Submitted by Erica Braunovan, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board trustee
As many of you will know by now, collective agreements for all of our union employees have expired and negotiations are underway to put new agreements in place. Labour negotiations move quickly at times, and more slowly at others, making them difficult to predict. A number of items that are being negotiated are done at a central provincial table, and our local board has limited influence over those negotiations. The centrally bargained issues include all financial decisions. In November, we received notice from many of our employee groups that they will be taking job action. For the most up-to-date information on job actions and the progress of negotiations, please visit http://www.OCDSB.ca. The website will be updated frequently as we navigate labour negotiations along with the provincial government and the Ontario Public School Board Association.
On Tuesday, November 19, trustees approved a plan to review the High Performance Athlete Program at John McCrae Secondary School, with a view to phase out the program. The rationale for phasing out the program is rooted in knowledge that high performance athletes are being supported in schools across our system, and as such the program at John McCrae is not required to serve these students. The debate held by the trustees can be viewed on our Youtube channel, and there is a link to the recording of the meeting through the posted agenda/minutes on the OCDSB.ca website. The review process will include public consultation, and I look forward to hearing from the Ottawa community regarding this issue.
The Board will hold its annual organizational meeting on Monday, December 2. At this meeting there will be an opportunity to select a new chair and vice chair, as well as budget committee chair and assign trustees to our various advisory committees. I will not be seeking support to continue to be the vice chair of the board. I have very much enjoyed serving in this capacity, but have had a number of significant changes in my personal life over the course of the past year, and do not feel that I am able to fulfill the demands of the role at this time. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues for their support, and am sure that the next vice chair will do a stellar job.
At our December 10 meeting, we will be discussing two reports on student learning and achievement. The Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellbeing (BIPSAW) and Annual Student Achievement Report (ASAR) are excellent reports that provide our district with rich information regarding how our students are exceling. Links to both reports are available through the agenda for the December 10 meeting.