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Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-99

Name of organisation making submission: DR-99 Ontario College of Trades Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic Trade Board

Responses to questions in submission form


Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

Public interest is the welfare and well-being of all people, their health and safety and the sustainability of their communities, including environmental concerns, economic impacts and standard of living.


2. Who should the College serve? Who is “the public” in the public interest and what groups make up the public?

First and foremost the College needs to serve it's members they are the public directly paying for the College. Compulsory Trades people have the largest stake in this institution. The College needs to serve all Ontario residents, workers, and citizens of society including visitors to the Province. The primary group in the Colleges community are the Journey Persons and Apprentices that need to be highly trained, skilled and licensed to protect Ontario's society. The Colleges focus of the Public should avoid the agendas of all special interest groups that are not socially responsible or transparent.


3. How should the College make decisions in the public interest where different segments of the public may have opposing interests?

The College needs to be accountable for it's decisions first to it's membership then to the public, this is a principle that is missing in the Ontario College of Trades. Next it needs to refocus the process recognizing and respecting the knowledge and experience of the people working in the skilled trades and on the Trade Boards. Decisions made by the College should start at the Trade Board level, from the tradespeople who best understand the issues and the scope of work. Allowing business and opposing stakeholders to influence these decisions are typical of past practices. We can only govern our selves if experienced practitioners licensed in that trade are making the decisions.


4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

The College has made great strides in enforcement with a lot more to do in the future. Protecting Apprentices and non-compulsory trainees is an area overlooked in the Colleges mandate, these are a primary segment of the Public. Non-enforcement of training standards and field training are also compromising the quality of skills training and hurting completion rates. Public interest in the sector of Residential trade-work and services is not being protect, being one of the largest groups of citizens in our society the Government of Ontario in it's decisions ignored this sector. This results in the continuous growth and prosperity of the underground economy. Non-compulsory trades result in the Colleges inability to protect the publics interest, as do trades under different Ontario Government Ministries.


5. How should the College advance the public interest?

As the college is still evolving, many segments of the public are not fully aware of it's mandate or propose to Public. On-going Public education must be prioritized, active outreach, event sponsorship at the high school and college level. Consumer awareness, ask to see the OCOT card program, make it the standard. Engage more trades people allow the Trade Boards to have forums at least once a year to Town Hall their concerns.





Section B - Issues Related to Scopes of Practice (SoPs)

6. What impact do SoPs in regulation have on your daily work activities or on the way you conduct business? What aspects of an SoP are important to the work of your trade? Please explain.

Scopes of Practice are the defining principle of our work. They are hugely influential in our daily activities, they mandate our responsibility to the Public, in compulsory trades.


7. Do you agree with the suggestion that trades may have core elements as well as peripheral elements?

Compulsory trades have well defined core elements, we disagree with any suggestion of peripheral elements. If a new and unexpected task related to new technology arrives then it is addressed by the Trade Board for review and inclusion to the Training Standard for that trade. Whole trades are designed for complete skills training and understanding of complete systems and processes.


8. What should be the key elements of an SoP? In particular, should the SoP for a trade list all of the tasks, activities or functions in which an apprentice should be trained, only those that are unique to the trade, or only those that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

The Scope of Practice is a legal synopsis of the Occupational Analysis specific to the region of that trade practice. The key elements of the trade should outline the mastered skills of the Journey-person licensed to practice that trade. The Public, personal and worker safety of that trade profession is learned through the process of mentorship and apprenticeship. The tasks and specific training requirements necessary to mentor and develop an apprentice to a trades-person are contained in the training standard for that trade created by industry subject matter experts. This process is the responsibility of the Trade Board of the College.


9. How should a review or change in SoP be carried out?

The process must be initiated by the trades to the Trade Board. Then a review or change should start at the trade board with input from the divisional boards.


10. Can or should the existing SoP provisions support the College’s diverse functions (e.g., apprenticeship training, enforcement, classification reviews)? Please explain.

As the Scope of Practice is the defining principle of our work it should be a primary driver of any of the functions extending from that trade.


11. Should the entire SoP for a compulsory trade be enforceable or be subject to enforcement? Please explain.

Yes most definitely! Lack of SoP enforcement and conflicting government regulations create constant erosion of compulsory trades as well as the lack of action and interference of other government agency's, such as TSSA and MOL.


12. Could the College benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

The College already has a list contained in each compulsory trade training standard, the question should be asked regarding non-compulsory trades.


13. What is your understanding of what an overlap between SoPs is?

Our understanding is that the overlaps are minimal and are generally restricted by the authority having jurisdiction or inspection officers. However these issue arise from special interest groups, stakeholders and organization attempting to expand their work jurisdictions and ignoring the scope of work/practice set-out in the regulations.


14. Do overlaps between SoPs in regulation have an impact on your daily work or on the way you conduct business? Please explain.

Compulsory trade professional have shown great capacity to respect the work of other trades to complete projects safely and efficiently. As mention above this impact can be serious when non-compulsory, untrained, unlicensed, unsafe workers are allowed to operate under the radar without consequence. A good example would be Gas Technicians under TSSA been allowed to work on anything with a gas pipe attached to it, regardless of their competency or training of the system as a whole.


15. Does the application of the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job? Please explain. If so, what can and should be done about it?

Respondent did not provide a response to this question





Section C - Classification or Reclassification of Trades as Compulsory or Voluntary

16. What makes a compulsory trade compulsory and what makes a voluntary trade voluntary?

The impact a trade can have on society, health, wellbeing, safety, security and a future. The principles of social responsibility and sustainable development.


17. Is the current classification of trades as either compulsory or voluntary aligned with the College’s duty to serve and protect the public interest?

Absolute NO for voluntary trades. If all trades in all of society and all Ministries (TSSA etc.) were at least members of the college and held to standards and enforcement it would be a start.


18. Is it reasonable to assume that there may be elements in the SoP for a trade that are inherently hazardous or that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job?

Yes, that's why we need full training and certification for all trades


19. Could compulsory certification be limited to either the core elements of a trade or those tasks, activities, or functions that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? What kind of impact would these approaches have on your daily work or on the way you conduct business?

NO, the compulsory trade has been developed and updated to represent the safest worker. The principles of due diligence and risk management would state that the most comprehensive trained worker would satisfy compliance.


20. Should the College continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach (i.e., the Ontario Labour Relations Board model) or should a different model be considered? Please explain.

Ontario Labour Relations Board model is not a good model for the College, the OLRB system has been flawed with inconsistencies. The panel has had its challenges with the Ratio Review and has shown a lack of trade knowledge. The more knowledgeable adjudicator's are of the trade the better and more consist the rulings will be coming from the College.


21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

From the Trade Boards and the subject matter experts from their industry.


22. Are the current criteria for trade classification reviews set out in O. Reg. 458/11 consistent with the public interest? Please explain.

NO, if a trade wants to be compulsory and have a better impact on society (as in #16) it should be a Trade Board decision. Reg #458/11 is far to complicated and subject to abuse and delay from all the groups with special agendas. The College needs to adopt a process that the impacts of our decisions and activities on society and the environment, are through transparent and ethical behavior and are sustainable.


23. Are the criteria specific, clear and measurable enough to inform you of what data and evidence are needed to meet those criteria?

NO, compulsory trade data and information is historically incomplete or unavailable as above, the process is to complex and the wrong people wrote the law.


24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

NO





Section D - Decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)

25. Do the scopes of practice (SoPs) in regulation reflect the way in which work is actually assigned in your trade or sector?

Yes with some up-dating. However the trade exemption document being used to decide scope overlap must be deleted!


26. Do you agree with the notion that most jurisdictional disputes arise from peripheral elements of the trades? Please explain.

NO


27. What consideration should the College give, if any, to the decisions made by the OLRB in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act? If the College were to adopt the OLRB's decisions, what impact would that have on your trade and the way you conduct business? Please explain.

How can we Tradespeople govern our selves if decisions made by the OLRB or any other body dictate to the College what and how we do our business. OLRB is often adjudicating between trade unions and the employer or association not specific trades. An external mandate may trigger additional training, upgrading, curriculum review or a classification review as we see required. It should be the members of the College that run the College as it is in other colleges.





Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

Respondent did not provide a response to this question