Arbitrator Declares that DECEs Need Not be Scheduled “Side By Side” with FDK Teachers

In an arbitration award released on October 13, 2017, Arbitrator Russell Goodfellow dismissed a grievance brought by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) concerning the scheduling of breaks accorded to Designated Early Childhood Educators (DECEs) under the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) support staff collective agreements applicable to them. Arbitrator Goodfellow declined to follow the controversial path taken by Arbitrator George Surdykowski in a 2014 decision involving the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (Surdykowski Award) and has established a very useful precedent for school boards to employ. In this School Board Update, we review this important award.