MTA Elections 2013: Comparing Presidential Candidates Robert Green and Peter Sutherland

By Robert Green

On his electoral campaign website, MTA presidential candidate Peter Sutherland offers a comparison of the differences between his candidacy and my own. While I will leave readers to judge the merits of Mr Sutherland’s comparison for themselves, I personally found that it did not mention many of the substantial matters upon which Mr Sutherland and I disagree.

In order to offer MTA members a more substantive comparison, please find below a brief summary of some of the key issues that Mr Sutherland omitted.

I hope the members of the MTA will find this to be informative.

For more information on my campaign or to read my electoral statement visit my campaign website

Robert Green

Peter Sutherland

On Financial Transparency
  • Strongly committed to the highest standard of financial transparency. Any member should have the right to scrutinize the way their own money is being spent in as much detail as they wish. This was the standard upheld by the MTA’s previous Treasurer Lydia Landori. This standard should be restored
  • This year supported a move to deny an MTA member his constitutional right to view the bills from the union’s Visa account.
On Keeping the Members Well Informed
  • Committed to ensuring that members have all the accurate information they need when it comes time to vote on our contract.
  • At the time of voting on the current contract, neglected to inform the members that the contract contained a new system for absences which tracks teachers by the minute. Now says he wants to fix this problem.
  • Incorrectly informed the members that the new reductions in class size would be funded by government and would result in a change to the staffing ratios and the hiring of more teachers.
On the Seniority/Recall Process
  • Supported a motion from the teachers of Lauren Hill (leading up to the last round of local negotiations) demanding that the school board be obliged to account for the many teaching positions it “discovers” over the summer.
  •  Voted against this motion.
On Health & Safety in Schools
  • Alarmed at the growing number of reports involving poor air quality in Quebec’s schools.
  • Believes the union must be pro-active and do its own independent testing of air quality.
  • The current MTA executive’s approach to health and safety has been largely complaint-driven.
  • Mr Sutherland has not made any commitments to more proactive measures such as the independent monitoring of air quality in schools.
On Ensuring the Class Size Reductions in the Current Contract are Respected.
  • Believes the MTA should follow the PTU’s example in filing a grievance on class size.
  • Has never indicated that the MTA should take any form of action to ensure the class size reductions are respected.
On Working With Others
  • Ready to work with any other MTA member, even those with opposing views.
  • Believes that a leadership that reflects the diversity of opinions within the membership is more representative and therefore more effective.
  •  Makes it clear in his electoral statement that he is not prepared to work with those who do not share his views.
  • Warns members that a divided executive will ‘cease to be effective’.
On How to Achieve Our Goals
  • Believes it is important to begin by working directly with the school board in good faith.
  • Believes it is also important for a union to have an effective media strategy that can expose problems publicly when greater pressure is needed.
  • Believes media work is “not going to change anything” and that problems can be resolved by working directly with the school board
On the President’s Pay
  • Believes the MTA must never again pay its president nearly twice what the average teacher makes
  • Electoral statement promises not to accept a penny more in pay than would be received as a teacher
  • Has made no indication that he would change the MTA’s pay-scale.

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