Sincere thanks to all members who are being so patient with ‘the process’ as many things are being worked through in these challenging times. It is not easy to ‘keep calm’ when the issues being determined by others, are issues that have such an impact on members.
We are very hopeful that the ongoing talks between the government and our Provincial leaders will result in some real progress on the provincial issues, which will then enable the Local CBC team to finally get to discuss our Local Collective Agreement with the Board. Here is a brief update I received on Friday, February 15, from our Provincial Office regarding those talks:
Since the Liberal party election of Kathleen Wynne as the next Ontario premier, President Sam Hammond and representatives of ETFO have participated in a number of meetings with the premier and government staff.
On January 29th, the presidents and general secretaries of the four teacher affiliates met with the premier-elect and two members of her staff. ETFO agreed to engage in future discussions with government representatives in an attempt to move forward. This was followed by a second informal meeting with representatives from the premier’s office.
Since then, ETFO has participated in discussions with representatives of the government and school boards. ETFO’s representatives at these meetings include President Hammond, First Vice-President Susan Swackhammer, and ETFO’s General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, and the Coordinator of Protective Services. We will continue to update members on these talks.
Again, please watch for updates and read them carefully. There is no question that some of the information we distribute is complicated and requires careful reading i.e. the recent information regarding the changes to the pension plan and the information about EI. I will be sending out a revised chart entitled ‘Overview of Government-Imposed Terms and Conditions’ soon. This replaces the last one we distributed as there has been some recent clarification concerning several issues. Missing, or misinterpreting, a word or two can cause considerable distress for members – some of which is unwarranted. Please keep in touch with the office for clarification of messages we send out.
Also in the memo from the Provincial Office, copied above, was an update on the Charter Challenge. That section follows:
October dates set for Charter Challenge
Last fall, ETFO and three other unions launched a Charter Challenge regarding the provincial government’s imposition of Bill 115. The hearing has been scheduled to start in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice from October 21-25, 2013.
We are in ‘interesting times’ and ‘interesting times’ will continue…