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Bill 115

The Ontario Legislature passed Bill 115, Putting Students First Act in September 2012. There has been considerable media attention on the Act and the impact of the legislation.

 

  • In September, the government passed a new law called the Putting Students First Act. Under that Act, the province gave local boards until 31 December 2012 to negotiate a local agreement the Act made it clear that a local agreement had to be "substantively identical" to the terms of an agreement negotiated between the province and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA). The province has only provided the funding based on the terms of the OECTA agreement. The OCDSB has been and continues to work towards negotiating a local agreement.

  • The terms of the OECTA agreement are:

    • Compensation freeze for the period of 01 September 2012 to 31 August 2014;
    • Deferred grid movement effective on the 97th day of the school year, to recognize experience and qualifications;
    • A restructured sick leave plan to provide up to 10 days of sick leave at 100%, followed by 120 day short term disability plan;
    • Elimination of the retirement gratuity plan; grandparented for current employees with a vested entitlement based on August 31, 2012 calculation.
     

The Board of Trustees has passed a motion asking the province to rescind Bill 115 and has directed staff to continue with local negotiations and to interpret ‘substantively identical’ to mean ‘financially equivalent’. Staff has been working to negotiate an agreement within the parameters of Bill 115. Notwithstanding those concerns, the Act is law and we are required to work within the law.

The Act also grants the Minister the authority to order the return to work of employees who are on strike or who have been locked out.

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