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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e -Tuesday, February 10, 2006

Possible Provincial CUPE Strike
Last night more than 100,000 CUPE members from across the province voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike to protest government-proposed legislation to change their pension plan, OMERS. The legislation could be voted on in legislature as early as Monday, and, if approved, a wildcat strike could follow as of midnight that night.

CUPE represents custodians, secretaries, educational assistants, speech pathologists, IT workers, and student support workers in our schools. In the event that CUPE members have picket lines at the school or board facility, teachers are required, under the Education Act, to report to work. A member may only refuse to cross a picket line if it is impossible for the member to enter a school or board facility without danger to the member’s person or property.

Should you be unable to cross a picket line, notify the Unit office and the appropriate board representative (principal/ administrator.) You may be reassigned to another school or board facility. Members should refrain from volunteering to perform any duties abandoned by strikers. However, if directed by their administration, members should comply with duties assigned unless they are unreasonable. (Duties for which you are not trained, for example, cleaning, maintenance, or clerical duties, are unreasonable.) Additional duties which provide for student safety and security should be carried out as directed and recorded as a complaint with the school administration and the Unit Office. Immediately inform your staff rep in this event. Staff reps must inform the Unit Office as soon as possible.

Let us be supportive of our CUPE colleagues. Their strike is reminiscent of our Political Protest in 1997, when legislation rather than dialogue was used to force changes unilaterally. The decision to participate in an illegal strike is a difficult personal decision and is not taken lightly.

OECTA AQ Courses in Kemptville
Registration for OECTA’s spring Additional Qualification courses is on-going until March 6. The courses to be offered are: Primary Education Part 1, Reading Part 1, and Special Education Part 1. Any teachers may register- permanent, occasional, and teachers from other school boards who are not OECTA members. The courses will be offered in Kemptville, SO LONG AS ENOUGH TEACHERS APPLY. So, if you are interested, register now to ensure that the courses run. Invite your colleagues from coterminous schools. A call-out for presenters will be made once it is determined that the courses can be offered. You can register on-line at www.oecta.on.ca.

Courtesy Policy
This is just a reminder about our Eastern OECTA Courtesy Policy in the event of a death. In the event of the death of a member’s immediate family, a retired OECTA member, a non-OECTA staff member, or the death of a student, the Staff Rep is to purchase a mass card on behalf of the Unit members. The mass is to be ordered locally so as to allow for mass attendance. No receipt is required, however please fill out an expense form indicating the name of the deceased and fax it to the Unit Office. In the event of the death of an active OECTA member a $200 donation to the charity or fund of the family’s choice will also be made in addition to the mass card. Our thanks go out to Staff Reps for helping us to administer this Courtesy Policy.

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