A teacher who filed a human rights complaint against the French Language School Board over allegations of racism is suing the P.E.I. Teachers’ Federation, claiming it didn’t help him.
Aritho Sylvain Amfoubalela filed a statement of claim Tuesday in which he alleged the PEITF failed to perform its duty to represent him in employment-related issues with his former employer the French Language School Board.
Another former teacher, Noel Ayangma, also filed a statement of claim against the PEITF Tuesday, alleging negligence in failing to represent him in his dealings with the Eastern School District.
Ayangma represented Amfoubalela during his human rights complaint hearing.
Both sides settled before the human rights panel reached a decision and details of the settlement have not been released.
Amfoubalela has since found permanent employment as a teacher in the Eastern School District.
In his statement of claim, Amfoubalela alleged he asked the federation to file grievances against the French language board after it first suspended, then fired him while he was a teacher at Ecole Evangeline.
The suspension came after two male students claimed he slapped them on the behind in the boy’s washroom.
Amfoubalela was convicted of assault and in his statement of claim he alleged a lawyer advised PEITF representative Shaun MacCormac not to appeal the conviction so he appealed it on his own.
The conviction was overturned on appeal and the Crown declined to retry the case.
In his claim, Amfoubalela alleged he repeatedly asked the PEITF for help in dealing with the French language board and the federation’s failure to act led to lost teaching opportunities from 2007 to 2012.
Amfoubalela alleged the federation acted in bad faith and in a prejudicial manner that denied him representation and led to a failure in the PEITF’s duty.
He also alleged he wouldn’t have suffered financial losses if the PEITF had represented him properly.
For Ayangma’s claim, he also alleged the federation failed in its duty to give him workplace support, but in his case it was with the Eastern School District.
Ayangma’s statement of claim alleged the district hired him in 2009 on a fixed-term contract under the false pretense it was only as a temporary replacement.
He alleged he was subjected to aggressive and hostile situations because some parents didn’t want him teaching their children.
Ayangma alleged the federation didn’t help him resolve hostile situations he faced from board officials, including the principal and school board team leader.
The PEITF failed to file grievances or allow him to file them himself, he said.
Ayangma also alleged the district imposed a ban on hiring him based on his poor performance, even though he said it didn’t conduct any evaluations.
In his claim, Ayangma sought damages because of the alleged financial loss and distress he will continue to suffer until his retirement.
The PEITF has yet to file its defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court.