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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e -Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yesterday, the fall Unit General Meeting was held to present the 2005-06 Auditor’s Report and the 2006-07 budget. In order to receive the fee return, grants and the Provincial portion of the release officers’ salaries, etc. from Provincial Office, both must be presented and approved by the membership. Thank you to Darryl Power, Unit Treasurer, for the work he did in assisting with the preparation of the budget and for the presentations at the Executive and General meetings. Thanks, also, to those who attended the General Meeting; we know how busy you are with school and personal commitments.

TPP - The first pension increase comes January 1, 2007. An overview of the plan, negotiations between the pension partners OTF and the government, the reasons for the increase in contributions in each of the next three years (no change since 1990), etc., will be presented at the January Staff Rep meeting/in-service. In the interim, OTF has produced a CD ROM and accompanying handbook, which will be sent to each school. Attached is a copy of the October OTF Communique that went to schools with some information regarding the increase in contributions. Remember, when you pay your portion toward your pension, you are paying yourself (to collect when you retire). On the chart on p.2 of the OTF Communique, you will see that your contributions are matched by the Provincial government. Thank you to our OTF representatives for the work they have done in negotiating this agreement which protects pension benefits for present and future retirees.

Merger of Eastern OECTA permanent teachers’ local and the Eastern OECTA occasional teachers’ local has been on the agenda of Executive meetings for both locals over the last year. Permanent and occasional teachers work together, and many of the articles in the two collective agreements are similar or related. Merging will streamline the current process in dealing with occasional teacher issues. Much of the day-to-day work is done now through the Unit Office in consultation with Steve Kirby, OT President, who has only 45 paid days to fulfill his role.
After much research and discussion with other OECTA Units and Provincial Office, both Executives passed motions endorsing the merger of the two locals, along with pursuing the Board’s agreement to negotiate one contract. East and west regional meetings were held in October to provide information and get feedback from members. The next step is to conduct two votes, one by occasional teachers and one by permanent teachers. We need to hear your questions in preparation for the votes. Please call the Unit Office to discuss the merger proposal. Attached for review is a copy of the Eastern Update from October.

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