Conference / Seminar

School Board Management Conference 2019

Event Details

November 7, 2019
Registration: 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Session: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 pm
Lunch will be served.

Toronto Congress Centre
Gordon Pinsent Room
650 Dixon Rd.
Toronto, ON

Fee: $545.00 plus $70.85 (13% HST)
Total $615.85 per person


We are pleased to present our School Board Management Conference 2019 which will cover a wide variety of topics relevant to Directors of Education, Trustees, Supervisory Officers and Human Resources Practitioners.

Join us as we take you first on a “whirlwind tour” of recent developments in labour, employment and education law, followed by a plenary session on coping with labour disruptions. After lunch, we invite you to select (upon registration) two afternoon workshops of your choice.

Also, don’t miss our guest speaker, Director General, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for Employment and Social Development Canada – Peter Simpson.



Registration and Coffee


Welcome and Opening Remarks


Whirlwind Tour

A fast-paced review of a wide variety of current topics.


Networking Break


Plenary Session

Coping With Labour Disruptions

Dolores M. Barbini and Michael A. Hines

While we will all remain optimistic, the possibility of labour sanctions arising out of one or more bargaining tables cannot be discounted. This plenary session will clarify the dynamics presented by the central/local structure, review the distinctions between legal and illegal strikes, remind you of your options in the face of either, clarify the limits on the rights of employees to engage in political action while at work, and address a number of related topics.


Guest Speaker: Peter Simpson, Director General, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for Employment and Social Development Canada




Workshop Session A – 1st Set

• Option 1: Inappropriate Conduct Towards Students

Dolores M. Barbini

This presentation will center around two case studies based on actual events in Ontario school boards. The two scenarios are distinguished by the fact that criminal charges were laid in the first case but not in the second. Our presenters will consider issues such as the manner and pace of your investigation, suspension with or without pay pending investigation, access to police, CAS and court information, the impact of conviction or acquittal, and the expectations placed on teachers and support staff.

• Option 2: Procedure Matters! Tactics, Gambits and Nifty Moves

George G. Vuicic and Dianne E. Jozefacki

This presentation will acquaint labour practitioners with a number of creative alternatives to the “normal” way of doing things. In the arbitration context, we will discuss the section 49 expedited arbitration process – how to avoid it and how to use it. We will touch on a procedural relic, the three-person arbitration board – when should you employ it? In the human rights context, what use can be made of the summary hearing process? If an HRTO application has been deferred pending arbitration, can the union always withdraw from the arbitration and “reactivate” the application, or can it be forced to continue to the end? And in any context, how can you cope with your witnesses who are uncooperative, retired, in prison or otherwise no longer with us?

• Option 3: The Growing Impact of Special Education on Workplace Issues

Lauri A. Reesor and Colin J. Youngman

The increasing and evolving needs of exceptional students gives rise to unique employment and labour law issues involving the intersection of the Ontario Health and Safety Act, the Human Rights Code, the Education Act and the Labour Relations Act. Our presenters will identify and explain the legal complexities associated with such issues as the presence of service animals, refusals to perform “unsafe work,” refusals to participate in physical restraint training, teacher refusals to perform “EA work” and other disputed topics that may arise in connection with the education of exceptional students.


Networking Break


Workshop Session B – 2nd Set

• Option 1: Human Rights and the Accommodation Challenge

Vincent M. Panetta, Andrew N. Zabrovsky and Julia M. Nanos

This workshop will address emerging accommodation topics in the school board environment such as responding to requests for accommodative transfers between schools, the extent of a union’s right to insist on involvement in the accommodation process, the accommodation of gender identity, the accommodation of asserted family obligations, the asserted “obligation” to revise teaching assignments as accommodation and the right of an employer to medical information concerning an employee’s dependant family member.

• Option 2: Knowledge is Power: Access to Information in the Labour Relations Context

Scott T. Williams

School boards are increasingly being faced with demands from employees, unions, parents and members of their communities for access to confidential  information, all the while contending with their own informational needs that are critical to making good decisions. MFIPPA has little to say in the employment context, so what are the rules? In this presentation, our experts will explore a number of contentious topics such as access to information in an OSR/IEP, to a board’s investigative reports, to data on a board’s costs of arbitration/bargaining, to a union’s deliberative processes, to information associated with criminal or OCT investigations.

• Option 3: Student Witnesses

Michael A. Hines

It is not uncommon for school boards to face the difficult choice as to whether to call students as witnesses in employee discipline arbitrations. This challenge is particularly acute where the students are in the elementary grades. Despite the obvious complications, boards may wish to avoid the perception that they are unwilling to involve students, and the impact that may have on employee behaviour and union/federation preparedness to arbitrate rather than settle. This session will provide our suggestions and strategies as to how the process can be handled in ways that reassure parents, empower students and get the results that you consider to be necessary for your system.


Conference Concludes

Please note that in order to maximize the experience of attendees, spaces in the workshops will be limited. We encourage you to register early to avoid disappointment.