Inside this Issue:

Community Hubs

STB4

On August 10th, the Premier’s Special Advisor on Community Hubs, Karen Pitre,  issued the report Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan read the report. This document was prepared after months of consultation and discussion with stakeholders in various sectors.

OCSTA’s president, Kathy Burtnik met with Ms. Pitre in the spring to discuss the work of the Community Hubs Advisory Group and OCSTA’s support of this initiative. We look forward to welcoming Karen Pitre at the January 15-16 Professional Development Seminar for Catholic Trustees, where she has been invited to discuss the Community Hubs strategy with OCSTA members.

Prepare Questions for Fall Regional Meetings

Beginning in September, OCSTA will launch the annual round of Fall Regional Meetings at five different locations across the province. Information about the timing and location of each meeting was sent to all CDSB’s last June (see schedule below).

The format of these meetings is designed to engage trustees in dialogue with regional peers, OCSTA’s Directors and staff.  There will be both faith development and business components to each session.

The agenda for each meeting is available for download here.

Pre-meeting Preparation Required

Preparing for Board Presentations – Challenges Faced by Boards in Establishing Budgets

Boards are asked to prepare a brief (5-minute) overview of the challenges associated with the budget planning process. These overviews can be presented by each respective board Chair (or designate) at the Regional Meeting.  Please bring printed copies of the presentation to share with delegates.

Some questions to consider:

  • To balance the budget, was it necessary to change delivery of programs?
  • What type of consultation process was followed in developing the budget?
  • Was it necessary to draw on reserves to meet budget goals?

Regional Meetings Schedule: for your convenience, the following information is also available in a printer friendly PDF format.

WEST – Wednesday, Sep. 23, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hosted by: London CDSB (519) 663-2088
5200 Wellington Rd. S., London N6E 3X8

NORTH EAST – Saturday, Sep. 26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hosted by: Sudbury CDSB (705) 673-5620
165A D’Youville St.
Sudbury, P3C 5E7
A wine and cheese reception for delegates and spouses will be
held on the evening of Sep. 25 at the Radisson Hotel Sudbury.
Details to follow.

NORTH WEST – Friday, Oct. 2, 3-9 p.m.

Hosted by: Thunder Bay Diocesan Catholic School Trustees’ Association
Location: Da Vinci Centre, 340 Waterloo St. South
Thunder Bay, P7E 6H9

CENTRAL – Wednesday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hosted by: Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB
Location: Nicholas Mancini Centre (905) 525-2930 (x 2800)
44 Hunt St., Hamilton, L8R 3R1

EAST – Wednesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hosted by: Algonquin & Lakeshore CDSB (613) 354-2255
151 Dairy Avenue, Napanee, K7R 4B2

If you are unable to attend the meeting in your area you may register for a meeting in another region.

Register Now for Fall Regional Meetings

To register online, click here.

Labour Update: Tentative Agreement Reached

On August 25, OCSTA president, Kathy Burtnik and Labour Relations Committee Chair, Patrick Daly, reported to the membership that OCSTA, OECTA and the provincial government have reached a tentative agreement on central terms of the collective agreement.  The details of the tentative agreement and the process for ratification will be forthcoming.

See news release.

Negotiations continue with the unions representing the various education workers employed in Catholic schools and school board offices.

Trustee Professional Development Modules – Free for Members

Located in the “Good Governance” Centre of the OCSTA website are 15 online learning modules available free of charge to OCSTA members. These modules include video, informative slides, articles and automated testing mechanisms to facilitate self directed learning on the following topics:

  1. Authentic Governance Through Ethical Leadership
  2. Authentic Governance for Student Achievement – Boards Matter!
  3. Right from the Start: Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Common Ground, Common Purpose, Relationships in Boards
  5. Performance Review: a) Director of Education; b) Board Self Assessment and Governance Performance
  6. Multi-year Strategic Planning
  7. Exercising Authentic Governance: The School Board’s Role as Policymaker
  8. Conflict: Managing it Creatively
  9. Family and Community Engagement
  10. Advocacy; Engaging the Public
  11. Some Legal Aspects of Governance; Conflict of Interest & Judicial Proceedings
  12. Running Effective Meetings
  13. Finance
  14. Human Resources
  15. Issues in Catholic Education

To access this area you will need your OCSTA user ID and password – please contact Camille Martin at OCSTA (416-932-9460, ext. 234) for that information.  For detailed instructions on using the Governance Centre please click here.

OCSTA in the News

From the Toronto Star (August 25, 2015)

Catholic teachers, school boards, reach tentative deal

OECTA union suspends threat of work-to-rule campaign for upcoming school year.

Ontario’s English Catholic school boards and their teachers reached a tentative contract overnight that prompted the union to suspend a sweeping work-to-rule campaign that had threatened to disrupt the start of the school year for 545,000 students.

It is the second teachers’ union to reach an 11th-hour agreement with school boards and the province with just weeks to go before classes begin.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation struck an early morning deal last week that kept class sizes as they are and gave teachers a modest salary hike.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario returns to bargaining Sept. 1.

French-language teachers’ unions and CUPE, which represents 55,000 support staff across the province, both continue to bargain this week with the province and school boards.

Although details of the Catholic teachers’ agreement are not being released until the contract is ratified by both sides, Education Minister Liz Sandals said the deal was consistent with the province’s “net-zero bargaining framework,” in which any raise must be paid for from funds somewhere else in the contract.

It is expected the deal will be similar to that of the high school teachers’ union, which provided an additional professional development day, no changes to class size as well as a 1 per cent lump sum payment this year, and a 1.5 per cent salary increase over the following year.

Control over teachers’ prep time was also a key issue in the Catholic teachers’ negotiations. Hints of a breakthrough in the talks came late Monday night over Twitter, after a tweet announcing a deal was quickly deleted.

“We worked hard to address the concerns of our members and believe this agreement will protect them as well as the quality of education in our schools,” said Ann Hawkins, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, or OECTA.

Kathy Burtnik, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’Association, noted “working within the fiscal restraints of the current bargaining framework was challenging, but surmountable with the concerted efforts of all parties.”

Sandals called the deal the “result of hard work and the willingness of all parties to resolve difficult issues prior to the start of the school year.”

In recent days, OECTA had turned up the pressure, launching a website calledteachersmatter.ca that spelled out the issues it felt stood as barriers to a deal. OECTA’sthreatened work-to-rule campaign was by far the most sweeping of all the unions, with teachers participating in virtually no activities outside the classroom.

Main issues for the province’s Catholic teachers’ union:

  • Full-day kindergarten: Opposes a government proposal to allow early childhood educators — who work alongside teachers in kindergarten classrooms — to be removed for short time periods to other areas in the school where needed.
  • Prep time: Opposes a proposal to give principals the power to tell teachers how to use their prep time, says best for teachers to use their own professional judgment. Boards argue principals or boards may have priorities (i.e. a math focus) that would be best served by them directing what teachers do during their prep time.
  • Diagnostic testing: Opposes move that would take away teachers’ power to decide what diagnostic tests are given to their students to assess reading and other areas. The union says they provide little value, but boards have said they need consistency in testing from year-to-year to properly monitor student progress.
  • Hiring regulations: Wants to keep a regulation that forces principals to hire from among the five most senior supply teachers for long-term jobs and permanent jobs, saying it curbs nepotism and ensures fairness. Boards argue principals need to hire the best candidate for the job, not the one who has been on the supply list the longest.
  • Salary: Seeking an unspecified pay increase after salaries frozen in last contract.