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ANNUAL REPORT 2014-2015

PROVINCIAL SCHOOLS AUTHORITY
An Operational Service Agency of the Government of Ontario


PROFILE

Provincial Schools Authority (PSA)

The Provincial Schools Authority (PSA) was established in 1975 under the Provincial Schools Negotiations Act.  It is an operational service agency of the Ministry of Education. 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, 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 PSA is also involved in collective bargaining with the bargaining unit of all teachers employed in provincially operated schools called the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers (PSAT). The PSA, in direct consultation with the Executive Director of the Provincial Schools Branch, formally ratifies the PSAT collective agreement.

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

Members of the PSA are OPS 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/hard of hearing, blind/low vision, deaf-blind or who have a severe learning disability.  The schools also provide outreach services and teacher in-service for school boards.  The students served by the provincial schools tend to need intensive support which cannot be accommodated in a District School Board program.  Provincial Schools are located in five sites: Belleville, Brantford, London, Milton, and Ottawa (French-language).   

In 2014-15, there were approximately 200 teachers and 14 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 two years and the reappointment of the vice chair and three members.  Barry Finlay was re-appointed chair on March 19, 2014. However, the position of chair became vacant as of June 26, 2015 due to Mr. Finlay’s retirement from the Ontario Public Service.

Membership as of June 26, 2015 is:

Position

Incumbent

Date of Original
Appointment to PSA

Expiry Date of
Current Order in Council

Chair

Vacant

Vacant

Vacant

Vice Chair

Vacant

Vacant

Vacant

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

The agency and the Ministry of Education are working towards filling the vacant chair and vice-chair positions.

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 PSAT collective agreement expired on August 31, 2014. In 2014 / 2015 the PSA commenced local bargaining with PSAT and participated in central bargaining with OSSTF toward a new collective agreement in accordance with the negotiations process established under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.

The PSA also responded to four Step 2 grievances forwarded by PSAT.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

The PSA budget is provided 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 2014-15, the PSA incurred no expenditures.