Annual Report 2019-2020

Provincial Schools Authority

Contents

About the Provincial Schools Authority (PSA)
The PSA and Provincial and Demonstration Schools
Members of the PSA
PSA Activities
Performance Measures and Targets

About the 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 (now the Provincial Schools Authority Act). The PSA is the employer of record for teachers employed in provincially operated schools.  These employees 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.

  • As the employer of record, the PSA is responsible for ratifying the PSAT collective agreement, which includes Part A – OSSTF Central Agreement and Part B – PSAT Local Agreement. The PSA ratifies the collective agreements in accordance with the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act 2014 (SBCBA). The SBCBA governs collective bargaining for teachers in the education sector. It identifies union and management representatives and their roles and responsibilities, including the role of the PSA and the Ministry of Education during bargaining with provincial school employees.

The Executive Director of the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB), employed by the Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the day to day administrative and operational functions of all provincially operated schools including all issues related to teachers and students. The Executive Director is also involved in developing, negotiating and implementing the terms and conditions of employment for principals and vice-principals on behalf of the PSA.

The PSA meets as needed and makes decisions with respect to terms and conditions of employment of teachers, principals and vice principals, leave provisions of the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers (PSAT) Collective Agreement and grievance resolution.

The PSA and Provincial and Demonstration Schools

Provincial and demonstration schools offer the Ontario curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels as well as specialised integrated programming for students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low vision, deafblind and students who have severe learning disabilities. The schools also provide outreach services and teacher in-service for school boards. Provincial and demonstration schools are located at five sites: Belleville, Brantford, London, Milton, and Ottawa (French-language).

In 2019-2020, there were approximately 205 teachers and 13 principals and vice-principals working in provincial schools and outreach programs. These teachers are employed in schools and outreach programs directly operated by the Ministry of Education, PDSB, or at the Ontario Correctional Institute operated by the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Teachers, principals and vice-principals in these schools are classified as employees of the PSA. Their salaries are paid directly by the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Members of the PSA

Historically, the PSA members have been Ontario Public Service employees and do not receive remuneration for their PSA services. In 2019-2020 a new Vice Chair and three new members were appointed to ensure full membership.

Membership as of June 2020 is as follows:
Position Incumbent Appointment Date Expiry Date of
Appointment Council
Chair Ms. Claudine Munroe November 14, 2018 September 3, 2021
Vice Chair Ms. Suzanne Gordon April 24, 2020 April 23, 2022
Member Mr. Billroy Powell March 7, 2018 March 6, 2021
Member Mr. Med Ahmadoun May 7, 2020 May 6, 2022
Member Ms. Stacey Weber May 13, 2020 May 13, 2022

PSA Activities

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

PSA 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;
  • Resolving grievances in a fair and equitable manner and in compliance with the PSAT collective agreement; and
  • Ratifying the collective agreements between the parties during central and local negotiations in accordance with the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act 2014.

Performance Measures and Targets

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 PSA continues to look for opportunities to proactively mitigate the number of grievances which could reduce the number of grievance hearings and arbitration services. The number of grievances has reduced from 31 in 2018-2019 to 13 in 2019-2020. Monthly joint meetings between the senior management at PDSB and the PSAT executive members have helped to open communication channels for discussion with the aim of reducing the number of grievances.

The PSA meets with PSAT executives to share information and discuss items of concern in a timely manner. The PSA and PSAT held two joint meetings during the 2019-2020 school year and have proposed a meeting schedule for the 2020-2021 school year to ensure that meetings take place to maintain positive relationships with the labour organization.

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.

PSA Expenses

PSA expenses are funded by the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch. These funds are intended for:

  • Travel expenses incurred by members hearing grievances.
  • Costs associated with the administration of the collective agreement including arbitration hearings.

In 2019-2020, the PSA did not incur any expenses. The PSA was able to find no cost solutions for some anticipated expenses and there was a reduction in the number of arbitrations in 2019-2020.