Your Collective Agreement
As an employee of a district school board or school authority and as a member of your ETFO local, you are covered by the terms of a collective agreement. That agreement is negotiated between the union and your board and contains a number of provisions outlining your rights as an employee. Although your salary and benefits may seem the most obvious and important to you right now, your agreement also contains clauses on working conditions such as class size and preparation time, leave provisions, seniority, transfer, probationary period, evaluation procedures, and much more.
As an employee it is particularly important to know what your collective agreement says about performance appraisal, resignation and termination dates, length of probationary period, rights of the board to impose disciplinary action, and access to your personnel file. In short, make sure you have a copy of your collective agreement handy and get to know what’s in it!
Our Collective Agreement between Avon Maitland District School Board-Occasional Teacher’s Local and the Avon Maitland District School Board is now posted on The Core under HR Services and Collective Agreements.
The Grievance Procedure
The terms of your collective agreement are legally binding upon you, the union, and your employer, and are enforceable under law. If you think your employer has violated the terms of the agreement, you or the union may have recourse to a grievance. The grievance procedure is a process for resolving differences arising from the application or interpretation of your collective agreement. It provides an opportunity to resolve differences at the local level. If there is no satisfactory conclusion, the parties have access to arbitration, a procedure where a neutral third party hears the arguments and renders a final and binding decision.
Assistance from ETFO
ETFO is the bargaining agent for all ETFO bargaining units. ETFO collective bargaining staff provide direct assistance to your local, as well as all other locals, to help you achieve and maintain strong collective agreements. They provide assistance with:
- preparation of preliminary proposals for improvements to your collective agreement,
- ongoing advice on strategies and bargaining positions,
- direct bargaining in the event of an impasse,
- training of local presidents and negotiators at regional and provincial conferences,
- assistance in contract enforcement including the processing of grievances,
- access to legal advice through staff, and
- production of resource documents, statistical and clausal analyses, agreement summaries, trends in negotiations, and other materials relevant to bargaining.