OSSTF/FEESO Vice-Presidents Paul Caccamo and Karen Littlewood have assembled a Strategic Action Plan for presentation and endorsement at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Assembly (AMPA) 2021. Below are excerpts from the report.
Every year at AMPA, the OSSTF/FEESO Strategic Action Plan serves to deal with issues that would be considered as fundamental to the ongoing operation of the Federation but could take one or more years to address. These initiatives serve to improve union service and delivery and to present solutions, which may require an extended period of time to complete. This year’s plan, Towards the Future: Listening, Planning, Acting, sees the completion of three items, the continuation of six and the introduction of one new initiative.
There are six items that were in the 2020–2021 plan that will continue for at least one more year. They are: Bargaining Unit/District Governance, Grievance Arbitration Model, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Towards 2022—Building for an Education-Friendly Government and Official Opposition, Bargaining Unit Executive Meetings and Record Keeping and District/Bargaining Unit I.T. Environments. We have added one very important item, District and Bargaining Unit Anti-Racism/Equity Training: Recognizing, Understanding, Acting.
New Programs for 2021–2022
District and Bargaining Unit Anti-Racism/Equity Training: Recognizing, Understanding, Acting
This is the only new item in the 2021–2022 plan. This year saw the beginning of several equity action items, including:
- Time and space for equity seeking groups to caucus at all provincial conferences and regionals, creation of a Black Persons and Persons of Colour Advisory Work Group;
- anti-racism training and equity training as permanent components at the Annual Leadership training along with specific training for new presidents; and
- ensuring that AMPA and provincial agendas be set through equity principles.
We recognize that there is a wide range of initiatives already being started and implemented in some Districts. In fact, some have been working at this a while now.
This Strategic Action Plan initiative could never put an end to all racism and oppression so work will need to continue for many years to come but it can serve as a starting point or a continuation, depending on work already initiated in locals.
This item attempts to meet the needs self identified by Districts and Bargaining Units. An application with a self-assessment as well as a request for the type of support desired will be required to access the funds.
The Equity Advisory Work Group and the Black Persons and Persons of Colour Advisory Work Group will be consulted throughout this process, especially with regards to recommending resources or service providers. Support and advice may also be sought from the other OSSTF/FEESO equity groups and committees or even Districts who have already engaged in such work.
The estimated completion date for this specific item is June 2024.
2020–2021 Programs Continuing
Bargaining Unit Executive Meetings and Record Keeping
To date, three Districts, one with multiple Bargaining Units, were part of a pilot where they received training and began to use the provincial database for their record keeping and retention. Estimated date of completion is June 2023 with ongoing support for best practices.
District/Bargaining Unit I.T. Environments
Efforts continued in the past year to bring cloud technologies to district offices that will facilitate the migration towards adapting new technologies in our local offices in the next few years.
Bargaining Unit/District Governance
Work has continued with past and present Parliamentary and Constitution Committee (PCC) members to review all Bargaining Unit and District constitutions. Additional resources to PCC were provided to assist in that regard and with the review.
Grievance Arbitration Model
The primary goal continues to be to have all grievances and corresponding information stored in the UnionWare Grievance Arbitration Module. This will facilitate the tracking of information and the transfer of files to the Provincial Office.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
The Mental Health First Aid component of the Strategic Action Plan is intended to provide this training to presidents and time-release members. When it is possible to resume the training from the Mental Health Commission of Canada for the trainers, it will happen.
Towards 2022—Building for an Education-Friendly Government and Official Opposition
Provincial election organizers were selected and began their work in assisting Districts and Bargaining Units in election preparation. Organizers have been making contact with each District, and beginning the process of helping them establish and work with election teams in each area. These election leaders will plan for the upcoming provincial and municipal elections through a range of activities.