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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Permanent and Occasional Teachers Ratify Local Settlements

On Friday, December 14th, the Permanent Teachers’ Negotiating team and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern reached a tentative settlement for the renewal of a local collective agreement from September 1, 2012 through to August 31, 2014. Many housekeeping changes were agreed to; other changes of mutual interest were also signed off. The Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) negotiated provincially will be appended by the Ministry to the collective agreement when it is sent for approval. The M.O.U. supersedes several of the provisions in the collective agreement. The Board was not in agreement to embedding the language of the M.O.U. into the collective agreement. This may create some confusion in the next couple of years as the collective agreement will have to be read in tandem with the M.O.U. to fully understand benefits, salary entitlements, and working conditions.

Occasional teachers held a ratification meeting on Wednesday, December 12th, in Kemptville. The ratification vote was 100% in favour of the agreement. The permanent teachers’ ratification meeting was held on Monday, December 17th. The vote was 90.8% in favour of ratification. The Board will be holding its ratification votes today at its regularly scheduled Board meeting. Once the Board ratifies, details of the agreement will no longer be confidential and will be shared with those members who were unable to attend the ratification meetings.

At this time we’d like to recognize and thank all the teachers who served on the Collective Bargaining and Negotiation teams: for the Occasional Teachers- Linda Hunt, Carol Plaus, Mary Kirby, Steve Kirby, and Ann McGahey; and for the Permanent Teachers- Kristy Angel, Steve Dionne, Andrew Donihee, Mike Hamilton, Penny Huntley, Dawn Morva, Ken O’Brien, and Trish Wouters. Additionally, we’d like to thank Grace daSilva, our Provincial Collective Bargaining Liaison, for her support throughout the process of surveying the membership, writing initial proposals, and bargaining.

Care For Ill Family

The School Board has finally agreed to recognize that teachers can use up to five additional days (over and above their 10 sick leave days), at full salary, to care for ill family members. Given this recognition, the Unit is withdrawing this matter from the Alternate Dispute Resolution process (ADR). The five additional days can also be used for medical and dental appointments, to attend a conference (if the conference is three or more days in length, with approval), or for other personal or professional reasons (with approval). Teachers’ two personal days also come out of these five days.

Six Weeks Paid on Birth of a Child

The Ministry of Education has clarified the M.O.U. in terms of a teacher’s eligibility for six weeks of paid salary following the birth of a child. The Ministry states that maternity leave benefits will be payable for a minimum of six weeks following the birth of a child, regardless of whether a teacher does or does not qualify for EI. For a teacher in receipt of EI, this benefit is a top-up to 100% of salary. Teachers on LTO assignments are also eligible for this benefit to the extent of the duration of their LTO assignment, but not past the end date of that assignment. Even if holidays fall in the first six weeks after a teacher gives birth, the full six week benefit is payable. We are awaiting confirmation that the School Board will be compliant with this Ministry memorandum.

Labour Board rules on OLRA Violation Complaint

The Labour Board has dismissed a complaint launched in May by OSSTF that the Crown violated sections of the Ontario Labour Relation Act in the provincial negotiations process. This decision was released on Friday.

Amalgamation Update

The government has sent out correspondence to all school boards advising them that, following consultations, it has decided not to proceed with amalgamation at this time.

January Staff Rep In-Service

The January Staff Rep In-Service that was scheduled for January 15th is being moved due to a scheduling conflict. It is being rescheduled to Monday, January 21st.

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