LAID-OFF SENIOR TEACHER CASEBOOK
1) What does the 31 year unresolved Employee's Case (E.C.)(employescasecanada.ca) where no compensation has been paid to former Senior West Vancouver Teacher, Roger Callow (The Outlawed Canadian in an outlaw Justice System due to systematic judicial malfeasance) the single victim laid-off for economic reasons under the imposed BILL 35 (B.C. 1985 since rescinded=banana republic justice) have in common with the projected massive lay-offs in the teaching profession expected across Canada next June? Nothing! Lay-offs create the most debilitating experience for a Company, even for those retaining their employment. That's why Employers like to act fast but due to the nature of teacher contracts, notice for a June 30 dismissal must be given by May 31st hence a cataclysmic event. (My lay-off under BILL 35 (became law July 01-1985) was dated June 28-1985.
2) In 1985, there was no need for lay-off legislation (merely, a 'need' to shoot a whistleblower by perverting government and courts); today there is a need due to declining enrolment...if not one teacher being laid-off, then another. Hence this account is addressed to the impact that the lay-off of a senior teacher will have on that individual. Next May 31st is 'D' Day across Canada.
3) What can a teacher so afflicted do? First of all, may I offer you my condolences for your plight as that is as much as you can expect from anyone. You are on your own; never forget that truism. Keep in mind, that no employer has to keep an employee; the question in law is adequate compensation so don't expect to get your job back once terminated.
4) Your colleagues are breathing a sigh of relief that they are still employed no doubt secretly rationalizing your departure of 'someone whom should have hung up the chalk some time ago.' In 1985, one could expect to be demonized by the anti-employee media (see web REDNECK NEWS) although the carnage in the media has all but eliminated 'employee bashing'. The pattern today is for citizens to ask why public employees must suffer while their taxes go to civil servants whom don't pay a price: e.g. student enrolment in Ottawa-Carleton (where there is some immigration to alleviate the situation) has remained flat for the past 20 years with an increase of 40% in the education budget of which 80% goes for teacher salaries.
5) The beginning of your lay-off is the hardest as you seek parameters by talking out your dilemma with family and friends whom quickly grow tired of your negative story. See a lawyer they advise (and don't bother us).
6) If you choose to contest the lay-off, expect to pay $10,000 out of your own pocket to your own lawyer (for an arbitration stretching over 2 years average, you should have a spare $100,000). Even here you should expect to lose and have to pay the School Board's legal expenses. The point of having your own lawyer is to get the best deal possible e.g. 2 NavCan employees in 1992 among a dismissed group were able to extract an additional 2 years salary due to their own legal representation.
7) Keep accurate written records on file with your legal Counsel. The CBC Jian Ghomeshi case succeeded largely on his extensive record keeping of e-mails.
8) 'Are you saying that all judges are corrupted?' (lawyer to me). "What I am saying is what difference does it make if 90% of judges are honest if the Chief Justice (or government appointed arbitrators) is appointing the other 10% to your case?
9) You should expect to receive the latter 10% as the Employer, the Union, and the arbitrator have a vested interest in seeing that your lay-off stands due to a quirk in labour law; namely, your success forces a second and possible third, etc. lay-off until the correct lay-off victim is selected...at a $100,000 a crack.
10) As matters currently stand due to the E.C. as the precedent, all School Boards will quote the precedent in West Vancouver in which the School Board is able to assert the 'stand-alone' feature of imposed legislation which obviates court and labour board oversight even though the court in 1986 quashed the arbitration in the E.C. ruling, as it did, the arbitrator to be patently unreasonable (he converted 16 new hires into 16 lay-offs with myself as the necessary 17th) leaving me in limbo. That is what eventually destroyed the Canadian Justice System as judges may not pick up the judicial ball and go home as it were, without bringing down a judgment. Even BILL 35 decreed that compensation must be paid. That's why this matter lies in the executive powers of a 21st century Prime Minister, or, considering P.M. Trudeau's neglect, the next P.M. of Canada.
11) Should the Union refuse you permission to pursue your case at your own expense, as happened in the E.C. (indeed since the turn of the millenium, the B.C. Union has united with the Employer in some court cases launched by me), you may not contest the matter. It makes it rough if you are faced with a sweetheart deal and most dismissals involve some degree of collusion between Employer and Union.
12) Contrary to what you may have been told, your school principal has fingered you for lay-off which is a task likely to drive any number of principals into an early grave. Seniority may appear to be the dominant factor but there is a tremendous shortage of French Immersion teachers and a consequent excess of English Teachers. Also, Design & Technology requires qualifications where regular teachers may not teach. How does one take a redundant senior English teacher and place her in a senior Physics position? Those are the honest problems. Pay particular attention to seniority lists as some School Districts separate elementary & secondary lists. Qualifications are a bug-bear complicating matters considerably although I was in a race 'against one'.
13) The not-so-honest problems regard a concerted attempt by School Boards across Canada to target senior teachers whom receive twice the salary of junior teachers. Breaking seniority would, one and at the same time, go a long way to resolving government debt, as well as weakening the Union, always an Employer aim.
14) Laid-off senior teachers should not expect to teach again in the public system. A private school appointment (at a much lower salary) or teaching abroad are the only options.
15) Check with your lawyer, but if you have evidence of fraud, you may have application to the courts although disclosure as the E.C. has shown for 30 years was not on the books of over 40 judges; just one more reason for this PLACARD: STAY OUT OF A CANADIAN COURTROOM UNLESS YOU FIRST BUY THE JUDGE
16) Currently, Nova Scotia is provoking a battle with their teachers. Keep in mind, that other than the largest School District, a Province is able to replace all the teachers in a School District due to the Universities turfing out graduates for which there are no jobs...now you can see why that was done.
17) ABOUT ME on the web gives a little about my background but more specific advice as to how you might comport yourself follows here using myself as an example:
a) One retiring teacher whom became a Minister of the Cloth surprised me with this observation in the 1980's: 'You're a better Christian than I am for not hating your enemies'. He didn't comprehend that I don't hate anyone; it is not in my nature. Further, hating limits your perspective and imagination is all important in this kind of struggle (I find lawyers are not long on imagination). It also promotes burn-out as does this phrase 'Don't get angry; get even'. Organized crime gets that much straight...it's always a matter of business.
b) Another colleague with ethics and business experience whom claimed Union leadership cost him his marriage, was bemused by my answer when he asked me how long did I think the legalities of my lay-off would last? "3 months, 3 years, 30 years... what difference does it make; I'm not going anywhere." The point is that those who work to a deadline are again risking burn-out.
c) As for tactics, teachers have an advantage with question technique. In one instance, a colleague told me that I was very good at finding things out. Here is a 3 step process: (1) What question to ask? (2) To whom do you ask it? (3) Ask it...motto: Just do it! It is the third step which foils most people. As an individual against a company, imagine sitting at a poker party where you have limited funds against your well-heeled opponent whom expects to win by raising the ante beyond your resources so that you never get to show your cards. Those are the parameters you must expect to function in.
d) Expect the Employer to try and break not only your finances, but your health and marriage. As the Union covered the heavy Arbitration costs and ensuing court costs (after I changed lawyer as they were not planning to appeal), I was relatively unscathed for as a father of a young family, I could never have financed the arbitration. I am blessed with good health and have been married for 43 years to my French Canadian wife born in a large family where independence was vital. They were financially poor but here is the important part; they didn't know it as everyone lived that way in rural Quebec. Affluent West Point Grey in Vancouver is a puzzling source of such resilience on my part which surprised even myself. I was different from others in the neighborhood in that while they played, I mowed lawns, delivered papers, bagged groceries and when my father started his wholesale industrial Company, typed invoices and related tasks, delivered goods, and eventually worked up into sales while attending University. I always had money in my pocket and was more activity oriented than my neighborhood chums...for example as a long-time YMCA member, I participated in weight-training, judo wrestling, ballroom dancing, skiing jaunts, singing group (where I met my wife). In brief, I had a strong work ethic plus I was not ambitious as I had no desire to be a boss (but have great admiration for good bosses=were there ever more). In short, I was like Adam, the hero in the melodrama (I also belonged later to an amateur theatre group), known to be 'dumb but honest'. Bosses were willing to work around me. One thing I was adamant about, was being bullied. To be sure the Justice System of Canada has sent its best bullies against me.
e) The whistle blowing groups - FAIR in Canada and GAP in Washington, D.C. - focus on passing remedial legislation; a waste of time in my books as all that is happening is that a new set of laws which are unlikely to be followed is being created to replace an earlier set of laws which were also ignored. Unless you have a leader like General Vance whom has disciplined 30 underlings for failure to measure up to proper treatment of sexual abuse in the Military (a class action by women is proposed), there will be no change. For example, a similar class action on behalf of female RCMP officers led to a $100 million government settlement where no male RCMP Officer was held accountable. 'File a civil action', states Solicitor General, the vapid Ralph Goodale, if individual claimants want to follow through like I have for 30 years! S. Korea has the only approach left to Canadians as evidenced by turfing out thousands into the street to object to excessive government bribery.
f) CONCLUSION: While it cannot be banked, the Old Boy's Club has lost control of the Employee's Case. You do not retain your stature as the Old Boys Club when that happens hence Canada's credibility as a country is functionally bankrupt (ethical or moral bankruptcy has never bothered the likes of the Old Boys Club); a first for any modern democracy. A subtle shift over the years has developed where I control the E.C. What will I do next, is an oft asked question for which I have no answer as I have a rather rare quality known as 'thinking on my feet' which makes me unpredictable; always a good strategy.
Mr. Trump, what do you have to say to the above Canadians on all levels with their heads stuck in the proverbial sand on central issues facing Canada?