Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board Implements Negotiated Teacher Deal
McGuinty Government Encourages Other School Boards To Take Similar Action
Parents of students in the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board will be assured that classes will not be disrupted by labour action, following a decision of the board to put students first.
Yesterday, the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board -- which serves more than 4,000 students -- passed a motion indicating its intention to sign on to the memorandum of understanding reached between the Ministry of Education and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA). Once signed, this locally bargained agreement will protect the classroom experience while meeting the board's fiscal targets.
Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board is the fourth school board to implement the agreement reached between the Ministry of Education and OECTA. The agreement was the result of difficult discussions over several months at the Provincial Discussion Table designed to allow teacher unions to work with the province toward shared fiscal goals.
This agreement will prevent the automatic rollover of teacher contracts that are set to expire on Aug. 31, 2012. An automatic rollover would lead to salary increases of 5.5 per cent for many teachers and result in the accumulation of two million more teacher sick days provincewide that could be cashed out at retirement.
The leadership the school board has demonstrated will prevent the board from incurring an additional $222,000 in costs associated with the rollover of the salary grid. This means that the board will be able to balance its budget and continue to enrich the classroom experience for students.
The Ontario government urges all other boards in the province to take similar action. After six months of discussions, boards have just over one week to work with their local bargaining units to sign local agreements consistent with the OECTA memorandum of understanding. As the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board has demonstrated, along with the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic, York Catholic and Toronto Catholic district school boards, it is possible to get approval from local trustees before the start of the school year.
- The memorandum will have a positive impact on boards seeking to manage their budgets through very tough economic times. Those fiscal elements include:
- Zero per cent salary increases in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
- All teachers will take a 1.5 per cent pay cut in the form of three unpaid professional development days so that younger teachers can continue to move through the grid for their experience and additional qualifications.
- Elimination of the current retirement gratuity for payment of unused sick days.
- A restructured short-term sick leave plan that would include up to 10 sick days, benefiting teachers by providing income protection for serious illness.
“Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board is clearly committed to putting students first. I look forward to other boards across Ontario showing a similar commitment and doing what is right for the students, parents, and communities they serve.”