5 Reasons for EMSB Teachers to Vote for Change in the Montreal Teachers Association

  1. No plan to ensure that the new reduced maximums on class size are respected. The last collective agreement included significant reductions to class size. The Pearson Teachers Union has recently filed a grievance challenging the Pearson board’s continued practice of over-sizing classes. MTA members should be wondering why their union has not followed suit. With the grievance expected to be resolved by March MTA members should also be wondering how the PTU is able to resolve such a major grievance in less than a year when the MTA can’t seem to have its grievances resolved within five years! Further reading: “Pearson Teachers Union Files Grievance on Class Size. Why Has the MTA Not Followed Suit?” and “Where are the reductions in class sizes that we were promised?
  2. Failed to inform members about the system for absences that tracks teachers by the minute. Not only did the current leadership recommend that the members vote for an agreement containing this egregious insult to our professional dignity, they did so without even informing us that it was in the agreement! We need a union leadership that takes seriously its responsibility to inform the members before asking them to vote. We also need a union leadership that will vigorously defend our professional integrity. Further reading: “Surprise! The Collective Agreement We Voted On Is Not the One We Got
  3. No financial transparency. In the last year the current leadership has denied members access to a detailed breakdown of MTA finances, including some unusually large VISA bills. All members should have the right to scrutinize their own union’s finances in as much detail as they wish. After all, it is our money! Further reading: “Keeping the Members in the Dark: On the MTA’s Growing Culture of Secrecy
  4. No commitment to making the seniority/recall process more fair and transparent.  Leading up to the last round of local negotiations a motion was presented demanding that the school board account for the many teaching positions it “discovers” over the summer. Astonishingly this motion was vigorously opposed by the current leadership. Ms Rosenfield stated that she worried the school board might think we were “accusing them of something”. Apparently hurting the feelings of our employer is of greater concern than insuring our system of seniority is respected. Further readings: “Keeping the Members in the Dark: On the MTA’s Growing Culture of Secrecy
  5. Trading away our fundamental rights. In the last round of local negotiations the current leadership agreed to a clause granting the school board the ability to discipline teachers through forced transfer to another school. This vaguely worded clause grants our employer a new and arbitrary tool with which to attack individual teachers. While we all enjoy the ability to use our 2nd personal day on days that we teach (previously we could only use it on a ped day), such gains should never be made in ways that expose our members to arbitrary forms of discipline. Further reading: “Forced Transfer and the MTA Hunger Games
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