"Designated Teacher" Authority
A member complains that she has been advised by the school secretary that the principal is directing the teacher to assume “designated teacher” authority in the school. This is the third time in a week that the teacher has been assigned this added responsibility, even though the teacher has asked not to be designated to this role. The principal is not on site. The teacher is aware that some of her colleagues on staff are willing to assume this role but have not been invited to take on the duty, despite showing an interest.
The teacher is advised that she may need to comply but that her local unit will grieve the principal’s conduct. Staff from the Counselling and Member Services department at the OECTA Provincial Office reviews the teacher’s collective agreement language and discovers that the local collective agreement allows for a member to voluntarily assume the role, that the delegation must be rotated amongst staff who volunteer to take on the role, and that the principal must delegate authority in writing.
The unit president is advised to contact the board’s superintendent about the violations of the collective agreement language and the provisions of the Keeping our Kids Safe at School Act, 2009. The member is advised of the actions taken on her behalf.
The Keeping our Kids Safe at School Act, 2009 permits a principal “to delegate in writing, of any of his or her powers, duties and functions to the vice-principal or a teacher, if the principal and vice-principal of the school are absent from the school.” The Act clearly states that the language in the collective agreement must be followed. Members are encouraged to read their collective agreements so that they are familiar with restrictions related to delegation of authority by a principal.