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APPALACHIAN TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 18
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QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 1
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QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 12
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 13
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 14
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 15
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 16
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part One
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part Two
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part Three
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part Four
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section un)
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section deux)
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section trois)
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section quatre)
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 17
Modified Action Plan
Plan d'action modifié
November 14 Voting Results
QESBA Press Release
New Name for Ministry of Education
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Part Settlement, Part Decree

 

On Wednesday, December 14, 2005 union leaders and negotiating teams learned that the government had decided to terminate negotiations with a special law (Bill 142) to be passed the next day (Thursday, December 15, 2005).  The law would recognize only those sectorial agreements concluded previous to the legislation.  In the absence of agreement, the decree would stipulate working conditions, raising fears that all progress made during months of laborious negotiations might be lost.  The French and English teacher tables had been working diligently for weeks, but a number of issues were still outstanding. In a last all-out effort the negotiating teams at both tables met through the night and eventually came to an agreement on sectorial issues.

 

While this agreement in principle is not perfect, it is by far superior to the alternative provided by the decree.  Most of the gains we had made before the October 13, 2005 breakdown of the talks have reappeared, and the outstanding issues (like the 50 km mobility clause and recuperation at the elementary level) have been resolved to our satisfaction.

 

Intersectorial issues, which include salaries and other monetary items, are normally negotiated with the Treasury Board at a central table, as they apply not only to teachers but also to almost all other public and para-public workers.  The central table negotiations never occurred and consequently Bill 142 imposes our salary conditions.

 

The Decree

 

Salary and other monetary items (like pension plans, parental rights, insurance plans, regional disparities) are determined by the decree.  The salary “increases” imposed by Bill 142 are as follows:                                      

 

2003-2004       0%

2004-2005       0%

2005-2006       2% - April 2006

2006-2007       2% - April 2007

2007-2008       2% - April 2008

2008-2009       2% - April 2009

 

The decreed settlement for the other items is more or less in status quo.  Complete texts are still to come.  It is clear, however, that none of the proposed improvements of our demand have been retained.

 

 

The Agreement on Sectorial Issues

 

Here is a summary of the changes to the sectorial content as agreed to in principle on December 15, 2005.  All other areas remain in status quo.  The agreement would be in effect until March 31, 2010.

 

Special Education

 

An addition of new resources over three years ($90 M), divided into three specific envelopes:

·       1st envelope: for the hiring of 600 special education teachers at the elementary level.

·       2nd envelope: for the hiring of 600 teacher equivalents, with a maximum of 50% workload as resource teacher at the high school level.

·       3rd envelope: $30 M for technical or professional resources as direct service to special education students.

 

There is now an obligation by the school board to transmit to the teacher union all information concerning the above resources.

 

The setting up of two local level committees:

·       A teacher union and school board parity committee that will be given complete information on all resources concerning special education and that will have a key role in ensuring the equitable distribution of these resources amongst the schools.

·       A school level committee will be formed to determine the organization of services, given available resources (technicians, special education teachers, psychologists, etc.).

 

A fast track approach for services to students:

  • rapid access to available services;
  • support services can apply to the student or the teacher;
  • a simple, concise, useful form to request services;
  • access to the definitions of Appendix XX to determine specific difficulties.

Recognition and weighting of special needs students:  Students who have more persistent difficulties can still be referred to an ad hoc committee for possible identification and services within the definitions of Appendix XX.  Weighting of such students may occur for purposes of compensation.

           

1.       Students with severe behavioural difficulties (status quo):

·            identification in accordance with the present process;

·            services to the student;

·            support to the teacher and weighting.

 

2.       Handicapped students (status quo):

·            identification in accordance with the present process;

·            services to the student;

·            support to the teacher or weighting.

 

3.   Students with behavioural difficulties:

·            possibility of identification after 40 working days of observation;

·            support services and weighting.

 

4.   Students with learning difficulties:

·            possibility of identification;

·            support services or weighting.

 

Adult and Vocational Education

 

Adult Education:

  • Protection of the number of full time contracts existing on June 30, 2003.
  • Time allotted for pedagogical activities will increase from 12 to 24 hours.
  • Professional improvement: funding increases from $160 to $240 per teacher.
  • New measure providing direct services to 16-18 year old students with behavioural difficulties.
  • Protection of seniority when teacher changes from part-time to hourly-paid status.

Vocational Education:

  • Protection of the number of full time contracts existing on June 30, 2003.
  • Professional improvement: funding increases from $200 to $300 per teacher.
  • Protection of seniority when teacher changes from part-time to hourly-paid status.

Youth Sector

 

Class sizes at K and cycle I (presently reduced temporarily as per Appendix XIII): maintained at least until June 2010.

 

Oversize class compensation:  increased by 20%.

 

Professional improvement:  increased from $160 to $240.

 

End date of part-time contracts:  June 30 for all contracts of 100 or more days in the case of contracts to complete a school year.

 

Pay for substitute teachers replacing part-time teachers: on

scale after 20 days.

 

Seniority for part-time and by-the-lesson teachers:  24 months (rather than 12) without working before losing acquired seniority.

 

Kindergarten progressive entry:  guaranteed minimum of 2

days. 

 

Split or multi-grade classes:

·        There must be consultation with the local union.

·        There are improved class sizes when there are 3 levels in the class.

·        A budget is provided for materials/support.

·        Protocol clauses exclude kindergarten and limit the split to a single cycle.

·       A provincial committee to study the issue will be established.

 

All Sectors

 

Salary insurance benefits:  Increased from 70% to 75% of salary.

 

Qualification for new disability period:  Increased from 22 to 35 days for disability absences of 3 months or more.

 

Gradual return to work:  Increased flexibility to allow the possibility of modifying the timelines by agreement between teacher and school board.

 

Temporary assignment of a teacher on salary insurance:  With teacher agreement, possibility of a temporary assignment of no more than 12 weeks and within the general teacher functions.

 

Mandatory retraining:  In exchange for status quo on the 50 km limit for teachers on availability, these teachers can be required to retrain at board expense.

 

School-level arrangements on modified working conditions:

·        changes require teachers’ consensus;

·        limited number of topics subject to modification;

·        definition of “consensus” must be agreed to between the union and board.

 

Provincial-level advisory committee:  A provincial-level committee will be set up to find solutions to different issues as they arise.

 

What if there is No Agreement on Sectorial Issues?

 

If we choose to reject the agreement in principle on sectorial issues, Bill 142 decrees the working conditions that will be in effect until March 31, 2010.

 

The terms of the present collective agreement (i.e. status quo) would be extended with the following changes:

 

Mandatory retraining: Teachers on availability must participate in retrainng programs at the school board's request.  Failure to comply can lead to dismissal.

  

Student activities: The school principal, after consultation with the teacher, assigns the studnet activity to be carried out by the teacher.  Regular workday/workweek parameters can be extended to cover the student activity.

 

Arrangements on school-level issues:

·        changes require approval by 80% of teachers;

  •   limited number of topics subject to modification.

Special Education: School boards will receive extra financing for special education. 

  • $30 M for 2006-2007

  • $30 M for 2007-2008
  • $30 M for 2008-2009 

The school boards will have total control of these amounts and all other resources concerning special education.  No provincial-level, board-level or school-level committees will be set up for special education.  There is no obligation for the boards to transmit information to local unions.  There is no obligation for the boards to hire teachers with this funding.

 

Teachers can only ask for an ad hoc committee in the case of students who appear to have behavioural difficulties or severe behavioural difficulties.  Only these categories of special education students are subject to weighting and compensation.

 

For all teacher requests for support services, the principal decides on the level of service, if any, to be given.  There are no compulsory timelines.

 

Adult and Vocational Education

 

Adult Education:  Protection of the number of full time contracts existing on June 30, 1998.

 

Vocational Education: Protection of the number of full time contracts existing on June 30, 1998.

 

Conclusion

 

Despite the very difficult context of the last days of negotiations, we did in the end manage to maintain our acquired rights, make a few gains, and limit the employer’s appetite for clawbacks in several areas, thanks in no small part to the pressure tactics engaged in by QPAT members.

 

At the QPAT Board of Directors’ meeting held on December 15, 2005 the following motion was carried unanimously: the QPAT Board of Directors recommend acceptance of the proposed agreement-in-principle of our sectorial issues and that local unions be encouraged to hold general meetings as soon as possible in January to approve the proposed agreement of our sectorial issues.

 

In the weeks to come we will have more battles to fight.  Bill 142’s imposition of salary “increases” that are less than the cost of living is a formula for impoverishment and must be denounced. In concert with our traditional allies, we will have to find ways to best represent our members and to ensure that we can negotiate all our working conditions.  The key will again be our teamwork and our solidarity.

 

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in the Eastern Townships