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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Monday, October 2, 2006

Proposed Merger of Eastern Ontario OECTA Locals
Permanent Teachers’ OECTA Local and Occasional Teachers’ OECTA Local

On-going discussion surrounding merger of the two Eastern OECTA locals has occurred at Unit Executive meetings and Occasional Teachers’ Executive meetings over the past few months. As Unit President, I represent all teachers in the CDSBEO. At the present time, Steve Kirby is Occasional Teachers’ President, with Vice President Barbara Carroll and Mary Carty, PD Chairperson.

Steve, Barb Dobrowolski and myself work closely since many of the day-to-day OT calls and issues come to the Unit Office first and often affect not only Occasional teachers, but permanent teachers, and vice versa. Steve is a voting member on the Unit Executive. He has 45 days paid by Provincial Office in which to perform his duties as OT president – i.e. dealing with phone calls and e-mails, responding to Board and Provincial Office correspondence, spearheading negotiations and actively pursuing issues concerning the collective agreement, intervening with the Board and OECTA on behalf of members, assisting with grievances and arbitrations. Barb is the Unit grievance officer, responsible for preparing all grievances which are submitted to the Board. These days would remain for the OT committee, the voting representative for meetings, collective bargaining, etc.

Merger has been looked at across the province, particularly by units with small Occasional Teacher numbers which don’t warrant a full-time president. However, the amount of time required fulfilling the duties of an OT president is an issue while doing LTO/casual work. Most OT’s don’t have a designated “home school” where information can be couriered. It is time consuming and costly to send home mailings. This results in members sometimes feeling they are not informed. In a merged unit, ideally they would designate a school where the staff rep would include them in the distribution of information and meetings.

Merging could mean added workload for the Unit release officers. There is presently one Unit budget. It includes fee returns for permanent and OT members since many of the OT related tasks are already handled through the Unit Office. There are lines for permanent and OT expenses. It has been recommended that there be an OT committee and that we maintain an elected OT voting member on the Unit Executive since some issues are particular to occasional teachers. It is to be determined if collective bargaining will remain separate.

I invite your feedback to this proposed change. Regional meetings will be held to give everyone an opportunity to consider a merger, to ask questions, and to give input.
Monday, October 16, 2006 Quinn’s Inn, St. Andrew’s West 4:15 p.m.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006 Hanley Hall, Smiths Falls 4:30 p.m.
RSVP to the Unit Office by Thursday, October 12 so food and refreshments can be ordered.

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