2021-2022 to 2023-2024 Annual business plan fiscal year

Provincial Schools Authority (PSA)

Contents

Mandate
Strategic overview
Environmental scan
Overview of activities
PSA Members and Budget
Resources required to meet the mandate and strategic directions
Risk management
Performance measures
Initiatives involving third parties
Communication plan
Implementation plan

This is the annual business plan for the fiscal years 2021-2022 to 2023-2024 for the Provincial Schools Authority, an agency of the Ministry of Education.

Mandate

The Provincial Schools Authority was established as an agency of the Ministry of Education (EDU) in 1975 under the Provincial Schools Negotiations Act (now the Provincial Schools Authority Act). The PSA is the employer of record for teachers employed in provincially operated schools, which includes schools operated by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Solicitor General (SolGen). These teachers are represented by the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers (PSAT), which is a district of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF). The PSA is also the employer of record for principals and vice principals in provincially operated schools. The principals and vice principals are not represented by a union and do not have a collective agreement. Since 2014, the terms and conditions centrally negotiated by the Trustees'/School Board Associations, the Principals' and Vice Principals' Associations and the Crown have been adopted for the principals and vice principals employed by the PSA to ensure consistency across the education sector.

Strategic overview

The PSA aims to perform its role as the employer of record for teachers, principals and vice principals working in provincially operated schools in a fair, equitable and efficient manner and in compliance with all relevant legislation including the Provincial Schools Authority Act and the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.

The Deputy Minister of Education via the Executive Director of the PDSB, is responsible for all matters relating to the administration of the branch, including oversight and responsibility for day to day school operations and administration in respect of teachers, principals and vice principals.

The Executive Director of PDSB oversees and is responsible for the day to day operations including all issues related to teachers and students. The Executive Director works in cooperation with the PSA Chair to ensure effective and efficient fulfillment of the PSA's mandate.

As the employer of record, the PSA ratifies the collective agreement between the parties during central and local negotiations in accordance with the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act 2014 (SBCBA). The SBCBA establishes a system of collective bargaining in the Ontario education sector and explains the role of the PSA and the Ministry of Education during collective bargaining with teachers.

In the 2019-2020 school year the PSA ratified both the OSSTF Central Agreement and the PSAT Local Agreement. As a result of the ratification, the new 2019–2022 collective agreement came into effect on June 18, 2020 and will expire on August 31, 2022.

The PSA enlists assistance as needed from the Ministry of Education, Education Labour and Finance Division on matters related to collective bargaining, and the Treasury Board Secretariat, Centre for Public Sector Labour Relations and Compensation on matters related to the administration of the PSAT collective agreement.

Environmental scan

The PSA is the employer of record for teachers, principals and vice-principals who work in provincially operated schools. In 2020-21, there are approximately 178 teachers and approximately 11 principals and vice principals working in provincial schools and outreach programs. The PSA is the employer of record for teachers who teach students who are part of the public education system but for various reasons or needs, cannot be accommodated in a District School Board program. The vast majority of these teachers are employed in schools directly operated by the Ministry of Education. These schools provide direct education to elementary and secondary school students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low vision, deafblind, and to students who have severe learning disabilities. The schools also provide outreach services for school boards and teacher in-service for families with pre-school aged children.

The PSA is also the employer of record for teachers who work in a school program at the Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI) operated by the Solicitor General teaching students who cannot attend regular schools.

  • The term of the current PSAT Collective Agreement came into effect on June 18, 2020 and will expire on August 31, 2022. It is anticipated that collective bargaining with PSAT will take place in 2022-2023 and/or 2023-2024.

The PSA provided input into the development and implementation of the 2020-21 PDSB School Reopening plan which was drafted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PDSB's top priority is to support the health and safety, and well-being of the students, staff, and the broader community while delivering high quality education. This was the foundation upon which the reopening plan was developed.

Overview of activities

In December 2020, the Minister provided the PSA Chair with a mandate letter outlining the expectations for the 2020-21 fiscal year. PSA will strive to meet the direction set out in the agency's mandate letter in relation to the activities for the agency.

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:

  • deciding on leave applications from teachers, principals and vice principals in a reasonable and efficient manner and in compliance with the terms of employment for each group
  • hearing PSAT grievances at second step in a timely manner
  • providing input regarding the settlement of grievances in a fair and equitable manner and in compliance with the PSAT collective agreement
  • ratifying agreements reached between the parties at the central and local negotiations tables

During PSA meetings, members discuss issues regarding the employment of teachers, principals and vice principals working in provincially operated schools.

The PSA aims to meet two to three times a year during a normal operating cycle to discuss issues of importance to the schools and issues raised by PSAT. The PSA also aims to hold joint meetings with PSAT executives so that updates can be provided and that items can be discussed and addressed in a timely manner. There are times during collective bargaining when these meetings may be put on hold.

PSA members and budget

The PSA consists of a Board comprised of five (5) members: a Chair, a Vice Chair and three additional members. This agency has no permanent staff. All members are OPS employees who do not receive remuneration for their work with the Provincial Schools Authority.

The following is a list of appointees:
Position and incumbent Appointment date and expiry date of appointment
Chair – Ms. Claudine Munroe November 14, 2018 to September 3, 2021
Vice Chair – Suzanne Gordon April 24, 2020 to April 23, 2022
Member – Mr. Med Ahmadoun May 7, 2020 to May 6, 2022
Member – Ms. Stacey Weber May 13, 2020 to May 13, 2022
Member – Vacant  

The PSA budget is provided by the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education from its base budget. The allocation is $20,000 annually for the next three years.

Provincial Schools Authority – Budget allocation
2021-22 Expenditure estimates $20,000
2022-23 Expenditure estimates $20,000
2023-24 Expenditure estimates $20,000

These funds are reserved for:

  • travel expenses incurred by members hearing grievances
  • services (including interpreters)
  • costs associated with the administration of the collective agreement including arbitration hearings and collective bargaining negotiations

Resources required to meet the mandate and strategic directions

The PSA consists of five temporary members and no permanent staff. All of the current members are OPS employees who do not receive remuneration for their membership with the PSA. The PSA requires a full or close to full complement of members to meet the mandate and directions and will work to ensure that members are replaced as appointments expire. There is no impact of the business plan on HR.

The PSA has a budget allocation of $20,000 annually. These funds are required to meet the mandate of the agency and costs associated with the administration of the collective agreements including arbitration hearings and collective bargaining negotiations. The PSA continues to look for ways to reduce costs including working collaboratively with the ministry on the early resolution of issues and grievances.

Risk management

During the period of 2021-22 to 2023-24 the membership for all the PSA Members will expire. The Ministry will work with the Public Appointments Secretariat to fill the membership vacancies within a timely manner to avoid the risk that the vacancies would result in fewer PSA meetings due to the interest in having full attendance at the meetings. A full member complement provides a diverse range of opinions and analysis which is beneficial to the group.

The PSAT Collective Agreement will expire on August 31, 2022. It is anticipated that collective bargaining with PSAT will take place in 2022-2023 and/or 2023-2024 and as such the PSA will require timely, accurate advice on labour relations and negotiations issues.

Performance measures

Output based performance measures:

The PSA aims to meet two to three times a year during a normal operating cycle to discuss issues of importance to the schools and issues raised by PSAT.

The PSA will operate within the $20,000 annual budget allocation.

Outcome based Performance Measures

The PSA will continue to strive to maintain positive relationships with the PDSB and all labour organizations through working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the PSA members, PSAT union executives and the PDSB in order to efficiently address issues raised by PSAT, to resolve PSAT grievances in a fair and equitable manner, to ensure compliance with the PSAT Collective Agreement and to promote transparency.

The PSA will continue to look for opportunities to reduce the number of grievances filed each year by the union, which could reduce the total number of grievance mediation and arbitration services each year.

Initiatives involving third parties

The PSA does not have any involvement with third parties planned for the upcoming three-year period.

Communication plan

Once the business plan is approved, PSA will be required to publish it on its website. It is not anticipated that there will be any signification stakeholder or public response once the business plan is posted online or that there will be any issues/concerns raised from the stakeholders.

Implementation plan

The PSA will support the PDSB in the ongoing delivery of quality educational services though working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the key partners. This strategy will enable PDSB to efficiently address issues to help ensure a positive work environment, to resolve PSAT grievances in a fair and equitable manner, to ensure compliance with the PSAT Collective Agreement and to promote transparency.

The PSA will strive to maintain a full complement of board members by ensuring that vacant positions are filled quickly and that new appointees are oriented to the work of the PSA and to the role and function of the PDSB. This work in ongoing but will be a focus in the summer of 2021 in anticipation of the Chair vacancy and in the spring 2022 as the appointment of three members will be expiring.

With the expiry of the PSAT Collective Agreement on August 31, 2022 and the anticipated collective bargaining with PSAT to take place in 2022-2023 and/or 2023-2024 the PSA will focus strongly on continuing to provide timely and accurate guidance on labour relations and negotiations issues and to maintain positive working relationships.