Threats, distortion, vilifications
and intimidation: rot at the TCDSB

di Joe Volpe del November 3, 2021

TORONTO - Not content with squandering 18 months of our children’s educational opportunities, allowing its senior staff to “go on vacation” during the month of August, ahead of school opening, the “TCDSB” is now turning its deleterious attention on to parents and its own teachers.

Why hide behind a missive signed by “Toronto Catholic District School Board” (TCDSB)? Is that the Director (Brendan Browne)? As secretary to the Board of Trustees, he is the ultimate authority for Communications with the Public (parents and employees) on operational matters. Why would he not put his name to a letter emailed to parents – on Friday evening, October 29 - concerning “job action” by elementary school teachers?

Who is “we” in the letter that makes Public, unsubstantiated accusations and threats against employees of the TCDSB? Is it the individual trustees who comprise the Board, or just some of them? Which ones?

Do they included the Chair, who normally signs letters referring to policy decisions reached by a vote?

If you are a parent, the last thing you want to hear is that “teachers …will not carry out their duties ...are hurting students everyday … [and are making] costly and injurious …demands”. What purpose is served by alarming parents with such bombastic language?

Ironically, superintendents (directors included) in the province, are whining about their own “executive compensation” package and have sent a letter to the Minister asking for more money.

The letter sent by the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board bears the signature of the Chair of their Board and makes no threats.

The alarmist one sent by the “executives” at the TCDSB instructs/tells parents to continue to dialogue with teachers because … they, the executives, or the Board will be taking appropriate action if teachers are not available for after school consultations or if they do not answer phone calls.

One presumes that this will mean “blocking their social media and email accounts” – be still my heart (sarcasm intended). It does mean going to the Labour Relations Board to arbitrate breach of Collective Agreements. In the latter case, “the Board” would have to provide evidence to prove its point.

A childish snit of an accusatory, anonymous, letter may not suffice.

It may only prove craven hypocrisy on the part of the sender.

Here below, the TCDSB's letter to the families

Dear TCDSB Families,

We are writing to advise you that today, the TCDSB was informed by our elementary school teachers’ union, TECT-OECTA, that all elementary school teachers will not carry out their duties to meet with parents for parent - teacher interviews.

With the return to in-person learning this school year, the Elementary Teachers union has used this opportunity to escalate their costly demands at the local bargaining table. For many months, the Board has offered the union a reasonable and fair local collective agreement which is completely in line with the agreement signed and ratified by our secondary school teachers’ union. Instead, TECT continues to state that they will not reach a settlement with the Board and they will continue to escalate work to rule sanctions which are hurting vulnerable students everyday - unless the Board concedes to their costly and injurious bargaining demands.

The Board remains committed to advancing the best interests of its students and we encourage parents to continue their normal practices of staying in contact with teachers as needed about their child’s education.

The Board will be taking appropriate action in response to this recent development.

Thank you.

Toronto Catholic District School Board

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