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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Unit Election Results
The Unit Election results were communicated by fax by the Election Chair on April 29th. However it seems that in some cases that notice did not make it through to all teachers. I would therefore like to thank and acknowledge all candidates who ran for positions and convey the following results: Unit President- Dale Fobert; CEO- Jim Roy; Treasurer- Kristy Angel-Tait; Secretary- Louise Leclair; SDG Councillors- Steve Dionne and Trish Wouters; PR Councillors- Rob D’Alessio and Mike Hamilton; LLG Councillor- Norm Evans (second position vacant- to be filled by Executive); Past President- Ann McGahey. The OT Rep position will be voted on by Occasional teachers at their fall Annual General Meeting.

Staffing for 2015-16
The Joint Board Staffing Committee has met twice recently to review the staffing situation for 2015-16. There is a decline in student enrolment forecast for our Board of approximately 280 students. However, with 19 known teacher retirements and a few administrative hirings expected, it is likely that most teachers declared redundant will be recalled. Twenty-five teachers were declared redundant with a combined FTE of 12.85. There were 19.23 teachers declared surplus, who have been placed in positions in other schools. Our complement of consultants has also been reduced by three. Of 83 voluntary transfer requests received, 24 were granted. The second round of posting which is usually advertised by May 31st will be delayed until mid-June. By then it will be known where further vacancies have been created by the hiring into administrative positions. Known vacancies will then be advertised to permanent teachers who will be afforded the opportunity to apply to transfer to these positions. After this, remaining positions will be offered to redundant teachers in order of seniority. Finally, any remaining positions may be offered to teachers wishing to increase their FTE status.

Provincial Bargaining/ Teacher Information Meeting September 10th
Progress at the OECTA Provincial Bargaining table, even with the aid of a mediator, has been exceedingly slow, with prospects of a deal being reached prior to the end of the school year appearing unlikely. Therefore we must prepare for possible work disruption in the fall. It will not be “business as usual” in September, and teachers are advised to put money aside in the event that we do have to move to a full strike. We are sending buttons to all schools and ask that teachers wear them, starting June 1st. Their message is simply, “Standing Together”. Indeed, we may well be standing together in the fall with our sister affiliates. Talks have broken down at the OSSTF bargaining table, and students’ school year has been declared “in jeopardy” by the Education Relations Commission. We will likely see the three striking OSSTF teachers’ Units legislated back to work from their local strikes by weeks end. OSSTF has applied for conciliation. ETFO, which already has a “no-board report” is continuing its “administrative” work-to-rule.

In preparation for work disruption, we will be holding an all teachers information meeting on Thursday, September 10th, at the Memorial Center in Brockville at 5:30 p.m. Please put it on your calendar and plan to attend. We are considering running buses to the event. We ask staff reps to contact the Unit office to let us know how many teachers from your school would take advantage of a bus from a central location to Brockville.

Our Unit Executive has been designated to constitute our District Tactical Implementation Committee (DTIC). We are seeking teachers at large to volunteer for sub-committees of the DTIC. Sub-committees of the DTIC include: 1/ Finance Committee; 2/ Communications Committee; and 3/ Social Committee. We need all hands on deck: please call or email the Unit office by June 15th if you’d like to volunteer on any one of these committees.

As we move into the summer with the prospect of work action on the horizon, teachers may well want to consider what voluntary activities they want to participate in between now and then. For example, the EQAO teacher questionnaire is voluntary, and given ETFO’s non-participation in EQAO, any results could be interpreted as a reflection of Catholic education, which could have negative ramifications. If the Ministry wants teachers to help further their goals, perhaps they should also give due consideration to teachers’ needs.

SmartFind Express Pilot
SmartFind Express, an alternative to Canpage, is being piloted at St. Michael’s, Holy Cross, and St. Mary, Chesterville starting June 1st. This is an automated call out system which teachers can access either on-line or by phone. Permanent and LTO teachers will use the system to indicate an absence, and the system will then call-out Occasional teachers to fill the vacancy. Training for teachers affected is underway. Instruction manuals are also being distributed. We’ve ensured that the collective agreement is respected for both occasional and permanent teachers under the new system. We hope that SmartFind will rectify the large number of unfilled requests incurred this year.

 
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