As indicated in the last information bulletin, negotiations are presently on hold.
Settlement has not been reached. Despite nearly two months of intensive
talks from late August to mid-October, too little progress has been made. The
minimal requirements for an acceptable settlement were just not there. The tables
eventually broke on October 13th because the government refused to come through on a very limited number of issues
… issues that are highly significant to us.
The main items yet to be resolved are:
The government’s offer on article 8-9.00 is still vague at this point.
The clauses we have received at the English negotiating table are unworkable in their present form.
- They do NOT outline the triggering mechanism for services.
- They do NOT provide for a clear and simple form to initiate the
demand for the services.
- They do NOT make clear the powers of the special services committee
at the school level.
- They do NOT make clear the powers or process of the school board
parity committee on special needs.
- They do NOT mandate a provincial committee to effectively monitor
- They do NOT clarify how a portrait of the school boards’
existing spending on special needs (Year Zero) will be obtained and verified by the local unions.
- Finally, they do make clear that only the process, vague as it
is presently, will be arbitral. This means that the content of unpalatable decisions will not be subject to grievance unless
they violate the as yet unclear process.
We have managed to retain coding for students in these important areas: physically and intellectually handicapped,
behavioral and severe behavioral difficulties.
A new special education model, which is essentially a “hybrid” of the old and the new, may well be workable
and present a practical solution to some of the many problems teachers are now experiencing if the following conditions are
- financing is adequate and guaranteed;
- the procedures are well defined and workable;
- the definitions of special needs students are well defined;
- a clear triggering mechanism and a simple form are provided;
- teachers and unions are granted a decisional role in the process;
- a verifiable mechanism for ensuring services follow students from
year to year is provided.
Mobility of Teachers on Availability
The government is still insisting on the right to transfer teachers up to hundreds of kilometers beyond the current
50 km limit.
An absolute requirement of the government’s offer is that teachers on temporary disability leave be subject,
when unable to teach but otherwise employable, to temporary transfers within the school or board. This not only breaches our
disability insurance regulations but could also lead to conflict with the unions of other school board staff.
The salary offer remains at a mere 8% over a six year nine month period. The first two years of the contract would
be at ZERO %. We expect at least the cost of living to be covered and are asking
for a reasonable 12.5% over the six year period.
The QPAT negotiating team, Executive and Board of Directors, unanimously recommend rejection
of the entire government offer. An unequivocal message to the government is essential at this critical time.