Collective Bargaining Update – MOU, Bill 122, Bill 274, etc…

Collective Bargaining Update

At the Fall General meeting, I outlined the changes made to our Collective Agreement as a result of the recent negotiations with the Board.  Some of these changes include:

  • If an OT in a Long Term Assignment is unable to reach their place of employment from their residence due to severe weather conditions, there will be no pay reduction.  Please note that this stipulates that the OT must be unable to get to school from their home.  If a member chooses to travel to i.e. Owen Sound, for the weekend and cannot get to school on Monday morning because they are ‘stormstayed’ in Owen Sound, this does not apply.
  • If an OT is unable to return to work following the summer, December or March breaks due to issues/delays with personal travel plans, the Board will grant the teacher an unpaid leave of absence to cover the unscheduled/unauthorized absence.
  • We were also able to get a Letter of Understanding that indicates that the Board will provide the Local with $1500 for each of the two years covered by the agreement to be used for Professional Development.
  • All hiring to contract and LTO positions, new maternity leave benefits (very significant improvements for members in LTO positions), new provisions for sick leave/short term sick leave and disability, and Voluntary Unpaid Leave of Absence (VLAP) (again, potentially of real advantage to those in LTO positions) is covered by the MOU that was signed by the government and ETFO on June 12, 2013.  It is included in our Collective Agreement.  Please become familiar with these provisions.

I encourage members to read the entire new agreement carefully. It consists of the locally agreed to items, which were then stapled to the MOU. They were then stapled to our agreement for 2008 – 2012 which is still in effect unless otherwise overridden by the MOU or locally agreed to provisions.

The document can be found on our website, and through the ECNO/EPIP site.  The agreement was signed on September 30, 2013.  This agreement expires on August 31, 2014, so we are already involved in planning for the next round of negotiations.

There are several ongoing things that may have considerable influence over the next round of negotiations.  The government’s Bill 122 is currently in second reading in the House.  It proposes centralized negotiations for many items of common interest for all Ontario teacher groups.  ETFO has been closely involved with making suggestions for suggestions to that bill.  As well, ETFO is involved in talks designed to modify some parts of Bill 274 – the legislation that outlines the hiring process for LTO and contract positions.  There seems to be some willingness on the part of the Minister of Education to consider some changes to that policy.  We are following these processes carefully.

Next week, four members of the Local Collective Bargaining Committee will be in Toronto to get more information regarding the above processes.  Information about the priorities and process for the upcoming round of negotiations will also be presented.  Assuming that ‘provincial bargaining’ will be legislated under Bill 122, it will be interesting to see if there will realistically be much willingness by the Boards to discuss local issues.  This was an issue in the recently concluded round of bargaining – it must be said that the frustration was felt on both sides of the table.
Please watch for notices regarding a member survey, and opportunities for you to speak with CBC members, that will be coming to you in January.  These are your opportunities to let your bargaining team know what your concerns and priorities are.  We encourage and welcome your input.  Please participate in the opportunities we will provide to express your ideas.

Members frequently ask about issues that are covered in the Collective Agreement.  Here are a few of the sections of the agreement that members frequently question…

  • Occasional teacher should have complete plans left for them when they accept an assignment.  These plans should be available for the first three days of an assignment if necessary.  If you feel the plans are insufficient, please discuss the plans with the administrator.  We strongly encourage all members to photocopy the daybook page, (and your comments regarding how the day unfolded) for all assignments.
  • The requirement that members complete 10 occurrences of teaching in order to stay on the OT roster for the next school year was waived by the Board in June 2013.  I fully expect that it will be reinstated and enforced in June of 2014.  Half-day assignments count as one occurrence; a full day also counts as one assignment.  It is counted by separate job numbers. If you have no intention of Teaching with the WRDSB for the 2013/2014 school year please make your intentions known to human resources.
  • Please use the calendar book we sent all members in September to record job numbers for daily assignments, or log-in to Subfinder and click on the “current jobs” tab.

Please contact Nathan Core, President, ncore@etfowatots.ca or Judy Cutts, Chief Negotiator, jcutts@etfowatots.ca if you have questions about your Collective Agreement.
Judy Cutts
Chief Negotiator

Written by Communications Officer

ETFO WROTL Communications Officer 2011/2012

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