OECTA’s Legal Services
Members have been calling the Counselling and Member Services department requesting legal assistance for real estate purchases, car accidents, private lawsuits and divorces. They refer to the wallet card titled Legal Assistance for Members recently sent to all members.
OECTA Provides legal assistance to members directly related to their teaching duties. In counsel-ling situations, these issues generally involve the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) or police investigation of members related to abuse or assault allegations. In some cases, the principal or school board first investigates the allegation. This may be followed by an investigation by the Ontario College of Teachers’ . In these situations members should heed the advice on the wallet card.
It is the responsibility of the individual member to seek legal advice/representation for matters not directly related to their teaching duties. Because OECTA does not handle these situations, we cannot and do not recommend specific lawyers. Members may contact the Law Society of Upper Canada for a list of lawyers.
The member information cards were recently sent to all members through the Association Representatives. Although the information is not new, having it on a wallet-size card makes it easy for members to keep on hand at all times. Members should continue to contact their unit about concerns and investigations regarding the above referenced allegations. However, only the Provincial Office can refer members to OECTA’s lawyers. Please see Article VII of the OECTA handbook.
When CAS, police, school boards or the College of Teachers are investigating members it is important to avoid discussing the details with anyone until the Provincial Office or OECTA’s legal counsel has given advice.