The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association Act (1974)
The following is the complete text of the Act governing the establishment of the NLTA as a corporation.
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Teachers’ Association Act.
2. In this Act
(a) “association” means the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association referred to in section 3;
(b) “disciplinary committee” means the disciplinary committee referred to in subsection 16(1);
(c) “executive” means the executive referred to in section 13;
(d) “minister” means the Minister of Education;
(e) “salary regulations” means regulations
- made under paragraph 98(a) of the Schools Act or the equivalent provision of a predecessor or successor Act to that Act, and
- in force;
(f) “school board” means board as defined by the Schools Act, 1997; and
(g) “teachers” means persons engaged in a teaching capacity or other professional capacity relating to education but does not include a director or an assistant director as defined in the Schools Act, 1997.
ASSOCIATION TO CONTINUE
3. The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association is continued as a corporation.
4. The objectives of the association are
(a) to promote the cause of education in the province by
- affording to educational authorities, teachers and the public in general the benefits of the collective experience and advice of teachers on practical educational matters,
- circulating information regarding educational methods and movements in the province and elsewhere,
- stimulating through the media of communication an interest in education among the people generally, and
- organizing and supporting groups for improving the knowledge and skill of teachers;
(b) to elevate and unify the teaching profession by
- promoting the welfare of teachers in the province by setting up and administering those subsidiary services that the biennial meeting or convention may decide,
- giving advice, assistance and legal protection to members in their professional duties and relationships, and
- subject to applicable laws of the province, negotiating and entering into on behalf of the teachers, collective agreements including the regulation of salaries, working conditions and grievance procedures; and
(c) to cooperate with other teachers’ organizations having similar objects.
5. (1) The association may
(a) make, amend and repeal by-laws necessary or useful for the purpose of carrying out the objects and exercising the powers of the association;
(b) provide for the management of its property and effects and of its affairs and business, including the suspension and expulsion of members from the association, the calling of meetings and the determination of quorums for meetings;
(c) borrow money for the purpose of carrying out the objects of the association and give security for money so borrowed on the real, personal or mixed property of the association by way of mortgage, pledge, charge or otherwise;
(d) establish local and regional branches;
(e) establish special interest councils and prescribe the functions and duties of those councils;
(f) fix and collect the annual fee payable by members of the association;
(g) on behalf of the association, enter into those agreements that may be necessary for or incidental or conducive to the carrying out of the matters referred to in this section;
(g.1) in the by-laws establish the number of persons who shall constitute the executive of the association; and
(h) do all other matters and things that may be necessary for exercising the powers referred to in this section or powers incidental to those powers.
(2) By-laws made under paragraph (1)(a) shall
(a) be consistent with this Act; and
(b) be by the vote of at least ⅔ of the registered delegates present at a biennial general meeting, extraordinary general meeting or convention of the association in accordance with subsection (3) and sections 9 and 10.
(3) A proposed by-law or amendment or intention to repeal a by-law shall be presented, in writing
(a) by the executive;
(b) by a branch established under subsection (1); or
(c) by a group of not less than 10 members, where a branch referred to in paragraph (b) does not exist with respect to those members
to the association at its head office at least three months before the holding of a biennial meeting or convention of the association.
(4) Written copies of all proposed new by-laws, amendments and repeals presented to the association under subsection (3) shall be sent to all branches two months before the biennial meeting or convention referred to in subsection (3), and if approved by a ⅔ vote of the qualified and registered delegates at the biennial meeting or convention the proposed by-law, amendment or repeal shall come into operation immediately.
6. (1) Every teacher employed by a school board or in a private school to which sections 43-49 of the Schools Act, 1997 apply, shall be an active member of the association.
(2) A teacher referred to in subsection (1) may elect to be excluded from membership in the association for the year in which the notice is given, by written notice to the association to be given
(a) in a year when he or she begins or resumes employment as a teacher, within two months after the beginning or resumption of the employment; and
(b) in a year of his or her employment as a teacher other than a year referred to in paragraph (a), before September 1, and, for the purposes of this subsection, a person shall be considered to have begun employment as a teacher when he or she entered the employment for the first time and to have resumed employment as a teacher when he or she resumed the employment after an interruption for a period not less than 12 months, and
(c) a notice given under this subsection to the association shall be addressed to the association at its head office; and
(d) upon receipt of a notice from a teacher under this subsection, the association shall, within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, notify the minister in writing of the exclusion from membership of that teacher.
(3) Teachers other than those who are active members by virtue of subsection (1) may become active members of the association.
(4) The association may establish other categories of membership in accordance with its by-laws.
7. (1) The minister shall deduct, from money payable by the Crown to or in respect of a member of the association, the annual fee payable by that member to the association and shall pay the amount so deducted to the association.
(2) An employer of a teacher who is a member of the association and whose salary is not payable in whole or in part from money provided by the Crown shall deduct from the salary of the teacher the annual fee payable by that member to the association and shall pay the amount so deducted to the association.
(3) The employer of a teacher who is a member of the association and whose salary is paid in part from money provided by the Crown and in part from money provided by the employer shall deduct from the total salary the annual fee payable by that member of the association and pay the amount so deducted to the association.
(4) The association shall, in respect of persons who have stopped being members and are not covered in a collective agreement as regards deductions of an amount equal to regular dues, immediately refund all money received by it representing fees for a period after the effective date of termination of membership.
8. A person who is an administrative officer of the association and who was before his or her appointment to the post a teacher to whom
(a) the Teachers’ Pensions Act applied; or
(b) the definition of “teacher” in the Schools Act, 1997 applies shall during his or her term of office as an administrative officer be considered to be a teacher for all of the purposes of the Teachers’ Pensions Act.
9. (1) The association shall, in the manner provided by the by-laws, hold a biennial meeting or convention, and other meetings that are required shall be called by the executive.
(2) The executive may call an extraordinary general meeting of the association to be convened not earlier than one month after the notice calling the meeting has been mailed, and a proposed new by-law, amendment or repeal, if approved at the meeting by the vote of at least ⅔ of the delegates referred to in section 10, shall come into operation immediately.
10. (1) Only delegates shall have a vote at a meeting or convention referred to in subsection 5(2) or in section 9.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the word “delegates” means delegates chosen in accordance with the by-laws and is considered to include members of the executive.
11. The officers of the association shall be the president and the vice-president.
12. (1) The president shall
(a) be elected in accordance with the by-laws; and
(b) act on and with the advice of the executive unless provided to the contrary by the by-laws.
(2) The vice-president shall
(a) be elected in accordance with the by-laws;
(b) in the temporary absence or disability of the president perform the duties of the president; and
(c) on the death, disqualification, removal from office, resignation or permanent disability of the president automatically assume the office of president for the duration of the term of the president whom he or she replaces.
(3) Immediately after the assumption by the vice-president of the office of president under paragraph (2)(c) the executive shall elect from its members an interim vice-president who shall fulfill the responsibilities of that office for the applicable term.
13. (1) There shall be an executive of the association consisting of the number of members provided for in the by-laws of the association, inclusive of the president and vice-president, and, in addition, the immediate past president shall be, by virtue of the position, an executive member for the year immediately following his or her term of office as president.
(2) The elected members of the executive shall hold office from the last election until the next elected members of the executive have been elected in accordance with this Act and the by-laws.
14. The executive shall meet for the dispatch of business and otherwise regulate their meetings and proceedings as they consider appropriate.
15. The executive shall provide for the general management of the affairs and business of the association and shall carry on and transact the affairs and business in accordance with this Act and the by-laws of the association.
16. (1) There shall be a committee to be called the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association Disciplinary Committee, consisting of five members.
(2) The members of the disciplinary committee shall be appointed by the executive and shall comprise a chairperson designated by the executive and four other members.
(3) All members of the disciplinary committee shall be appointed from the ordinary membership of the association.
(4) The disciplinary committee shall be appointed for a two-year term.
(5) Where the disciplinary committee is actively involved in a case near the end of its two-year term, the executive shall extend the term of the disciplinary committee for the purposes of that case only until the case is concluded.
(a) the office of chairperson of the disciplinary committee becomes vacant; or
(b) a member of the disciplinary committee stops being a member, the executive shall immediately fill that vacancy.
(7) Three members of the disciplinary committee shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.
(8) The chairperson of the disciplinary committee shall preside at all meetings of the disciplinary committee.
(9) The executive shall, subject to the by-laws, make rules and regulations not contrary to this Act that it may consider necessary for the calling of meetings of the disciplinary committee and the order and conduct of business at the meetings.
PROCEDURE ON COMPLAINT
17. (1) Upon receiving a written complaint that an active or other member of the association is guilty of unprofessional conduct, negligence or misconduct or has been convicted of a criminal offence by a court, the executive shall designate one of the administrative officers of the association to inquire into the complaint.
(2) Where the officer inquires into the complaint referred to in subsection (1) and considers it not to be frivolous or vexatious the executive may fix a time and place for the hearing of the complaint by the disciplinary committee.
(3) Notice of the time and place of the hearing referred to in subsection (2), together with a statement of the matter which is to form the subject of the inquiry, shall be communicated by the executive or the disciplinary committee to the member of the association in respect of whom the complaint is made at least 30 clear days before the date set for the hearing.
(4) The disciplinary committee shall meet at the time and place fixed for the hearing of the complaint referred to in subsection (2) and shall hear the testimony of the witnesses, which shall be given under oath or affirmation to be administered by a member of the disciplinary committee.
(5) For the purposes of the hearing, the disciplinary committee, and each member, is vested with all the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner by the Public Inquiries Act, and the disciplinary committee is considered to be an “investigating body” for the purposes of the Public Investigations Evidence Act, and there shall be full right to examine and cross-examine all witnesses called and to bring forward evidence in defence and reply, and section 3 of the Public Inquiries Act apply to all those witnesses.
(6) Where the disciplinary committee considers it necessary, the association shall pay the expenses of a witness or member called before the disciplinary committee under subsection (4).
(7) The disciplinary committee and the member of the association against whom the complaint referred to in subsection (1) is made shall be entitled to be assisted or represented by legal counsel.
(8) The association shall pay the legal counsel for the disciplinary committee and the member of the association.
(9) Where the member of the association against whom the complaint referred to in subsection (1) is made does not attend the hearing after being notified in accordance with the subsection, unless the failure to attend is due to circumstances beyond his or her control and the member has advised the disciplinary committee, the disciplinary committee may proceed in his or her absence to hear the witnesses and adjudicate upon the complaint.
RECOMMENDATION OF DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE
18. (1) Where a complaint referred to in subsection 17(1) against a member of the association is proved to its satisfaction, the disciplinary committee may, subject to the by-laws of the association, recommend in writing to the executive that the member be
(c) suspended from membership; or
(d) expelled from membership,
and the executive may take one or more of the actions recommended by the disciplinary committee.
(2) The action of the executive taken under subsection (1) shall be communicated by written notice immediately to the member against whom the complaint was made, and if the member is dissatisfied with the action of the executive the member may, in writing, request the executive to reconsider its action, and the executive shall after the investigation affirm the action or, if satisfied that it is appropriate to do so, vary or cancel the action upon the terms that the executive may decide.
APPEAL TO TRIAL DIVISION
19. (1) The decision of the executive taken under subsection 18(2) shall be communicated by written notice immediately to the member against whom the complaint was made, and if the member is dissatisfied with the decision of the executive he or she may, within 60 days after receiving the decision, serve on the secretary of the association at its head office a written notice of an intention to appeal the decision of the executive to a judge of the Trial Division, and service on the secretary shall be considered to be service on the executive.
(2) The notice of appeal served under subsection (1) shall be signed by the member concerned or by his or her solicitor or agent and in the notice the grounds of the appeal shall be set out and the member shall file a copy of the notice in the Trial Division.
(3) The member shall, within 14 days after filing the copy of the notice of appeal under subsection (2), apply to the judge for the appointment of a day for the hearing of the appeal and shall, not less than 14 days before the hearing, serve upon the secretary of the association at its head office a written notice of the day appointed for the hearing and service on the secretary shall be considered to be service on the executive.
(4) The judge shall hear the appeal and the evidence brought forward by the member and the executive in a summary manner and shall decide the matter of the appeal.
(5) The secretary of the association shall produce before the judge on the hearing of the appeal all papers and documents in the secretary’s possession and in the possession of the association, the executive and the disciplinary committee affecting the matter of the appeal.
(6) The costs of the appeal are at the discretion of the judge.
(7) An appeal may be taken from the decision of the judge to the Court of Appeal upon a point of law raised upon the hearing of the appeal referred to in subsection (4).
(8) A copy of the decision of the court on an appeal referred to in subsection (4) or (7) shall immediately be filed by the member of the association concerned with the secretary of the association at its head office and, after the time limited for further appeals has expired, the executive shall give effect to the decision.
EFFECT OF SUSPENSION
20. (1) A reprimand, censure, suspension or expulsion made under section 18 does not, of itself, affect the competency of the person affected by the reprimand, censure, suspension or expulsion to continue or resume his or her employment as a teacher.
(2) The executive shall, on behalf of the association, authorize and pay a sum not exceeding the amount of $1,000 for payment of or towards the amount of legal fees and costs incurred by a member appealing, under this section, to a judge of the Trial Division from a decision of the executive.
21. An action does not lie against the association or the executive or the disciplinary committee or against an officer of the association or a member of the executive or disciplinary committee for proceedings taken in good faith or orders made or enforced under the disciplinary provisions of this Act or under the by-laws of the association.
SERVICE OF NOTICES
22. (1) All notices served under this Act may be served by mail and shall be considered to have been served at the time when the letter containing the notice would be delivered in the ordinary course of mail, and the service of the notice may be proved by proving that the letter containing the notice was prepaid and properly addressed and posted.
(2) With respect to a notice referred to in paragraph 6(2)(c), subsection 17(3), or subsection 19(1) or (3), the notice shall be properly addressed and sent by registered mail.