During last year’s central talks with the government, OSSTF/FEESO demanded action on the ever-increasing workload faced by education workers due to their bombardment by various Ministry of Education initiatives. Through intense negotiations, our Federation brought about three important changes:
- A moratorium on new initiatives would be put in place for one year,
- OSSTF/FEESO would participate in a joint workgroup to consult with the Ministry on the development of future initiatives, and
- OSSTF/FEESO would consult on the draft of a Policy & Program Memorandum regarding Ministry and School Board initiatives.
That Policy & Program Memorandum, PPM 159: Collaborative Professionalism, guarantees unprecedented involvement and participation by education workers in the implementation of new and existing initiatives at all levels of the education system.
“PPM 159 marks an extraordinary change in the way initiativesimpacting education are to be implemented in our schools,” said Paul Elliott, president of OSSTF/FEESO. “District school boards have been directed to cooperate with education workers as professionals on Ministry of Education initiatives.”
At the provincial level, the Provincial Committee on Ministry Initiatives has been struck and will include representation from education unions, principal associations and school board leadership. This committee will meet quarterly to discuss proposed and existing initiatives, as well as implications for training, resources and timing.
PPM 159 also states that district school boards are to establish a mechanism to “foster consultation, collaboration and communication” with Federation leaders for the implementation of new and existing initiatives.
School boards are expected to honour the commitments set out in collective agreements and related memoranda dealing with collaborative professionalism. It also comes with the understanding that collaborative professionalism will not increase workload.
“An important aspect of collaborative professionalism is that it will include all education workers,” said Elliott. “That means teachers, support staff and all educational professionals who work for school boards will be included in this new process.”
“This direction for all administrators clearly outlines their responsibility to provide a collaborative work environment.”
President Paul Elliott also noted that the implementation of PPM 159 will be a priority for OSSTF/FEESO this year, and that local leaders will soon be surveyed to determine if collaborative discussions on ministry initiatives have begun in all Districts.
What is a PPM?
The acronym PPM stands for Policy/Program Memoranda. A PPM is a directive to school boards and school authorities that outlines the expectation of the Ministry of Education regarding the implementation of ministry policies and programs. It is important to note that PPMs are directives and not merely suggestions or advice.
PPMs are issued on an as-need basis and they are numbered in the order that they are issued. To view the most recent list of PPMs, visit www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/ppm.html.