Paroian report on school board/teacher bargaining released

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In a report released November 1, 1996, and submitted to Ontario Minister of Education John Snobelen, lawyer Leon Paroian makes some 14 recommendations for overhauling the collective bargaining regime in the province’s education sector. Among these is a recommendation that Bill 100, the legislation governing school board/teacher bargaining, be scrapped and that a new part be added to the Labour Relations Act to serve as the framework for negotiations.

Other recommendations include:

  • revising the Education Act to more completely define teachers’ duties and hours of work;

  • adopting regional bargaining between the parties;

  • repealing the provisions for statutory contracts in the regulations under the Education Act;

  • including deemed just cause provisions in collective agreements, and eliminating boards of reference;

  • including occasional teachers in the same bargaining units as other teachers, and excluding principals and vice-principals from those units, unless it is established that they do not exercise managerial functions;

  • defining by statute school boards’ non-negotiable management rights;

  • recasting the time lines for negotiations of collective agreements along the same lines as those contained in the Labour Relations Act;

  • providing conciliation and mediation services, as opposed to fact finding, as the best way to assist the parties in reaching an agreement;

  • banning strikes and lock-outs and using mandatory arbitration through an independent “arbitration court” or, alternatively, adopting the definition of “strike” in the Labour Relations Act and confirming that teachers cannot receive pay during a strike, thereby effectively ending the practice of work-to-rule;

  • allowing the parties to refer outstanding issues to binding arbitration or, alternatively, enacting legislation to empower the Minister of Education to make orders delaying the commencement of a strike or lock-out, or terminating a strike or lock-out, on terms the Minister deems appropriate;

  • establishing an “arbitration court”, composed of members independent of the parties, to decide interest and grievance arbitrations; adopting the procedures for expedited arbitration contained in the Labour Relations Act; and

  • disbanding the Education Relations Commission and transferring its statistical data section to the Ministry of Education or the Labour Relations Board.
(For a more detailed description of the Paroian report, see “Regional collective bargaining, restrictions on teachers’ strikes urged in Bill 100 review” on our What’s New page).