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Our Constitution 

Constitution, By-laws & Procedures
Of The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
Eastern Unit
2001

Bylaws
Procedures
Election Procedure

 
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Printable version of the Constitution print

 

BY-LAWS OF THE EASTERN ONTARIO UNIT OF OECTA

As of 2015

BY-LAWS

ARTICLE I - GENERAL

  1. The name of the Unit shall be the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, Eastern Unit, herein known as the Unit.
  2. The objects of the Unit shall be those defined in the Association Handbook Constitution section 1.4
  3. The unit membership shall include:
    1. teachers employed in the elementary panel by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario for the regular school day program;
    2. teachers employed in the secondary panel by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario for the regular school day program;
    3. teachers employed by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario seconded to an educational position;
    4. teachers employed by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario as an occasional teacher;
    5. teachers employed by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario for a continuing education program;
    6. Associate members as accepted and designated by the Provincial Executive.
  4. A minimum of two (2) unit general meetings shall be held annually, including the unit annual general meeting.
  5. Robert's Rules of Order shall be used at all unit meetings where they are not inconsistent with the provincial and unit by-laws, or any special rules of order the unit may adopt.
  6. The unit by-laws are to be consistent with the Association Handbook and are not to contravene its constitution, by-laws, policies or procedures.

ARTICLE II – UNIT ORGANIZATION

Section 1 – Unit Executive

  1. The officers of the unit shall be:
    1. Unit President
    2. Unit Past President
    3. Chief Executive Officer of the teacher panel from which the Unit President is not elected
    4. Unit Treasurer
    5. Unit Secretary
    6. Two councillors from Lanark, Leeds and Grenville
    7. Two councillors from Prescott-Russell
    8. Two councillors from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
    9. Occasional teachers’ representative
  2. The unit executive shall be elected according to the election procedure established by the unit. The election of the president shall take place before May 15 and for all officers at least before May 31.
  3. The officers of the unit executive shall take office on July 1 of the year in which they are elected.
  4. The term of office for the unit executive shall be for two years or until successors are appointed by the Executive for the various positions. Interim elections may occur if a unit executive member is unable to fulfill the full two-year term.
  5. To qualify as a candidate for Unit Executive a nominee shall be a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and is a member of the Unit at the time of taking office.
  6. The unit executive shall appoint a replacement if the unit president is unable to continue in the duties of the position.
  7. The unit president shall be released from teaching full-time.
  8. The second full-time release position of Teacher Welfare Officer shall be filled by appointment of the Unit Executive. The Teacher Welfare Officer shall sit on the Unit Executive in an advisory, non-voting capacity. The term of office for the Teacher Welfare Office shall be two years. To qualify as a candidate for Teacher Welfare Officer a nominee shall be a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and be a member of the Unit at the time of taking office.

Section 2 – Duties of the Unit Executive

The duties of the unit executive shall be as defined in the Association Handbook By-Laws 2.108 and:

  1. to promote the interests of the Association and the unit:
  2. to report in writing to the general secretary any case of alleged breach of Association constitution, by-laws, policies or procedures by a member of the unit and, at the same time, to provide the member with a copy of the report.
  3. to report to the provincial office, as the unit executive becomes aware, any investigation of a member by the Ontario College of Teachers;
  4. to receive and consider reports of alleged unfairness on the part of the school board and reports of professional difficulties between members of a school staff and, if necessary, to work with the general secretary in the resolution of these matters;
  5. to refer to the general secretary all matters requiring legal advice;
  6. to encourage each school to be represented by an experienced, responsible member;
  7. to conduct a workshop for staff representatives when deemed necessary;
  8. to fill vacancies in the membership of the unit executive;
  9. to choose the delegates and alternate delegates to the annual general meeting (AGM) and other provincial conferences;
  10. to hold unit general meetings when deemed necessary for the welfare of the unit and when required by the Association by-laws and procedures;
  11. to hold executive and staff representative meetings when required;
  12. to appoint an elections committee;
  13. to supervise the compilation of a balanced unit budget and to present the unit budget for membership approval each year;
  14. to authorize and approve the unit expenses and receive and approve all finances;
  15. to levy, with the approval the unit membership, any necessary additional local fee;
  16. if a grant is required to supplement income, to submit in writing to the provincial executive a grant application along with the proposed annual budget;
  17. to borrow funds on behalf of the unit if such action is authorized by the provincial executive;
  18. to appoint unit committee or workgroup chairpersons and members;
  19. to attend unit executive, staff representative and general meetings, unless excused by the unit president;
  20. to receive committee reports and to take whatever action it deems necessary;
  21. to conduct an orientation workshop for all teachers new to the board concerning aims, objective, by-laws, the constitution of the Association and parliamentary procedure, and the collective agreement;
  22. to censure any unit executive member who fails to attend three (3) meetings and to request that the member defend their right to remain on the executive. If this explanation is not acceptable to the unit executive, this person shall be requested to resign. If the person does not resign, the executive will vote to remove the member. Such member, if removed, may appeal to the unit membership at its next general meeting.
  23. to award the President’s Award at the annual Retirement and Awards Dinner(s) in addition to honouring retiring teachers, and presenting 15 and 25 year service awards.
  24. to name a representative at school board meetings whenever it is deemed necessary, who reports to the executive.
  25. to appoint the Teacher Welfare Officer

Section 3 – Duties of Unit Executive Officers

The duties of unit executive officers are as defined in the Association Handbook By-laws 2.116 and:

  1. Past President
    The duties of the past president shall be:
    1. to advise and counsel the unit president and the unit executive;
    2. to be responsible for nominations and elections.

  2. Unit President
    The duties of the unit president shall be:
    1. to represent the unit membership and be the official spokesperson for the Association;
    2. to promote the interests of the Association and the unit;
    3. to call unit meetings, preside thereat and plan the program thereof;
    4. to prepare the delegation to the provincial annual general meeting and to ensure the delegation knows that it represents the majority opinion of the unit members;
    5. to serve on the council of presidents and when unable to perform this duty, appoint a delegate in order of executive rank;
    6. to give a detailed report to the unit executive following each meeting of the council of presidents;
    7. to be an ex-officio member of all committees;
    8. to prepare and present a report on activities of the past year, at the annual general meeting of the unit;
    9. to present a brief summary of activities at regular staff representative meetings;
    10. to be one of the signing officers of the unit;
    11. to carry out decisions reached by the unit executive and the general membership;
    12. to act as liaison with the Board, teacher local bargaining unit(s) and community groups as may be required;
    13. to maintain ongoing communication with the chief executive officer in order to minimize potential conflicts and difficulties;
    14. to ensure that a minutes book be kept for all financial motions for audit;
    15. to be responsible for the staff representative in-service.

  3. Chief Executive Officer (of the teacher panel opposite to that of the president)
    The duties of the chief executive officer shall be:
    1. to assist the unit president;
    2. to represent the needs of all the members of the teacher panel which they represent;
    3. to attend unit executive, staff representative and unit general meetings;
    4. to serve on the council of presidents and to be a delegate at the AGM. If the chief executive officer is unable to perform this duty, an executive member from the same panel shall be designated as the replacement;
    5. to maintain ongoing communication with the unit president Teacher Welfare Officer or regional councillors in order to minimize potential conflicts and difficulties.

  4. Unit Treasurer
    The duties of the unit treasurer shall be:
    1. to see that all money from the provincial treasury and other sources is received and acknowledged;
    2. to see that all funds in the name of the unit are deposited in a chartered bank or in an accredited credit union chosen by the unit executive;
    3. to see that an account of all money received and spent is kept;
    4. to pay all authorized accounts and expenses incurred by the unit;
    5. to present a balanced unit budget for approval to the membership at the first unit general meeting;
    6. to give a detailed annual report to the membership at the annual unit general meeting;
    7. to prepare motions for executive meetings for expenditure approvals;
    8. to submit a detailed annual financial report covering operations for the entire fiscal year, audited by a licensed public accountant, to the membership at the first unit general meeting following such audit and to the provincial office;
    9. to be one of the signing officers of the unit;
    10. to present a financial statement at unit executive meeting, staff representative meetings and all unit general meetings;
    11. to represent the unit at provincial treasurers’ workshops and seminars.

  5. Unit Secretary
    The duties of the unit secretary shall be:
    1. to record the minutes at all meetings and ensure that those minutes are kept on file in the unit office;
    2. to represent the unit executive on at least one unit or Board committee.

  6. Unit Councillors: (LLG, PR, SDG)
    The duties of the unit councilors shall be:
    1. to assist the unit executive in its duties;
    2. to represent the unit executive on at least one unit or Board committee;
    3. to act as liaison with their respective regions and to bring to the attention of the unit executive matters requiring attention as requested by unit members.

  7. Occasional Teachers’ Representative
    The duties of the Occasional Teacher Representative shall be:
    1. to assist the Unit Executive in all its duties;
    2. to report to the Unit Executive on issues/concerns raised by Occasional Teachers.

Section 4- Teacher Welfare Officer

The second full-time release position of Teacher Welfare Officer shall be filled by appointment of the Unit Executive.  The Teacher Welfare Officer shall sit on the Unit Executive in an advisory, non-voting capacity.  The term of office for the Teacher Welfare Officer shall end on June 30th of the Unit’s non-election year.  To qualify as a candidate for Teacher Welfare Officer a nominee shall be a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and be a member of the Unit at the time of taking office.

The duties of the Teacher Welfare Officer shall be:

  1. to perform unit duties in conjunction with the unit president as may be required;
  2. to assist the unit president and to assume all non-voting duties and responsibilities of that position in the absence of the unit president, until such time as the President can resume their position;
  3. if the unit president fails to call a mandatory meeting of the unit, the Teacher Welfare Officer shall call the meeting and notify the provincial president, general secretary and unit president of this action;
  4. to represent the unit on at least one unit or Board committee;
  5. to be responsible for coordinating the program for teachers new to the Board;
  6. to be one of the three signing officers of the unit.

Section 5  Duties of Association Representative:

  1. To act as direct liaison between the unit executive and the unit members, including occasional teachers, by:
    1. retaining on a yearly basis minutes of unit meeting;
    2. distributing to the members and posting all unit information items;
    3. actively promoting unit activities and available services;
    4. assisting staff members in understanding their rights and responsibilities in consultation with the unit office.

  2. To act as liaison between provincial executive and members of the unit by:
    1. distributing OECTA and OTF publications and correspondence and notifying the proper authority regarding shortages;
    2. actively promoting the Association and its services.

  3. To attend all unit staff representative and unit general meetings as a voting member.
  4. To bring to the attention of the appropriate unit executive member, matters requiring attention, as requested by staff members.
  5. To attend unit staff representative workshops when they are presented.
  6. To be responsible within their school for the implementation of the unit courtesy procedure, on behalf of the unit. 
  7. To submit to the unit office news items from their school that may be published in the unit newsletter.

Section 6  Unit General Meetings

  1. The unit shall hold a minimum of two (2) unit general meetings per year.
    1. One meeting shall be in the fall to present and approve the unit budget and auditor’s report.
    2. One meeting shall deal with AGM resolutions, and /or amendments to the unit constitution and by-laws.
    More general meetings may be scheduled if necessary.
  2. At unit general meetings, all accredited members shall be entitled to vote.
  3. A quorum at all unit general meetings shall be one half the number of members who were present at the beginning of the meeting.

Section 7  Unit Committees

The following committees may be appointed annually:

  1. Communications
  2. Elections
  3. Employee Assistance Program
  4. Legislation
  5. Political Action Committee (PAC)
  6. Professional Development (PD)
  7. Social
  8. Beginning Teachers’ Committee

Section 8  Duties of  Committees

A Communications
It shall be the duty of the Communications Committee:

  1. to assess strategies by which Eastern Unit can develop effective communication vehicles for the membership and make recommendations to the unit executive;
  2. to provide input into and assist in updating the unit website;
  3. to develop a unit newsletter;
  4. to oversee and deploy their approved budget for activities for communication.

B Elections
The election procedure for the Eastern Ontario unit is found in Procedures III. The Elections Committee shall be responsible for supervising the unit election procedure.

C Employee Assistance
It shall be the duty of the Employee Assistance Committee:

  1. to develop procedures for and implement jointly with the Board an Employee Assistance Program;
  2. to ensure representation on the Board Employee Assistance Committee;
  3. to assure attendance at Employee Assistance workshops;
  4. to provide up-to-date information of the services available to the membership.

D Legislation
It shall be the duty of the Legislation Committee:

  1. to study and report on all matters that pertain to the unit by-laws and procedures. It shall be responsible for submitting such matters to the unit executive for approval prior to presentation at a unit general meeting.
  2. to receive all resolutions submitted from the schools, unit executive, or individuals;
  3. to present resolutions to the AGM at the first unit general meeting of each year. Such resolutions must be received by September 30 and must be approved by the membership at the unit general meeting;
  4. to develop procedures and policies for the unit;
  5. the committee shall be empowered to:
    - read, analyze, clarify, reword and combine resolutions. If the sponsor objects to the combining of a resolution, he/she shall have the right to present as originally submitted;
    - return to sponsors resolutions requiring clarification
    - return to sponsors resolutions which are presently OECTA or OTF policy.

E Political Action
It shall be the duty of the Political Action Committee:

  1. to keep members informed of political developments pertaining to education;
  2. to heighten public awareness of Catholic education;
  3. to prepare newsletters or publications when deemed necessary by the unit executive;
  4. to organize information meetings, rallies or other activities, as needed, for teachers’ views to be expressed to government, with the approval and assistance of the unit executive.

F Professional Development
It shall be the duty of the Professional Development committee:

  1. to be informed on issues, trends and problems in the area of professional development and curriculum;
  2. to identify members’ needs and desires in P.D. and recommend action that the unit may pursue to satisfy these needs; to recommend to the unit executive individual conference procedures;
  3. to assist and give input to the Board regarding system-wide Professional Development days.

G Social
It shall be the duty of the Social Committee:

  1. to assess strategies which encourage collegiality and member involvement;
  2. to provide input into and updates for the unit website and newsletters with regards to social events in the unit;
  3. to assist in the planning and promotion of events;
  4. to prepare for the distribution of Service Recognition Awards;
  5. to plan and organize a function(s) to honour Association members who retire;
  6. to oversee and deploy the approved budget for social activities

H Beginning Teachers’ Committee
It shall be the duty of the Beginning Teachers’ Committee:

  1. to follow up on the Provincial OECTA Beginning Teachers’ Conference;
  2. to assess means by which the unit can support beginning teachers;
  3. to collaborate with the Professional Development Committee to convene
    regional meetings or programs for beginning teachers;
  4. to provide input into and updates for the unit newsletter and webpage with
    regards to beginning teachers

Section 9 Reporting by Unit Committees

The unit executive may request reports by committees at any time.

Article III – AMENDMENT TO BY-LAWS

The by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the beginning of a unit general meeting provided notice of the proposed amendment has been distributed to the members at least ten calendar days prior to the unit general meeting.

 

PROCEDURES

PROCEDURES I – PROVINCIAL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

  1. Delegates and alternates to the Provincial Annual General Meeting shall be chosen first from the unit executive and Teacher Welfare Officer, then the association representatives, and finally from the general unit membership. If one or more delegates are generated as a result of the occasional teacher membership in the unit, such delegate(s) shall be occasional teacher(s) and selected according to 2.24.3.1 to 2.24.3.4 in the Handbook.
  2. Selection of delegates and alternates shall be completed by January 31.
  3. All delegates and alternates shall attend the unit general meeting and the delegate preparation meeting prior to the AGM, or relinquish their right to attend the AGM.
  4. Delegates and alternates shall ensure that a full voting delegation is present at all AGM sessions.
  5. Delegation members shall help prepare an AGM report to inform unit members of key issues and resolutions.
  6. One member of the delegation shall be appointed to assist with the AGM Eastern Hospitality.

PROCEDURES II – FINANCES AND EXPENSES

Section 1 – General Guidelines

  1. Members should not be out of pocket for necessary expenditures incurred while conducting unit business nor shall the unit be liable for undue charges.
  2. The unit shall pay all reasonable expenses incurred by executive members as determined by the unit executive and subject to budget restrictions.
  3. The unit executive shall receive and control all finances.
  4. All expenses shall be paid in accordance with the provincial guidelines.
  5. Over-expenditures beyond budgeted or approved amounts must be approved by the unit executive.
  6. Kilometrage will be paid to committee members upon receipt of an itemized claim. This will be extended to those committee members attending authorized meetings and conducting authorized committee business. Kilometrage shall be paid for the distance to and from the school in which a member teaches, or from which the member travels to attend a meeting.
  7. Any committees, workgroups or special-interest groups requesting budget allocations for funds should prepare an application before the unit budget is prepared in September, and give reasons for their request.
  8. OECTA bursaries shall be awarded to student(s) at each of the secondary schools, according to the school’s criteria.

Section 2 – Funding for Conferences

  1. Requests for becoming a delegate to any provincially sponsored conference, or an individual professional development conference, must be made to the unit executive. All applicants will be informed of the unit executive’s decision.
  2. Receipts must be itemized and all expenses must be accounted for. Expense reports must be submitted as soon as possible, within 30 days. Provincial guidelines for meal and travel allowances must be followed.
  3. Members are limited to one conference per school year. A member who seeks funding to the same conference each year may be put on hold if other members show an interest in the same conference.
  4. Members are requested to book transportation early in order to take advantage of travel discounts.
  5. Members who obtain funding must be willing to present their written report to the executive.
  6. Members who are requested by the Board or other organizations to attend a specific conference are to use those organizations as sources of funding.
  7. Transportation costs shall be paid for members representing the unit at conferences for which the unit has provided funding.
  8. Names of all those requesting funding for conferences will be recorded in the minutes.
  9. If release time is required for any provincial conferences, the unit president will request leave for the members. The unit will not pay for supply teachers for individual professional development conferences.

Section 3 – Responsibility Allowances

The responsibility allowances for the Eastern Unit of OECTA will be as follows:

Unit President – Coordinator’s allowance (per Collective Agreement) + $1,000
Teacher Welfare Officer– Consultant’s allowance (per Collective Agreement)
Treasurer - $750 (taxable, and applicable towards pension contributions)
Secretary - $750 (taxable, and applicable towards pension contributions)

 

PROCEDURES III – ELECTION PROCEDURE

POSITIONS ON THE EASTERN ONTARIO OECTA UNIT EXECUTIVE

  1. UNIT PRESIDENT ( 100% release time)
  2. UNIT TREASURER
  3. UNIT SECRETARY
  4. 2 COUNCILLORS PRESCOTT – RUSSELL (PR teachers vote)
  5. 2 COUNCILLORS STORMONT, DUNDAS, & GLENGARRY (SDG teachers vote)
  6. 2 COUNCILLORS LANARK, LEEDS, & GRENVILLE (LLG teachers vote)
  7. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (from teaching panel opposite to that of president;
    to be voted on by teachers of corresponding teaching panel; this position will involve attending and voting at provincial Council of Presidents meetings)
  8. PAST PRESIDENT
  9. OCCASIONAL TEACHERS’ REPRESENTATIVE (teachers on system OT list vote at the spring OTBU UGM)
1. January/February Nomination forms go out to membership (Appendix A)
2. March 31 5:00 p.m. deadline for submission of nomination forms
3. First week of April

Slate of candidates advertised to membership(newsletter with biographies and photos of candidates to follow within two weeks)

4. Within two weeks All Candidates Meeting at the Spring Assoc. Rep/ General meeting
5. Last week of April First Tier Election for Unit President
6. Two calendar days later Membership notified of successful candidate for President (fax/email to all schools and sites)
7. Within seven calendar days of  Unit President election 5:00 p.m. deadline for unsuccessful Presidential candidates to step down (to run for any other remaining position – notify the Electoral Officer)
5:00 p.m. deadline for CEO candidates who are disqualified from running because they are from the same panel as President to declare step down to run for any of the Second Tier Positions.
8. Next day

Notice to schools of revised slate of candidates for
Second Tier Election (fax/email to all schools and sites)

9. Second week of May Second Tier Election:  All Remaining Positions (voting at schools): Two Councillors Prescott-Russell, Two Councillors Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, Two Councillors Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, Unit Treasurer, Unit Secretary, Chief Executive Officer.
10. Two days later

Announcement to membership of successful candidates (fax/email)

 

PROCEDURES IV – ASSOCIATION REPRESENTATIVES

  1. Each staff shall elect or appoint its representative and alternate by September 15th of each year, subject to approval by the unit executive. If an association representative cannot attend a scheduled meeting, the alternate will attend.
  2. To qualify as a candidate for association representative, a teacher must be on staff at the time of the election;
  3. In electing or appointing an association representative, it is strongly recommended that the teacher be a permanent teacher with the Board.

PROCEDURES V – UNIT COMMITTEES

  1. All committees must report to the unit executive through its chairperson.
  2. Each committee is responsible to the unit executive.
  3. The unit executive shall establish special committees, as it considers necessary. Special committees may be dissolved upon completion of task by an executive motion.
  4. Volunteers for committees will be requested from the membership by Sept. 30, biannually. From these volunteers, the unit executive shall appoint chairpersons and members to the standing committees. Volunteers shall be recognized and have their names recorded in the minutes.
  5. It is possible for committees to have only one OECTA member, such as a shared Board and employee committee. OECTA members on Board/employee committees will ensure that reports or minutes of meetings are given to the unit executive regularly.
  6. Each committee, that consists of OECTA members only, shall have at least one unit executive liaison.
  7. The members of standing and special committees shall be appointed to ensure as broad a representation as possible on each committee.
  8. All financial transactions conducted by the committee must be directed to the unit treasurer, and must fit within the budget request presented by the committee chairperson.
  9. All committees must seek approval for meetings from the unit executive and chairpersons shall report to the unit executive.

PROCEDURES VI - AMENDMENTS TO PROCEDURES

Procedures may be established, amended or rescinded by either:

  1. a two-thirds vote of the membership present and voting at a Unit General Meeting provided the proposed amendment has been distributed to the members at least ten calendar days prior to the unit general meeting.
  2. a nine-tenths (9/10) majority of the unit executive, subject to ratification at the next general meeting.

APPENDIX A  
 
NOMINATION FORM FOR EASTERN UNIT EXECUTIVE ELECTIONS
   
NAME OF CANDIDATE:
   
Home Address School Name and Address
   
Telephone: Telephone:
Fax Number: Fax Number:
   
POSITION NOMINATED FOR:
   
NOMINATED BY:
(Nominators for regional councillors must be from the same region; nominators for CEO must be from the same panel as the candidate.)
   
Nominator’s Signature Name of School & Location of Nominator
   
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
   
*****************************************************************************************
   

Information for Candidate:

  1. Submit completed Nomination Form for the Eastern Unit Executive along with a one-sided PHOTOCOPY– ready biography sheet to the elections chairperson, the Unit Past President.
  2. The BIOGRAPHY sheet must be typed and contain a recent photograph of the candidate in the upper right-hand corner of a ONE-SIDED 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper.
  3. Biography sheet may include the following:
    1. Provincial Experience
    2. Local Experience
    3. School Experience
    4. Educational Experience
    5. Related Experience
    6. Personal Information
    7. Other Information
  4. The available positions on the Unit Executive are:
    1. Unit President
    2. Chief Executive Officer
    3. Unit Secretary
    4. Unit Treasurer
    5. 2 Councillors (PR)
    6. 2 Councillors (LLG)
    7. 2 Councillors (SDG)
    8. Occasional Teachers’ Representative (to be elected at the OTBU UGM)
  5. Nomination Form and Biography Sheet are to be submitted in a sealed manilla envelope to the Chief Electoral Officer and returned to the Unit Office by the deadline of 5:00 p.m. on March 31.
    Chief Electoral Officer: Past President