Code of Conduct

[May 2019]

Introduction

The Retired Teachers of Ontario/Les Enseignantes et Enseignants Retraités de L'Ontario (RTO/ERO) recognizes and appreciates the dedication of its members to the organization, especially those who assume voluntary leadership positions at both the provincial and district levels.

The RTO/ERO is a community, with a Mission and Vision intended to further the common interests of its members. The Code of Conduct helps to ensure the success of our Mission and Vision. All members of RTO/ERO are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct in their dealings and interactions with members, staff, and visitors.

The Code of Conduct describes the expectations and obligations associated with membership in the RTO/ERO, and it authorizes the process by which members may be sanctioned for violations of the Code. In most circumstances, no sanction under the Code will affect a member’s enrolment in any RTO/ERO group insurance plan.

The Code of Conduct applies to all RTO/ERO members (including “corporate members”), as defined in By-Law 2018-1, as amended. The Code of Conduct does not replace any person’s rights or obligations under any law, regulation or by-law, including the Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy, Human Resource practices and the Occupational Health & Safety Act.

In all cases, disputes between members at the District level that would constitute a violation under this Code should attempted to be resolves at that level prior to utilizing the Code.

Expectations and Obligations of Members

1. Members shall abide by the principles laid out in this Code of Conduct and comply with all applicable by-laws, rules, resolutions and policies of RTO/ERO.

2. Members shall act in a manner that is consistent with the values and principles enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and as stated in each individual provincial/territorial Human Rights legislation.

3. Members shall not engage in conduct or make personal public statements likely to harm, defame or otherwise discredit RTO/ERO or its services, programs or plans. Members shall not promote the insurance plans of RTO/ERO competitors.

4. Members shall not engage in conduct or make personal public statements likely to harm, defame, threaten or otherwise discredit any member, organization or guest participating in RTO/ERO affairs or activities.

5. Members shall respect the dignity of others and refrain from the use of profane, insulting or otherwise offensive language that constitutes the harassment or abuse of other members.

6. Members shall maintain, at all times, the confidentiality of all records and other confidential information of RTO/ERO.

7. Members shall not make use of or disclose RTO/ERO confidential information or records, except on a need-to-know basis and in the course of undertaking affairs, governance and activities of the RTO/ERO.

8. Members shall not use the confidential information obtained through their association with the RTO/ERO to further their private interests, and will otherwise avoid conflicts of interest.

9. Members shall not submit a false or dishonest claim for reimbursement of expenses or commit fraud against RTO/ERO.

10. Members shall not knowingly submit a false or vexatious complaint under the Code of Conduct.

11. Members shall respect the use of both Official Languages.

12. Members shall act in a manner that is ethical. Ethical principles govern how we make decisions that affect ourselves and others. Adhering to these ethical principles helps ensure that members, staff and guests may participate in activities in a safe, inclusive and accepting environment, where conflicts and differences can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and dignity. They embody the following:

• integrity, reliability and moral action
• fairness
• accountability
• empathy
• trust
• open and honest communication with staff, members, other professional groups and the community
• sharing information in a timely manner, using a variety of methods to enhance the philosophy of RTO/ERO’s “Service to Others”.
• respect for human dignity, spiritual and cultural values, social justice, confidentiality, and democracy.

Sanctions

Sanctions that may be imposed by the Board of Directors for a violation of the Code of Conduct include the following:

(i) cautioning the member (this can be given orally or in writing, is advisory in nature and is considered less severe than a censure);

(ii) censuring the member (this is a written expression of strong disapproval and is a formal condemnation of an individual by a group, i.e. the Board);

(iii) removing the member from a local or provincial position of responsibility for a period of time not exceeding one year;

(iv) suspending rights and benefits provided to the member (for a period of time not exceeding three years) with the exception of the right to participate in the RTO/ERO Group Insurance Plan.

(v) in the case of a very serious or repeated breaches of the Code of Conduct, terminating the membership of a member. This will result in the member’s ineligibility to participate in programs and services offered by RTO/ERO.

Process for Investigating and/or Resolving Complaints

The Chief Executive Officer is authorized by the Board to make rules and procedures governing:

(a) informal and formal processes for resolving Code of Conduct issues between members, and

(b) the process by which written complaints about violations of the Code can be brought to the attention of RTO/ERO, and the procedures for handling and investigating complaints.

The process shall ensure procedural fairness for the parties.