David, With regard to the GS's on the OTIP board of trustee's, please see below.
AFEO: Pierre LĂ©onard, Yvan Roy
ETFO: Colleen Lee, Victoria Reaume
OECTA: Marshall Jarvis, Dan Boucher
OSSTF: Dale Leckie, Jim Spray



David Chiarelli said...

Readers: I am hesitant to post Comments that might be attacking, advertantly or inadvertently, anyones character, least of all when you are anonymously intoducing new facts I can't confirm. Kindly reword. Many thanks!

David Chiarelli said...

Also kindly understand Comments might be delayed in posting due to my holiday schedule, but keep checking back! Hope everyones planning to attend labour day parades, especially in Toronto, on Monday.

David Chiarelli said...

One wonders, is it a conflict of interest for anybody on OTIP board to be involved in CB negotiations for teacher benefits plan?

Anonymous said...

My union rep at school yesterday said that she hopes we all vote yes. I fell off my chair and was absolutely disgusted. I'm voting no because nothing in this agreement rectifies the illegal MOU of 2012. I'm voting no because the agreement is an insult to my profession. I'm voting no because even in a "technical recession" if I don't stand up and fight for my students who will?

Anonymous said...

You make so much sense, Mr. C. Will you please explain why the benefit plan should be changed from board to union, why Reg. 274 has not been mentioned specifically (Reg. 298 was) and why those who stand to benefit from the proposed benefit provisions are not recusing themselves. The union, and government and board seem to be playing off each other while the employees are left in total confusion - an after thought. How is ETFO going to handle this, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Are we getting our 7500 payout early and if yes what is the penalty

Anonymous said...

All the union leaders that negogiated the mou 2012 and now mou part 2 need to be terminated. Then future union negotiators might think of union members first before their own piggy banks.

Anonymous said...

The contract offer is absolutely disgusting, and more disgusting is the public reaction to teachers "receiving pay increases." If we don't stand up to fight for this, no one will. I'll be voting NO. We have NOTHING to lose.

Anonymous said...

The OSSTF agreement is a farce. Having read the whole agreement it contains concessions in the area of the SEB plans and sick leave. It clearly is intended to be net zero as is stated in item 12 of the memorandum of settlement where it ties the meager salary increases as being paid for by the secondary programming enhancement and voluntary payout of discounted net value of future retirement gratuities. The Wynne Liberals are paying OSSTF a $1million dollars to "offset the cost of central collective bargaining"...how does that not set up a conflict of interest? The poster who said we have nothing to lose is wrong...we have a lot to lose!! In fact we have been sold out by an agreement that not only embraces the net zero austerity agenda it acknowledges in writing!!

Anonymous said...

To add further to the financial analysis: Retired teachers received inflationary increase of 1.9% in 2013, .9% in 2014, 1.7% in 2015 and they will get further increases in 2016 and 2017 while if we ratify this deal we will by getting 1.5% over that time frame...plus we had unpaid days in 2013 and 2014! So we will be down 3% + and counting over 5 years. Sure looks like the austerity agenda is winning.

Anonymous said...

Please please can someone explain the early payout formula ..I've been teaching 20 years and have 10 left ..how much of the 7500 will I get

David Chiarelli said...

You should be able to get that info from your local unit office, or by attending the TA meeting on your new contract offer!

Anonymous said...

OSSTF members get discounted if they opt to take the gratuity now on the following basis: Subtract your age from 58, multiply that difference by 7.87%, the result of that will be the percentage that your gratuity will be discounted. So if as your situation suggests, if you are 48 (10 years pre-retirement) you multiply 10 x 7.87% = 78.7% which is the % by which your gratuity would be reduced. So in your example above you would reduce your $7500.00 by $5902.50. So you would get $1597.50 before taxes...quite the rip off and hardly a selling feature of what is a horrible deal!

Anonymous said...

You sure Mr. MOU Kevin O'Dwyer from OECTA didn't negotiate for the OSSTF deal?

Anonymous said...

I'm 43 so is it even less?

Anonymous said...

If you are 43 then it would be 58 - 43 = 15 x 7.87 = 118.05% which probably means by the way OSSTF negotiates you would owe money! You reduce whatever gratuity you had on August 31, 2012 by 7.87 for every year you are under the age of 58...hardly worth the paper and time that was used to negotiate such a useless clause.

David Chiarelli said...

To our earlier commentator: Still haven't heard much about changes to reg 274! Anybody?

Anonymous said...

Apparently u are doing the formula completely wrong..true north just told me ..

Anonymous said...

Interesting. You show how a teacher's wages actually have gone up substantially, just not as much as in the scenario you'd like to see. Where's the money for that? It's not there. The unions never acknowledge that and you certainly don't.

David Chiarelli said...

Dunno about the specific formula being discussed here. However, uncollected corporate taxes could cover that and a lot more if the Neo Lib govt wasn't aspiring to impose an austerity agenda instead. Is almost as if as soon as anybody forms a govt they are approached with a Faustian deal for their heart and souls, and by proxy, ours as well too .....

Anyway, we are arguing table scraps here. It's embarrassing that our leaders could be trying to encourage their members to vote yes for such a "deal". Even worse to think a lot might even vote for it.

Interesting thought tho: If OSSTF members were to vote no, and OECTA members were to vote yes [have you seen much/ any opposition?] wouldn't that lead us back to the OECTA Roadmap scenario of fall 2012 all over again?!?

Anonymous said...

Listened to the OSSTF town hall last night and the poster's understanding of the gratuity payout as explained as a discount of 7.87% for each year under the age of 58 is exactly how OSSTF staff explained it...so it is a sham. They were quick to point out that no one has to opt for this and it is entirely. voluntary.

Anonymous said...

OECTA's "deal"is exactly the same as that of OSSTF; more cuts in teacher contracts in the spirit of the MOU of 2012, Maybe cash strapped Ontario is going to get the money =10.5 million dollars from the teacher cuts to bring in Syrian refugees. Plus le change plus le meme chose- especially since we seem to acquiesce each time and re-elect the "wonderful" teacher bargainers. We paid for the new kindergarten program and now we are paying for the refugees. Teachers are so NICE (barf)

Anonymous said...

To "Interesting" from September 9. The cost of living increase per annum averages 2%. What real increase are you talking about? If you consider inflation we are going further into the red. See the link below for a refresher since you don't seem to understand inflation. https://www.aier.org/cost-living-calculator?utm_source=Google%20Grants&utm_medium=Google%20Adwords&utm_content=05-2014%20COLA&utm_campaign=05-2014%20COLA&gclid=Cj0KEQjwvdSvBRDahavi3KPGrvUBEiQATZ9v0Byds6h5yGEWtNprnZGQxtMGBH6KYFQzJbvpY02lurwaAsZx8P8HAQ. Our salary has been frozen for years and the cost of living is going up especially for those of us who reside in cities.Thus our salary is going down while costs are going up. Do the math for each year from 2012 (MOU) to now and for the nedxt few years.! Other professions such as nurses, policemen and firefiighters in Ontario have had cost of living included in their recently renewed contracts. What is WRONG with the teacher "negotiatiors" who are ignoring this!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, because OSSTF and OECTA have accepted the garbage on the table, ETFO is now in a no-win situation. Either our negotiators say they won't accept this crap deal (which means we will be demonized in the press as unreasonable militants) or we will have to take the crap deal (which screws us members). Thank you to OSSTF and OECTA for abandoning solidarity yet again. The race to the bottom for teachers continues, and both unions have just pushed us all deeper into the hole. I hope you're proud of yourselves. And just a personal aside as an ETFO member: we expected OECTA's so-called "leadership" to cave (Ann Hawkins was a supporter of the OECTA MOU in 2012 and still is, so no surprise there). But we expected more from Mr. Tough Guy, Paul Elliott. You, sir, are all balls and brash talk ("we are going to get REAL gains for our members this round" - yeah, right) but when push comes to shove you are a little mouse. You betrayed your members and other teachers in this province. If you have any integrity left, you would resign immediately. But you'll probably do what Kevin O'Dwyer did and get a staff job in your union's collective bargaining department pulling in a nice salary.

Anonymous said...

What are your proposed other ways of resolving the province's financial problems? Cutting welfare or home care? Laying off teachers? Unions never answer that question because they know that those things (as well as tax increases) aren't things most people, including teachers, want. The predicament and eventual layoffs of teacher will only get worse if we don't all come together as a society to resolve the financial shortfall. Everyone, including people like me (not paid by the government) and the public sector need to come together in solidarity to get our province on a better footing so we can have long-term prosperity and the services we value.

Anonymous said...

Do OSSTF members know that the incredibly generous lump sum payment is not actually going to be paid in a lumps sum but rather spread out over the year? And do you know why? Because if it is spread out it will after taxes almost equal what we are paying in increased dues to pay off the strikes in Durham, Peel and Sudbury...

Anonymous said...

I hope that OSSTF and OECTA have the sense to reject this tentative agreement. It is an insult that is being presented as a compliment by the union bosses. Presumably teachers can read and do have common sense.

P Spears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Our teachers unions certainly need to hire some professional bargainers. As AB told Anne Hawkins at the meeting on Monday to show the merits? of the tentative agreement " You are a homeowner that has a house worth a million dollars. The first buyer comes along and offers you half a million for it. You say "yes"". This is a perfect analogy for "our" union bosses" bargaining. Ha!Ha!

Anonymous said...

OECTA- 79 percent voted in favour of ratification of the tentative agreement. Don't know the numbers for OSSTF. Poor leadership + uniformed membership= disaster as usual!

Anonymous said...

Go Sam Hammond and ETFO! Wish you were our president! WE love YOU! Glad to see someone who will not settle with making teachers into second class citizens!

Anonymous said...

Watching the news yesterday evening and Ann Hawkins comes on praising the grid that she had :"restored":. She must be awfully forgetful as she was one of the :leaders: who gave it away in the first place in the MOU of 2012! The Lady giveth and the lady taketh away!

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