Algoma Occasional Teacher Local

Algoma Teacher Local

Struggles into Successes

The Algoma District School Board and the Algoma Teacher Local have begun building bridges that have resulted in some successes for our membership! The Board has traditionally been very difficult to deal with, however in recent years, good changes have been happening with a new director and administrative team. New Board players in combination with effective union leadership has contributed greatly to a partnership of greater respect, effective communication and win/win solutions. One major issue has been several denied leaves, especially if union related. The fact that I myself was even approved for union school this year is a local victory! The Board denied many leaves with the rationale that they wanted teachers in their classrooms. Of course, there was no issue if teachers were involved in multiple days away for Ministry Initiatives or PLCs. The PLC process and members receiving their schedule preparation time is another example of the Board and the union working together, compromising and seeking out a win/win solution. After lengthy discussions with the Board, principals now must not schedule any division meetings or PLCs during a member's prep time. Any missed time has to be given within twenty days. Lastly, Algoma Teacher Local did not have to take an unpaid day on March 7, 2014 until Bill 115. The director was willing to listen to our union president and together, they decided that our members would report to work and be paid. As this was not the case in many cities across Ontario, we were pleasantly surprised that our Board made this decision and it truly demonstrated the willingness to work together for win/win solutions. Approved leaves, honouring preparation time and a paid day on March 7 started the building of new bridges with the Algoma District School Board which will hopefully continue on for years to come!