Rainy River District School Board

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Labour Relations

OSSTF

Board released the following press release October 14, 2016

Rainy River District School Board reaches tentative agreement with OSSTF District 5B–Occasional Teachers

On October 12, 2016, the Rainy River District School Board reached a tentative agreement at the local level with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) 5B occasional teachers. This new agreement will be in effect from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2017.

Ratification of the agreement by both parties will be completed in November, and will mark the successful completion of this round of bargaining with all unions of the Rainy River District School Board.

Further details will be provided post-ratification.


Board released the following press release September 7, 2016

RAINY RIVER DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD AND OSSTF RATIFY COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

Fort Frances – The Rainy River District School Board and OSSTF, the union representing secondary school teachers have each ratified the 3 year collective bargaining agreement that was reached on August 25, 2016.

"Our OSSTF members overwhelmingly ratified this collective agreement and all classes and extra-curricular activities have been uninterrupted since classes resumed," said Kent Kowalski, President of OSSTF/FEESO District 5B, Rainy River Secondary Teachers. "This was a difficult round of bargaining and we were pleased to recommend this agreement to our members."

"Our teachers play a very important role in the day-to-day lives of our students," said Dianne McCormack, Rainy River District School Board Chair. "We are pleased that a collective agreement has been ratified by both

Board released the following press release August 29 2016

RAINY RIVER DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD AND OSSTF REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
Fort Frances – The Rainy River District School Board and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers have reached a negotiated tentative agreement. Ratification votes will be completed by Tuesday September 6, 2016.
With this tentative agreement, all classes and extra-curricular activities will proceed uninterrupted when classes resume.
Further details will be provided post-ratification.

Board released the following statement today, August 23, 2016

OSSTF refuses to take last offer to a membership vote

Last week, the Rainy River District School Board asked OSSTF to allow its members to vote on the Board’s last offer to settle the local terms of its collective agreement with its high school teachers.  OSSTF is the union representing the Board’s secondary school teachers. The union’s bargaining committee has refused to allow its members to vote on the offer.

The main provisions of the collective agreement were settled last fall in central negotiations between the province and the union. When the local terms are resolved, the Board can implement a lump sum retroactive payment to teachers for the 2015-2016 school year and a further 1% wage increase in wages that would be effective September 1, 2016.

The Board and the local OSSTF have been engaged in collective bargaining for the last 16 months. On January 19, 2016, in an effort to reach a settlement, the Board removed all of its proposals from the negotiations table. The only issues remaining are ones raised by the union. The Board’s last offer addresses each of the union’s concerns.  It is unclear why the union is preventing the teachers from voting.

Among the issues addressed by the Board’s proposal is the placement of redundant teachers.  The union wants redundant teachers placed in temporary positions until permanent positions become available.  The Board has agreed to such access in principle. It is confident that all existing permanent teachers will be placed this fall, with minimal disruption to students and staff.

However, the union is insisting, going forward, that re-timetabling of schools must occur where necessary to allow such placements.  The Board believes that this could have a negative impact on a considerable number of students and teachers.  Teachers who are normally scheduled to teach specific subjects could potentially be moved to other areas to accommodate the temporary vacancy being filled, thereby disrupting the existing teacher cohort and the continuity of classroom delivery for the students.

No current provision in the collective agreement grants this right, and no other OSSTF agreement in Ontario reflects the particular arrangement under discussion.  It is therefore very difficult to anticipate the full impact this arrangement would have, if implemented. Because this is a new concept, the Board has proposed that the arrangement expire at the end of the collective agreement to allow the parties to consider their experience and revisit the issue in the next round of bargaining beginning in early 2017.  Either party will be able to propose language they think suitable at that time. 

In its statements to the media, the union has suggested that the Board’s proposal was intended to prevent the union from discussing access to work for redundant teachers in future rounds of negotiations.  This statement is incorrect. Both parties always maintain the right to freely bargain any aspect of the collective agreement in future negotiations.

The Board thinks it has found a reasonable compromise on the issues and hopes that the union will reconsider its position, allowing the teachers to vote on the offer. The Board is available to meet with the union to clarify any misunderstanding concerning the offer.

As the school year approaches, our students and their families are best served by a Board and teachers who have a collective agreement in place. 

Update - August 16, 2016

Earlier today, the Board issued the following statement regarding collective bargaining with our secondary teachers.

In an effort to resolve the current labour disruption, The Board has requested that the union take the Board’s final offer to the membership for a vote before the school year begins.

The Rainy River District School Board and OSSTF, the union representing our secondary school teachers, have been engaged in collective bargaining for the last 16 months. On January 19, 2016, in an effort to reach a settlement, the Board removed all of its proposals.  Since then, the Board has made many proposals to address each of the union’s concerns. The only demands now under discussion are the union’s demands. 

Over the course of the last school year, the union has engaged in rotating one day strikes, has refused to participate in graduation, and has now taken steps to cancel extra-curricular activities.  The Board believes that our students and their families are best served when there is stability in the classroom, as opposed to cancelled extra-curricular activities and threats of further job action.

In an effort to arrive at a negotiated collective agreement in May, the Board reached out to the lead mediator for the province for assistance with negotiations.

While the parties have reached agreement on a majority of issues, key issues still remain outstanding. The union is proposing that teachers declared redundant shall be placed in vacant temporary positions until permanent positions become available.  While the Board has agreed to such access in principle, the OSSTF continues to insist that re-timetabling of schools must occur where necessary to allow such placements. 

The union is also proposing that all disciplinary sanctions, however serious, will be removed from the teacher’s record after two years except for disciplinary suspensions of more than 4 days concerning a limited number of matters. The Board is willing to accept a clause but strongly believes that issues related to harassment or violence, and matters related to physical, emotional or psychological harm to students or employees of the Board should remain on file in case such incidents arise again. 

The Board believes its offer to the union is very fair to our teachers. We hope that a vote will resolve the issues.

As the school year approaches, our students and their families are best served by a Board and teachers who have a collective agreement in place. 

Press Release and Letter to Parents - August 16, 2016

The RRDSB requests the union take latest offer to membership vote.
Letter to Parents

Important Update on exams & graduation ceremonies - June 16, 2016

Exams:
We value our students' well-being, and have responded to the decrease in the number of exam days due to strike action occurring on June 17 and 20, 2016.
Exam schedules have been reworked and are available on each school's website, and on Board website. Click here for a list of all school schedules.
Grade 12 students will not be negatively impacted by their exams; in other words, if they write and their mark decreases, then the exam will not count. This is due to the fact that Grade 12s are having to now write within a condensed schedule, with many having to write 4 exams within 2 days.

Graduations:
Graduation ceremonies will be occurring and will be as close to how they have occurred as in the past. Students who are graduating will receive a diploma. 
All known awards, scholarships, and bursaries will be presented. There may be some awards that may not be presented due to the tight turnaround. As well, there are often times that we do not learn about the successful recipient of a scholarship or bursary until after the ceremony. 
Chem Free Grad parties will continue as planned.

 

Secondary School Parent Notice - June 14, 2016

High schools closed to Grades 9 to 12 students on June 17 and June 20, 2016.
Exams rescheduled.

The OSSTF provincial President has advised the Rainy River District School Board that strike days by high school teachers will take place on Friday, June 17 and Monday June 20, 2016. Exams that were planned for these dates will be rescheduled and high schools will be closed to Grades 9 to 12 students on both Friday, June 17 and Monday, June 20, 2016. Details regarding the rescheduling of exams will be shared as soon as this information is available.

 

 

Director of Education letters to staff

RRDSB letter to OSSTF Teachers dated June 10, 2016
      RRDSB letter to OSSTF Teachers dated June 10, 2016 - Appendix A
RRDSB letter to staff dated April 22, 2016

April and May 2016 press releases, and parent notices

Collective Bargaining update June 1, 2016
Secondary school parent notice dated June 3, 2016
Secondary school parent notice dated May 30, 2016
Collective Bargaining update May 26, 2016
Secondary school parent notice dated May 24, 2016
Secondary school parent notice dated May 13, 2016
Secondary school parent notice dated May 9, 2016
RRDSB Chair’s open letter dated May 6, 2016
RRDSB Vice Chair Statement at Board Meeting, May 3, 2016
RRDSB media release dated April 29, 2016
RRDSB media release dated April 25, 2016, Board response to OSSTF strike action
RRDSB media release dated April 25, 2016, announcing OSSTF strike action
RRDSB media release dated April 19, 2016

Previous OSSTF updates
Secondary school parent notice dated March 11, 2016
Secondary school parent notice dated February 11, 2016
RRDSB media release dated January 20, 2016
RRDSB media release dated December 3, 2015
OPSBA media release dated September 18, 2015
Secondary school parent notice dated August 20, 2015


Other previous labour updates to RRDSB families

ETFO
RRDSB announces ratified tentative agreements with ETFO District Local & ETFO OT
Elementary school parent notice dated November 19, 2015
Ontario Public School Boards' Association media release dated November 13, 2015
Ontario Public School Boards' Association media release dated November 2, 2015
Elementary school parent notice dated October 26, 2015
Elementary school parent notice dated October 22, 2015
Elementary school parent notice dated October 14, 2015
Elementary school parent notice dated September 21, 2015
Elementary school parent letter dated August 28, 2015
Elementary school parent letter dated June 15, 2015
Elementary school parent letter dated May 15, 2015
Elementary school parent letter dated May 5, 2015

ETFO_ESP
 RRDSB media release dated April 21, 2016
RRDSB media release dated April 19, 2016

CUPE
RRDSB announces a ratified agreement with Local 65 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
All school parent notice dated November 2, 2015
All school parent notice dated September 29, 2015
All school parent notice dated September 10, 2015