Mandate

The Provincial Schools Authority (PSA) was established as an agency of the Ministry of Education (EDU) in 1975 under the Provincial Schools Negotiations Act (now the Provincial Schools Authority Act). The PSA is the employer of record for teachers employed in provincially operated schools, which includes schools operated by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Solicitor General (SOLGEN). These teachers are represented by the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers (PSAT), which is a district of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).

The PSA is also the employer of record for principals and vice principals in provincially operated schools. The principals and vice principals are not represented by a union and do not have a collective agreement. The principals and vice principals’ employment is governed by terms and conditions which have been agreed upon by the principals and vice principals and the PSA. The terms and conditions adopt the central terms that have been negotiated by the Trustees’/School Board Associations, the Principals and Vice Principals’ Associations and the Crown to ensure consistency across the education sector. In addition to the adopted terms, the principals and vice principals negotiate additional local terms directly with the PDSB.  

Strategic Overview

The PSA aims to perform its role as the employer of record for teachers, principals and vice principals working in provincially operated schools in a fair, equitable and efficient manner and in compliance with all relevant legislation including the Provincial Schools Authority Act and the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.

The Deputy Minister of Education via the Executive Director of the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB), is responsible for all matters relating to the administration of the branch, including oversight and responsibility for day to day school operations and administration in respect of teachers, principals, and vice principals.

The Executive Director of PDSB oversees and is responsible for the day to day operations including all issues related to teachers and students. The Executive Director works in cooperation with the PSA Chair to ensure effective and efficient fulfillment of the PSA’s mandate.

As the employer of record, PSA ratifies the collective agreement between the parties during central and local negotiations in accordance with the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 (SBCBA). The SBCBA establishes a system of collective bargaining in the Ontario education sector and explains the role of the PSA and the Ministry of Education during collective bargaining with teachers. 

The 2019–2022 PSAT collective agreement came into effect on June 18, 2020 and expired on August 31, 2022. The new 2019–2022 Collective agreement remains in effect until the ratification of a new collective agreement. Collective bargaining is expected to conclude in 2022–23.

The PSA enlists assistance as needed from the Ministry of Education, Education Labour and Finance Division on matters related to collective bargaining, and the Treasury Board Secretariat, Centre for Public Sector Labour Relations and Compensation on matters related to the administration of the PSAT collective agreement.

Environmental Scan

The PSA is the employer of record for teachers, principals and vice principals who work in provincially operated schools. In 2022–23, there are approximately 171.6 teachers and approximately 9 principals and vice principals working in provincial schools and outreach programs. The PSA is the employer of record for teachers who teach students who are part of the public education system but for various reasons or needs, cannot be accommodated in a District School Board program. The vast majority of these teachers are employed in schools directly operated by the Ministry of Education. These provincial schools provide direct education to elementary and secondary school students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low vision, or Deafblind. The schools also provide outreach services for school boards and teacher in-service for families with pre-school aged children.

The PSA is also the employer of record for teachers who work in a school program at the Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI) operated by SOLGEN teaching students who cannot attend regular schools.

The term of the current PSAT Collective Agreement came into effect on June 18, 2020 and expired on August 31, 2022. Collective bargaining is expected to conclude in the 2022–23 year.

Overview of Activities

In January 2023, the Minister provided the PSA Vice Chair with a mandate letter outlining the expectations for the 2023–24 fiscal year, per the Agencies and Appointments Directive. It was noted that in fulfilling PSA’s legislated mandate, the key expectations include:

  • Delivering quality educational services and ensuring the educational needs of students in provincial and demonstration schools are met.
  • Working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the PSA members, Provincial Schools Authority Teacher (PSAT) union executives and the PDSB in order to efficiently address issues raised by PSAT to help maintain a positive work environment, to resolve PSAT grievances in a fair and equitable manner, to ensure compliance with the PSAT Collective Agreement and to promote transparency.
  • Equipping board members to ensure the agency can carry out its mandate, benefitting from the contributions and expertise of each member and helping it to maintain a full complement of members.
  • Looking for opportunities to reduce the number of grievances filed each year by the union.

In addition, included below are the government-wide commitments for board-governed provincial agencies.

  1. Competitiveness, Sustainability and Expenditure Management
    • Identifying efficiencies and savings through innovative practices, and/or improved program sustainability.
    • Operating within the agency’s financial allocations.
    • Complying with applicable direction related to supply chain centralization, including contract harmonization for planned and pending procurements, and accounting practices.
  2. Transparency and Accountability
    • Abiding by applicable government directives and policies and ensuring transparency and accountability in reporting.
    • Adhering to accounting standards and practices, and responding to audit findings, where applicable.
    • Identifying appropriate skills, knowledge and experience needed to effectively support the board’s role in agency governance and accountability.
  3. Risk Management
    • Developing and implementing an effective process for the identification, assessment, and mitigation of agency risks, including COVID‑19 impacts and any future emergency risks.
  4. Workforce Management
    • Optimizing organizational capacity to support the best possible public service delivery, including redeploying resources to priority areas, where needed.
  5. Diversity and Inclusion
    • Developing and encouraging diversity and inclusion initiatives by promoting an equitable, inclusive, accessible, anti-racist and diverse workplace.
    • Adopting an inclusion engagement process to inform policies and decision-making.
  6. Data Collection
    • Improving how the agency uses data in decision-making, information sharing and reporting, to inform outcome-based reporting and improve service delivery.
    • Increasing data sharing with Supply Ontario when applicable regarding procurement spending and planning, contract arrangements and vendor relations to support data-driven decision-making.
  7. Digital Delivery and Customer Service
    • Exploring and implementing digitization for online service delivery to ensure customer service standards are met.
    • Using a variety of approaches or tools to ensure service delivery in all situations, including pursuing delivery methods that have evolved since COVID‑19.

The PSA will strive to meet the direction set out in the agency’s Letter of Direction in relation to the activities for the agency. PSA strives to maintain that quality educational services are provided to student by working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the PSA members and the PSAT union executives and the PDSB in order to efficiently address issues raised by PSAT to help ensure a positive environment for both staff and students.

The PSA addresses issues related to the terms and conditions of employment of teachers, principals and vice principals employed in provincially operated schools.
Activities include:

  • Deciding on leave applications from teachers, principals and vice principals in a reasonable and efficient manner and in compliance with the terms of employment for each group;
  • Hearing PSAT grievances at second step in a timely manner;
  • Providing input regarding the settlement of grievances in a fair and equitable manner and in compliance with the PSAT collective agreement; and
  • Ratifying agreements reached between the parties at the central and local   negotiations tables.

The PSA aims to meet two to three times a year during a normal operating cycle to discuss issues of importance to the schools and issues raised by PSAT. The PSA also aims to hold joint meetings with PSAT executives so that updates can be provided and that items can be discussed and addressed in a timely manner. There are times during collective bargaining when these meetings may be put on hold.

PSA Members and Budget

The PSA consists of a Board comprised of five (5) members: a Chair, a Vice Chair and three additional members. This agency has no permanent staff. All members are OPS employees who do not receive remuneration for their work with the Provincial Schools Authority due to the fact that OPS employees cannot received remuneration in respect of their government appointments, as per the Agencies and Appointments Directive.

Below is a list of appointees:

PositionPosition and IncumbentAppointment Date and Expiry Date of Appointment
ChairVacantN/A
Vice ChairClaudine MunroeMarch 30, 2022 to April 23, 2024
MemberMed AhmadounMay 7, 2022 to May 6, 2024
MemberCarol CastelloJune 3, 2021 to June 2, 2023
MemberStephen SimardJanuary 19, 2023 to January 18, 2025

The PSA budget is provided by the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education from its base budget. The allocation is $20,000 annually for the next three years.

Provincial Schools Authority — Budget Allocation:

2023–24 Expenditure Estimates

$20,000

2024–25 Expenditure Estimates

$20,000

2025–26 Expenditure Estimates

$20,000

These funds are reserved for:

  • Costs associated with the administration of the collective agreement including arbitration hearings and collective bargaining negotiations;
  • Services (including interpreters); and
  • Travel expenses incurred by members hearing grievances.

These funds are required to meet the mandate of the agency and costs associated with the administration of the collective agreements including arbitration hearings and collective bargaining negotiations. The PSA continues to look for ways to reduce costs including working collaboratively with the ministry on the early resolution of issues and grievances.

Resources required to meet the mandate and strategic directions

The PSA consists of five temporary members and no permanent staff.  All of the current members are OPS employees who do not receive remuneration for their membership with the PSA. The PSA requires a full or close to full complement of members to meet the mandate and directions and will work to ensure that members are replaced as appointments expire.

Risk Management

During the period of 2023–24 to 2025–26, the membership for all the PSA Members will expire. The Ministry will work with the Public Appointments Secretariat to fill the membership vacancies within a timely manner to avoid the risk that the vacancies would result in fewer PSA meetings due to the interest in having full attendance at the meetings. A full member complement provides a diverse range of opinions and analysis which is beneficial to the group.

Performance Measures

Output based Performance Measures

The PSA aims to meet two to three times a year during a normal operating cycle to discuss issues of importance to the schools and issues raised by PSAT.

The PSA will operate within the $20,000 annual budget allocation.

Outcome based Performance Measures

The PSA will continue to strive to maintain positive relationships with the PDSB and all labour organizations through working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the PSA members, PSAT union executives and the PDSB in order to efficiently address issues raised by PSAT, to resolve PSAT grievances in a fair and equitable manner, to ensure compliance with the PSAT Collective Agreement and to promote transparency.

The PSA will continue to look for opportunities to reduce the number of grievances filed each year by the union, which could reduce the total number of grievance mediation and arbitration services each year.   

Initiatives involving third parties

The PSA does not have any involvement with third parties planned for the upcoming three-year period.

Communication Plan

Once the business plan is approved, PSA will be required to publish it on its website. It is not anticipated that there will be any significant stakeholder or public response once the business plan is posted online or that there will be any issues/concerns raised from the stakeholders.

Implementation Plan

The PSA will support PDSB in the ongoing delivery of quality educational services though working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the key partners. This strategy will enable PDSB to efficiently address issues to help ensure a positive work environment, to resolve PSAT grievances in a fair and equitable manner, to ensure compliance with the PSAT Collective Agreement and to promote transparency.

The PSA will strive to meet a full complement of board members by ensuring that vacant positions are filled quickly and that new appointees are oriented to the work of the PSA and to the role and function of the PDSB.