In Camera meeting before public meeting. Operations Policy and Planning Committee : Chair Leonard Absent: McEvoy 1. Approval of Agenda: Adopted, with additions at 4 Presentations: Kirk Doherty representing the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, and Rob Paynter, parent. 2. Approval of Minutes: A. Minutes Combined Education Policy and OPPS December 2, 2013: Approved. 3. Business Arising From Minutes: None 4. Presentations: (5 minutes each) A. Kirk Doherty, GVTA: Attendance Awareness Program
- Have taken an average of 6.9 sick days per year since 1990
- References to a “culture of entitlement” on the part of teachers are most offensive.
- The Collective Agreement states that teachers earn 1.5 sick days per month. If this is an employment issue it should be at the bargaining table.
- References to an attendance management program “increasing morale”: this will not increase morale. It will do the opposite. There are many other ways to improve morale. Teachers never complain about a colleague’s absence
- This program is promoted as “increasing productivity”. Why then is the Six Year Graduation Rate the highest ever, if there is an issue with “productivity”? What does that say about “productivity”? Teachers are not factory workers; there is no measurable “drop in productivity” if a teacher is absent. If a teacher is absent a fully qualified teacher teaching on call replaces the teacher. Work is not left undone or pushed onto co-workers.
- Meetings and “conversations” about use of sick days will be treated as requiring a union released officer present which usually brings a response from the District in the form or the presence of personnel from HR who come to the school for the meeting. There is an agreed upon process for investigation of teachers if an administrator thinks a teacher is “gaming the system”. It includes the protocol agreement of February 2010.
- The $100,000 cost for hiring another senior administrator to administrate this program could be better used in other ways: to address issues of class size and composition? To lessen marking loads? As a Humanities teacher my marking load is tremendous. A former administrator suggested I use a sick day now and then to deal with marking.
Nurses get 18 sick days a year. The BC Nurses’ Union responded to attendance management proposals in 2012 with advice to their members here.
B. Rob Paynter, parent : Worksafe and extracurricular sports
- Mr. Paynter: After 2010 impromptu and extracurricular sports that involved teachers were not considered by Worksafe to be within their scope. What about considering a Policy to include them in Worksafe? Human Resources could review the last five years of records to analyze any injuries associated with the impromptu / extracurricular activities and estimate potential costs involved with covering staff. Suggestion for a one year initial Policy. This situation seems like a small risk vs great opportunities to develop community.
- Orcherton: How would these activities be situated in Worksafe for coverage?
- Paynter: Make them within the scope of a teacher’s work.
- Orcherton: Worksafe sets those parameters. If someone is sick they access sick benefits, not Worksafe.
- McNally: If impromptu extracurricular sports are considered to be within a teacher’s work then that teacher a can be ordered to do that work. That would not be in the spirit of or definition of a volunteer activity..