VATICAN CITY - A number of Catholic parishes in Italy are set for a management overall, following a new training program launched May 5 between the Villanova School of Business in the United States and the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
TORONTO - Not willing to admit defeat just yet, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association (OCSTA) will continue to push for changes to the Putting Students First Act.
"It is our intention to put forward some ideas and possibly have some input," said OCSTA president Marino Gazzola.
Under the legislation passed Sept. 11, Ontario's Catholic school boards are bound by the agreement the province reached with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) on July 4. That deal means a more restrictive set of rules in hiring rights and management oversight of diagnostic testing, which public boards don't face due to a deal Dalton McGuinty's Liberals had to strike with the Conservatives in order for the legislation to pass.
According to the Ministry of Education, Ontario boards will soon have more information regarding the Policy/Program Memorandum development process and further information about the hiring practice regulation.
"The ministry will begin the consultation process soon for the development of a Policy/Program Memorandum on effective use of diagnostic assessments," said Gary Wheeler, a ministry spokesperson. "In the coming days, the ministry will provide additional information to school boards on the fair and transparent hiring regulation announced in August.
"The regulation is based on the memorandum of understanding signed with OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association)."
"We'll have to see what those specifically say before we can say where we are going with this," said Gazzola.
OCSTA is still very concerned about the two provisions within that deal that will reallocate managerial rights. The association will "put forward some amendments that we had that would help protect the voice of parents and the quality of education in Ontario," said Gazzola. "We thought it would be very important to the legislation (but) obviously those amendments didn't pass so we're very disappointed."
While OCSTA knows what it wants, how it plans to achieve it is still undetermined.
"Right now we are almost in a holding pattern," said Gazzola. "We'll have to sit down and then see what our next steps are going to be."
What does have to be taken care of is the local collective bargaining process for each board, at least what is left of it.
"We remain opposed to the legislation, a legislation that puts Catholic and public boards on inequitable footings and weakens the collective bargaining process for all employees," said Mario Pascucci, chair of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. "We will, however, abide by the law and will move forward, seeking to bargain on the remaining local issues."
Although Gazzola encourages the conversation continue between trustees and teachers, he did caution against moving too swiftly.
"Boards are going to have to sit down and look at what they can still work with and talk about," said Gazzola. "I don't think anyone should take any rash actions or quick decisions. They're going to have to sit down and analyse everything and see where they have to go."