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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Important Dates to Remember

Teachers seeking a transfer must have their request form in by April 1st. Teachers on an unpaid leave must inform the board of their intention respecting their employment for the next school year by April 1st.

Teachers retiring at the end of the school year are asked to inform the board by May 1st.

OECTA Fellowship and Scholarship applications are due by April 1st. Contact the Unit office for an application form. Applications for OECTA Provincial Committees are due May 1st.

OECTA is calling for presenters for the Educating for the Common Good Conference to be held on July 8th and 9th. Applications are due April 2nd. Workshops are to be 75 minutes in length on topics such as Equity and Inclusivity, Global Education, Aboriginal Education, and Poverty.

Nomination forms for local elections are due to the Elections Chair (Ann McGahey) care of the Unit office by March 31st. Forms have been distributed to staff reps or can be downloaded from our website.

Our annual local OECTA Pension Workshop will be held the evening of Wednesday, April 22nd at the Unit office in Kemptville. Registration information will be sent out shortly.



OECTA held its Annual General Meeting on March 14, 15 and 16th. Delegates approved a fee increase of $50, effective July 1st. Many action directives to lobby the Ministry of Labour to help prevent violence against teachers were passed. The Discipline Procedure in the Handbook was revised to include more detail and an appeal process. A new work group was established to consider ways of supporting LGBTQ teachers in Catholic schools. Delegates also approved of future on-site childcare for the dependants of delegates to the AGM. A new Provincial Executive was elected as follows: Ann Hawkins, President; Liz Stewart, 1st VP; Barb Dobrowolski, 2nd VP; Andrew Donihee, 3rd VP; Warren Grafton, Treasurer; Michel Derikx, Councillor; Anthony Rocchio, Councillor; Chris Cowley, Governor and OTF Table Officer; Tracey Pekarski, Governor; Rick Belisle, Governor; Sean Roberts, Governor; and Richard Schrader, Governor. The new Executive takes office July 1st.

Minister of Education, Liz Sandals addressed the AGM. Delegates to the AGM were greatly disappointed by her evasive answers when questioned about the initial proposal tabled by management at the central bargaining table.


Provincial Bargaining

Dale Fobert and Barb Dobrowolski are currently visiting schools to share information about central bargaining and the need for a strong strike mandate. The Strike Vote will be conducted electronically starting at noon on April 23rd, through to noon on April 24th. Posters regarding how to participate in the strike vote should be arriving in schools shortly. Management’s initial proposal includes a further three years of wage freezes, the repealing of hard fought rights such as Fair Hiring and Professional Judgment in the use of Diagnostics, the diminishment of our Short Term Leave Disability Plan, among other significant strips. We will be holding a Strike Rally on April 21st at the Kemptville Municipal Complex and, concurrently, at the Best Western Parkway in Cornwall. Further information will be sent out closer to the date of the rally.


Responsibility for IEP’s

We have grieved the downloading of responsibility for IEP’s from SERT’s to the classroom teacher. In the meanwhile, we ask that each classroom teacher track the number of IEP’s for which they are responsible in each reporting period, as well as the number of hours of time spent on completing these IEP’s. Should our grievance be successful, these tracking sheets will be required in order to seek compensation for teachers having to complete all of these additional hours of work. Please use the attached tracking form.


Diagnostic Assessment

We’ve become aware that some principals are directing teachers to complete diagnostic assessments for students with an IEP as per the timelines delineated in the Board’s Assessment Calendar. The timelines and suggested assessments are only meant as recommendations; teachers are to apply their own professional judgment in determining which assessments to use, with which students, when and how often. The Unit has grieved instances where we’ve been made aware that principals have directed teachers, in contravention of the collective agreement.


Mathematics and Technology Conference, May 1-2

OECTA is pleased to present Leading Together + Learning Together = It All Adds Up, a conference on mathematics and technology. The conference will be held at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel and Suites in Toronto, with funding provided by the Ministry of Education, supporting permanent and occasional teachers interested in enriching their mathematics teaching and use of technology in the classroom. The conference will feature many presenters, as well as three keynote speakers: Dr. Joan Moss, Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden and Dr. Peter Liljedahl. Our Unit has the opportunity to send one teacher from each of our elementary, secondary and occasional teacher bargaining units. Please contact the Unit office by April 1st if you are interested in attending. The conference will begin Friday, May 1 at 12:00 p.m. and end on Saturday, May 2 at 1:30 p.m.

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