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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Monday, January 7, 2013

From the OECTA Unit Office all the best in the New Year! May your return to work be smooth, with the spirit of Christmas still lingering on inside.

Bill 115 to be Repealed

You will have heard last Thursday that the government announced its intention to repeal Bill 115 at the end of the month, after imposing collective agreements on those unions who failed to bargain new agreements by the December 31st deadline (most notably OSSTF and ETFO). CUPE did reach a provincial agreement prior to this date and has been given an extension to the deadline in order for local ratifications to take place.

You may be wondering what affect the repealing of Bill 115 may have on us and our contracts. The quick answer is- none, really. The changes agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding, and mandated by Bill 115 are incorporated into all collective agreements in the education sector, albeit with some slight variations from union to union. Therefore all changes previously communicated are still in effect.

The repealing of Bill 115 is an attempt at conciliation on the government’s part, in reaction to objection against its interference with unfettered collective bargaining. How OSSTF and ETFO will move forward in light of these actions is yet to be seen. From this point on, any concerted strike/ work-to-rule efforts are considered to be illegal.

Short Term Leave and Disability Plan Enhancement

The M.O.U. negotiated by OECTA contained within it a transferability clause. This clause ensures that any settlements with other unions that contain monetary improvements are transferable to OECTA as well. One OSSTF local ratified a collective agreement prior to December 31st that does contain within it additional money agreed to by the government for the improvement of short term leave and disability provisions. This enhancement is now to be applied to OECTA as well as other affiliates.

All employees are allowed to carry over- into the subsequent school year only- any unused sick leave credits from their annual 10 day sick leave allocation. These carry-over days can be used for the purposes of topping up the Short Term Leave and Disability Plan (STLDP) days for illness that are being funded at 90% of the employee’s annual salary. These carry-over days cannot be accumulated and can only be applied to absences for personal illness.

So, for example, a teacher who carries over 5 unused days from this year to next, could top up their 90% STLDP to 100% for 50 days beyond their 10 sick leave days at 100%, should he or she be on an extended illness. Ten unused, carried-over sick days could top-up one hundred 90% STLDP days to 100% pay.

To help ensure a smooth transition of these new carry-over provisions, 2 days of sick leave top-up credits will be deemed available to all staff in 2012-13 for the top-up purposes described above. For clarity, 2 days of carry-over credits will provide for 20 days of sick leave topped up to 100 percent of annual salary, for a total of 30 days at 100 percent. These two deemed days are available for 2012-13 only, and if unused, cannot be carried forward or otherwise accumulated.

Any teachers who have already pierced the 10 day sick leave threshold in the current school year can expect to receive salary adjustments to reflect this new enhancement, with up to 20 days of 90% salary being topped up to 100% salary retroactively.

New Contracts In Effect

The just negotiated and ratified permanent and occasional teacher local collective agreements have been approved by the Ministry of Education. Summaries of these new agreements will be sent out to Staff Reps, and directly to teachers who are on our Unit emailing list. The new contracts will be printed up and furbished to all teachers once they become available. Additionally, this information will shortly be posted on our Unit website.

Regional OECTA Equity and Inclusivity Conferences

In May 2012, OECTA held an Equity and Inclusivity conference, “Reach Every Student, Know Their Story”, which was well-received by all participants. As a continuation of the dialogue engendered by this conference, supporting marginalized and LGBT students in Catholic schools, OECTA has committed to providing outreach across the province for intermediate/senior teachers who were unable to attend the Equity and Inclusivity conference. Our Unit is allotted six spots for two senior, two intermediate and two occasional teachers. The Eastern regional conference is being held on February 8th and 9th in Kingston. If you are interested in attending please contact the Unit office by January 18th.

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