Annual Report 2015-2016

Provincial Schools Authority

Contents

Profile
Members of the Provincial Schools Authority
Operational Overview
Financial Performance

Profile

Provincial Schools Authority (PSA)

The Provincial Schools Authority (PSA) was established as an agency of the Ministry of Education in 1975 under the Provincial Schools Negotiations Act. The PSA is the employer of record for teachers, principals and vice-principals employed in provincially operated schools.

The PSA is responsible for all matters relating to the employment of teachers in provincially operated schools. All matters relating to administration in respect to teachers are the responsibility of the Deputy Minister of Education who delegates this to the Executive Director of Provincial Schools Branch (PSB). The Executive Director of Provincial Schools Branch oversees and is responsible for the day to day operations of the organization including all issues related to teachers and students.

The Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA) and the Ministry of Education negotiate the collective agreement, on behalf of the PSA, for all teachers employed in provincially operated schools that are represented by the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers (PSAT). The PSA negotiates the terms and conditions of employment for principals and vice-principals.

The PSA meets as needed and makes decisions with respect to leave provisions of the PSAT collective agreement and may hear grievances.

Members of the PSA are Ontario Public Servant employees and do not receive remuneration for their services.

The PSA is supported by the Ministry of Education, Provincial Schools Branch, which is responsible for the day-to-day operations of provincial and demonstration schools for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or low vision, deafblind or who have a severe learning disability. The schools also provide outreach services and teacher in-service for school boards. Provincial Schools are located in five sites: Belleville, Brantford, London, Milton, and Ottawa (French-language).

In 2015-2016, there were approximately 217 teachers and 10 principals and vice-principals working in provincial schools. The vast majority of these teachers are employed in schools directly operated by the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Provincial Schools teachers are classified as employees of the PSA, however their salaries are paid through budgets within the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Members of the Provincial Schools Authority

Historically, the PSA members have been civil servants acting in negotiations with the approval of the Deputy Minister. As civil servants, the members are subject to the Public Service Act and to the policies established in Management Board of Cabinet directives. The PSA must seek the appointment of a new chair every three years and the reappointment of the vice chair and three members. In March 2016 Louise Sirisko was appointed chair and Demetra Saldaris was appointed vice-chair.

Membership as of March 3, 2016 is:
Position Incumbent Appointment Date Expiry Date of Appointment
Chair Ms. Louise Sirisko March 3, 2016 March 3, 2019
Vice Chair Ms. Demetra Saldaris March 3, 2016 March 3, 2019
Member Ms. Anita Bennett March 26, 2009 March 19, 2017
Member Mr. Terry Angle April 6, 2011 March 19, 2017
Member Ms. Sandy Palinski March 19, 2014 March 19, 2017

Operational Overview

The PSA addresses issues related to the terms and conditions of employment of teachers, principals and vice-principals employed in provincially operated schools. Activities include:

  • Receiving and deciding on leave applications from teachers, principals and vice-principals in an equitable and efficient manner and in compliance with the terms of employment for each group;
  • Hearing PSAT grievances at second step in a timely manner; and
  • Resolving grievances in a fair and equitable manner and in compliance with the PSAT collective agreement.

The PSA strives to improve relations with the representatives of its employee groups by reducing the turnaround times for leave applications, grievance hearings, and the communication of decisions made as a result of grievance hearings.

The Ministry of Education conducted local negotiations on behalf of the PSA during the recent round of collective bargaining for the 2014-17 agreement. The PSA formally ratified both the Memorandum of Settlement reached with Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) at the central table and the Memorandum of Settlement reached with PSAT at local negotiations. The PSA enlists the assistance of the Treasury Board Secretariat, Employee Relations Division as needed in any negotiations concerning collective bargaining, the PSAT collective agreement and other labour related issues.

There were no Step 2 PSAT grievances filed in the 2015–2016 school year. PSAT filed one Step 1 grievance but it was resolved. There were three Step 2 PSAT grievances filed in the 2014-2015 school year that were resolved in the 2015–2016 school year.

Two new members were appointed in March 2016, achieving a full complement of members, which will ensure support as needed to the matters brought before the PSA over the coming years.

Financial Performance

The PSA budget is funded by the Provincial Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education from its base budget. The allocation is approximately $30,000 annually. These funds are intended for:

  • Travel expenses incurred by members coming to meetings or hearing grievances;
  • Services (including interpreters and translators Provincial Schools has both English and French speaking schools); and
  • Costs associated with the administration of the collective agreement including arbitration hearings.

In 2015-2016, the PSA incurred no expenditures.