About the Provincial Schools Authority (PSA)

The Provincial Schools Authority (PSA) was established as an agency of the Ministry of Education 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 do have Terms and Conditions of employment which are negotiated.

As the employer of record, the PSA is responsible for ratifying the PSAT collective agreement, which includes Part A – OSSTF Central Agreement and Part B – PSAT Local Agreement. The PSA ratifies the collective agreements in accordance with the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act 2014 (SBCBA). The SBCBA governs collective bargaining for teachers in the education sector. It identifies union and management representatives and their roles and responsibilities, including the role of the PSA and the Ministry of Education during bargaining with provincial school employees. 

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.

The PSA meets as needed and makes decisions with respect to terms and conditions of employment of teachers, principals and vice principals, leave provisions of the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers (PSAT) Collective Agreement and grievance resolution.

The PSA and Provincial and Demonstration Schools

Provincial and demonstration schools offer the Ontario curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels as well as specialised integrated programming for students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low vision, Deafblind and students who have severe learning disabilities.  The schools also provide outreach services and teacher in-service for school boards. Provincial and demonstration schools are located at four sites: Belleville, Brantford, London and Milton.

In 2022-23, there were approximately 172.60 teachers and 11 principals and vice-principals working in provincial schools and outreach programs. These teachers are employed in schools and outreach programs directly operated by the Ministry of Education, PDSB, or at the Ontario Correctional Institute operated by the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Teachers, principals and vice-principals in these schools are classified as employees of the PSA. Their salaries are paid directly by the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Members of the PSA

Historically, the PSA members have been Ontario Public Service employees and do not receive remuneration for their PSA services.

Membership as of June 2023 is as follows:
PositionIncumbentTerm
ChairPoste vacantN/A
Vice ChairMs. Claudine MunroeMarch 30, 2022 to April 23, 2024
MemberMr. Med AhmadounMay 7, 2022 to May 6, 2024
MemberMr. Stephen SimardJanuary 19, 2023 to January 18, 2025
MemberMs. Carol CostelloRequest for re-appointment in progress.
Previous term - June 3, 2021 to June 2, 2023

PSA Activities

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

In October 2021, the Minister provided the PSA Chair with a letter of direction outlining the expectations for the 2022-23 fiscal year. In addition to government-wide priorities (which are explored further below), the PSA met the direction set out in the agency’s letter of direction in relation to the specific activities for the agency including:

  • Delivering quality educational services and ensuring the educational needs of the students are met.
  • Working collaboratively and maintaining open lines of communication with the PSA members, PSAT union executives and the PDSB to:
    •  efficiently address issues raised by PSAT 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.
  • Maintaining a full complement of board members to ensure that the agency can carry out its mandate benefitting from the contributions and expertise of each member.

Fulfillment of Government-Wide Priorities:

  1. Competitiveness Sustainability & Expenditure Management
    • The PSA budget is provided by the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB) of the Ministry of Education from its base budget.
    • PSA monitored spending on a monthly basis in order to remain within the allocated annual amount of $20,000.
    • In 2022-23, the PSA, incurred $13,412.50 in expenses which is 67% of the annual budget of $20,000.
    • The PSA explored ways to reduce costs working collaboratively with the ministry on the resolution of issues and grievances.
  2. Risk Management
    • The PSA completed the annual agency risk assessment report assessing risks and managing action plans/mitigation strategies for all existing, potential, and emerging risks.
    • The PSA continues to be committed to identifying and reporting on any high risks as per the Enterprise Risk Management process and did not have any high risks to report for 2022-23.
    • The PSA members met multiple times during the year and discussed key issues, concerns and highlights within the branch. The Executive Director, PDSB joined the meetings and provided details on the programs and services offered by the provincial schools and shared facilities updates and details on the work taking place at the sites in order to keep the members apprised of the current work and any areas of interest.
  3. Transparency & Accountability
    • PSA is actively considering options for increasing interest in PSA board membership including broadening the applicant pool and continuing to match applicant skills to the requirements of the appointed position.
    • PSA abides by applicable government directives and policies and ensured that the newly appointed member receive orientation materials at the beginning of their term regarding their role and responsibilities and applicable government directives.
  4. Workforce Management
    • The PSA requires a full or close to full complement of members to meet the mandate and directions.
    • The one vacant membership position was filled during 2022-23, the new appointee has been oriented, and has participated in PSA meetings.
    • There are two vacant positions (Chair and one member) and work is underway to ensure that members are replaced to fill these vacant positions as a full member complement provides a diverse range of skills and experience which is beneficial to the group.
  5. Data Collection
    • The PSA monitored the number of grievances filed and tracked the number of resolutions.
    • Data has been reviewed related to the types of grievances received and similar grievances have been bundled together which has identified similarities and areas of interest for PSA and PDSB to focus on.
  6. Digital Delivery & Customer Service
    • PSA used a variety of digital methods to correspond with PSA members and PSAT including MS Teams and Zoom, which was beneficial for staff who are spread out over a number of regions.
    • Being able to connect virtually in a timely manner in a format that is inclusive for the members participating maintains the service delivery standards and addresses items efficiently. 
  7. Diversity & Inclusion
    • The PSA continued to work with the Executive Director, PDSB, to implement and monitor actions to support and promote an equitable, inclusive, accessible, anti-racist and diverse workplace.
    • PDSB is currently reviewing the PDSB policy on Anti-Audism to support respectful and inclusive schools, lodgings, and workplaces for Deaf or hard of hearing or Deafblind persons.

Performance measures and targets

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 meets to share information and discuss items of concern in a timely manner. PSA held two meetings during the 2022-23 school year. The PSA will propose a meeting schedule for the 2023-24 school year to ensure that meetings take place to maintain positive relationships with the members and with the labour organization.

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

In 2022-23, the PSA, incurred $13,412.50 in expenses which is 67% of the annual budget of $20,000. The PSA budget is provided by the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education from its base budget. PSA monitors spending on a monthly basis to remain within the allocated annual amount of $20,000.

Outcome-based Performance Measures:

The PSA will continue to strive to maintain positive relationships with the PDSB and labour organizations.

The PSA worked collaboratively with PDSB to maintain open lines of communication to attempt to actively address items raised by PSAT in a fair, equitable and timely manner to help ensure a positive environment for both staff and students. The PSA strives to improve relations with the representatives of its employee groups and continues to look for opportunities to proactively mitigate concerns.

PDSB will continue to work with the Union in attempts to re-establish monthly joint meetings between the senior management at PDSB and the PSAT executive members in order to help to open communication channels for discussion with the aim of working toward better resolution of issues of mutual concern.

PSA will work with PDSB to actively support the promotion of the provincial schools to increase awareness within district school boards and the community of the programs and services offered.

When the PSA members met this year, the PDSB Executive Director attended the meetings to provide current information on the programs and services offered by the provincial schools, to give facilities updates and details on the work taking place at the sites and to promote the positive work that is taking place. PDSB actively attended meetings with school board administrators and staff where information was provided on the programs that are offered and the benefits for the students who attend the provincial schools.

Risks

  • The membership for the PSA Chair and two members expired during 2022-23 which posed strategic/governance risks correlated to not having a full complement of members. These risks were rated as being low and did not impact the PSA’s achieved results in meeting its mandate.
  • The Ministry mitigated these risks by filling one membership vacancy in 2022-23 and work is underway to appoint members to fill the other two vacant positions. A full member complement provides a diverse range of opinions and analysis which is beneficial to the group. The Ministry will continue to work with the Minister’s Office and the Public Appointments Secretariat to identify candidates to fill vacancies and address potential vacancies ahead of term expiration dates.

PSA Expenses

PSA expenses are funded by the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education. The allocation is $20,000 annually.

These funds are intended for:

  • Costs associated with the administration of the collective agreement including arbitration hearings.
  • Travel expenses incurred by members hearing grievances.

In 2022-23, the PSA incurred $13,412.50 in expenses which is 67% of the annual budget of $20,000.