I’m not really much of a political person, but since the Catholic teachers’ union executive has settled with the government, I’ve been paying attention. To be honest, I don’t like the deal. As a so-called “younger teacher,” (a term which I find demeaning) I’m concerned about the future. I’m worried about the pay cut and the rumored extension of the pay grid.

Regardless of how this plays out, one thing I’m really concerned about is how we are treating each other. Yesterday I read some absolutely awful tweets about the Catholic teachers and I really feel that kind of animosity is uncalled for and unprofessional. These actions are really not earning us any sympathy from the public and I am worried that we are just playing into the government’s hand by expressing these negative thoughts through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

I’m not trying to be up on a soap box, but I think we need to show compassion for the teachers in the Catholic union as I’m sure there are some members who aren’t happy with their union at the moment. We need to remember that they are our colleagues and friends too.

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17 thoughts on “OECTA Deal

  1. We don’t need sympathy, we need solidarity. This “deal” would have been around in 6 months from now, or longer. Why race to the bottom? I’m not angry with Catholic teachers at all. I think this is a great opportunity for them to vote NO for this agreement and fire their union exective.

    1. I agree with you. The deal is demoralizing and undermines the teaching profession. Their union did not stand up for their teachers and were simply bullied over by the government.

      Everyone seems to forget the E-HEALTH scandal and the millions of dollars that were “stolen” from taxpayers. Those millions would have helped to provide some benefits for teachers!

      Instead, there was no accountability-no one was held accountable for the millions that were lost!? Yet, teachers among others have to bear the burden.

  2. This deal is brutal…I can’t believe that the members of this union did not know that this was in the works…it seems as though the members of other unions knew about it. At least the OSSTF, ETFO and Cupe are willing to fight against a pay cut!! And an extension of the grid-which would mean future pay cuts…

    1. There was an email that a deal was in the works but OECTA quickly responded saying there was no deal and they were still negotiating. We had no clue what was being done and anyone I have spoken to are furious about it and there is no vote to ratify! if there was guaranteed it would not pass. I am one of those teachers who uses my days responsibly just incase I need them in the future not that I couldn’t have taken a few more days- trust me! Most jobs have incentives and bonuses i don’t even need to get started on that but our retirement payout works out to be what $1200/year for having those days left. Not a lot in my books i probably spend 1/4 of that every year on my students and my classroom! We got a seriously bad deal! Why is it the responsibility of the teachers(and the doctors) to make up for all the government errors in spending. We are the ones spending so much time with the children of the future not just teaching them curriculum but how to grow and become themselves.

  3. I agree, OECTA members can send an amazingly strong message to this government by saying not only do we reject your decision to poison the profession for years to come (I have seen the effect this has on all the volunteerism that teachers, especially energetic young teachers, give every day) but we reject this government AND in turn we reject our union. THAT would spearhead a message for all teachers in ONTARIO regardless of their affiliation! Vote NO OECTA!

  4. Jamie, you’re dead on with your feelings. Colleagues need to be concerned about other colleagues regardless of what system they’re in. The English teacher down the street is in the same boat. It’s the process that I think people need to be concerned about.

  5. Hi Jamie, not quite sure why you would find “younger” demeaning – just try out “older” for a bit. In my letter to the premier, I outlined several parts of the “suggested” provincial agreement which are unfair, but none more so than withholding increments from “younger” teachers (maybe you like “less experienced” better?). We will see how this plays out, but on the face of it, OECTA seemed to be able to soften some of the worst parts of an agreement that the government seems quite willing to legislate into effect. As a Collective Bargaining Secretary from the Rae Days, I can tell you it is a very dicey situation when a gun is put to your head and the best you can do is to suggest a different body part to have shot. Or do you think that two weeks around a barrel outside the school in late October might yield a different result than it did in 1997?

    1. Thanks for your comment. The reason I don’t like the term “younger teachers” is because it furthers subdivides us into two different groups and has the potential to create animosity. We are all just teachers. Some of us are still on the grid and some of us are at max pay but at the end of the day, we are all teachers and that’s my point. I may be debating semantics, but it’s something that’s important to me.

      The other part of the comment that I want to discuss is the idea of the other options. To be honest, I don’t know what the answer is and I really don’t want to go out on strike as I also think that’s what the government wants since it would save them a lot of money.

  6. Sorry folks, we won’t be voting for this PDT Agreement. Our union presidents’ will. It will be an astounding yes! As unfortunate as it may seem, we have no say. Personally, I believe as we struck a deal very quickly in order to save our image as a publicly funding system. Playing the government favourite this time around helps keep Catholic school funding afloat, and in the public eye we look favourable to economists and others. Kudos to OECTA for making a deal that THEY feel is MY best interest.

  7. OECTA slapped every Catholic teacher/member across the face with this deal. Now, sore and red with embarrassment, we need to suffer the consequences of this poor thought out deal. It begs the question, why is “our” union sleeping with the government? Here’s a thought! I could save even more money [since now I will have a two year wage freeze], by not paying my union fees! Apparently, those fees are paying for nothing but backstabbing backdoor deals!

  8. There was an email that a deal was in the works but OECTA quickly responded saying there was no deal and they were still negotiating. We had no clue what was being done and anyone I have spoken to are furious about it and there is no vote to ratify! if there was guaranteed it would not pass. I am one of those teachers who uses my days responsibly just incase I need them in the future not that I couldn’t have taken a few more days- trust me! Most jobs have incentives and bonuses i don’t even need to get started on that but our retirement payout works out to be what $1200/year for having those days left. Not a lot in my books i probably spend 1/4 of that every year on my students and my classroom! We got a seriously bad deal! Why is it the responsibility of the teachers(and the doctors) to make up for all the government errors in spending. We are the ones spending so much time with the children of the future not just teaching them curriculum but how to grow and become themselves. How much is that worth? Clearly less in the next couple of year…

  9. This hurts your members reputation. Sorry that you get blanketed by ill thinking executives. You need to ask why you don’t get a say.

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