The Educational Support Staff met with the Board this past week and there are a number of issues outstanding before we can finalize a document that looks like a Collective Agreement. I estimate that it will take a month (if not more) to have a document that can be printed for members because of the complexity of merging language from the central agreement into our local agreement that forms one document.
Disclaimer- OSSTF disputes the implementation of the Program, however the Board is moving forward despite the many and varied concerns OSSTF are trying to address. So please read the following information carefully and call the Federation office should you have any questions.
On Friday, the Board notified the Federation of the names of those members that will enter into the attendance management program. The board has entered any member with over 11 days of absence in the last 12 months into the attendance management program. So, if you have had more than 11 absences (see below which absences are not included in the 11) from November 2014-December 31, 2015 you will enter into the program. Initially, the board will meet with members with 17 absences or more, and then later in the year, meet with those members that have greater than 11.
Over the next week or so, members can expect that your principal will call you into an initial meeting and ask about ways to support improved attendance over the next few months. You should contact the Federation office for advice and support prior to meeting with your administrator.
I will attempt to explain Attendance Management programs and how employers use them and information that you should be made aware of prior to entering a meeting with your principal.
In general Attendance Management Programs include:
- establishing levels of absenteeism that if exceeded place employees on and advance them through the various stages of the Program (GECDSB Overall Threshold is 11 days)
- provide various stages that employees will advance through the program.
- Employees are issued non-disciplinary warnings at each stage that if their attendance does not improve it may result in the dismissal
AMPs are not on their face a breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, such Programs must comply with the Code’s obligation to accommodate disabled employees to the point of undue hardship.
The employer cannot rely on disability related absences unless it has accommodated the employee up to the point of undue hardship
Culpable Absenteeism is defined as an employee that has been absent without medical or other justification
Innocent Absenteeism is defined as an absence that is due to factors beyond the employee’s control such as: illness or injury, or disability as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code Under these circumstances the employee is not blameworthy therefore disciplinary action is inappropriate
- There is less protection from dismissal where absence is of the short term, intermittent type or where there is no single cause for absenteeism which could be accommodated
- There is greater protection from dismissal if part or all of the absences are attributable to a disability.
ABSENCES THAT SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE AMP
• Medical Officer Of Health/Public Health Agency Directives
• WSIB/LTD absences
• Documented chronic illness/disability – However, if an
employee is off work for a lengthy period of time with no
reasonable prospect of returning to work then employer could
move to dismiss them for innocent absenteeism
• Scheduled surgery
• Approved collective agreement leaves such as those approved leaves under Article 19
and parental/pregnancy leave
• Statutory leave days such as compassionate leave and emergency leave
- You have a right to Union Representation at each stage for the AMP
- Non-disciplinary letters of counselling are provided at each stage
- Employee may be removed from the program if his or her absenteeism drops below the established threshold or the goals have been met at each Coaching Phase of the AMP
- Final step is often dismissal for innocent absenteeism
In summary, use the days provided for in Article 19-Approved Leaves, call in sick when you are sick, and call the Federation office for support and advice.
BRAG on the BLOG
- Visuals & Classroom Activities
- Symbol Cards for Communication
- Custom Games like Bingo
- AAC Templates & Overlays
- Articles with great ideas on how to use the materials
- A “personal tab” which holds a tray of collections for future use, a copy of all materials made, recent searches, and pictures that have been uploaded.
Canada’s health and safety laws have more clout today, following a landmark court ruling in Ontario that saw, for the first time, a manager held criminally responsible and sentenced to prison for actions that resulted in the deaths of four workers under his watch.
Unions worked for years to convince the government of Canada to change the criminal code, so employers who endanger the health and safety of workers would face such a penalty. Inspired by the 1992 explosion and collapse of the Westray mine that killed 26 men, the decade-long campaign to change the law succeeded in 2004.
The Canadian Labour Congress welcomed the Ontario court’s ruling, saying it sends a strong message to employers as well as the managers and supervisors beneath them.
“Employers have a responsibility to ensure safe workplaces and safe work practices. It’s a responsibility that unions have always taken very seriously, but having strong laws that courts are willing to enforce ensures that everyone’s health and safety is protected,” says CLC President Hassan Yussuff.
Unions have worked hard to ensure Canada has some of the strongest laws and regulations aimed at protecting workers from preventable injury, disease, and death. And unions are constantly working to make those laws better.
“Knowing the courts are willing to apply those laws, and hold people to account when they put others at risk, is very good news, even though it took what was a preventable tragedy to make the point. It makes the work that so many people in the labour movement do to make workplaces safer and healthier worth the effort, although we take no joy in seeing someone go to jail. Nor can we forget that four men lost their lives and four families lost a loved one. May they rest in peace,” said Yussuff.