Former Evangeline teacher suing teachers' federation

Ryan Ross
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Sylvain Amfoubalela, left, and his advocate Noel Ayangma, during a human rights hearing last fall.

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.

Organizations: Eastern School District.Ayangma, P.E.I. Teachers, French Language School Board.Another Eastern School District.In

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Recent comments

  • Teacher Observer
    July 07, 2012 - 18:10

    All I know is they "talk" Caring Places to Learn Policy and teachers are bullied in some schools just as bad as some of the poor students. Some of my best friends are teachers and you wouldn't believe the stuff that goes on.Things are not good in the system right now. Not good at all.

    July 07, 2012 - 07:36

    The problem is an ineffective, incompetent Teacehrs' Federation which is NOT supporting its dues paying members. PEI Teachers are amongst the lowest paid in Canada yet their Federation dues are amongst the highest, in spite of a recent decision to lower. Federation staff members, lead by the "original" JUDAS GOAT of a General Secretary who is paid an annual salary of $116K to lead "teacher sheep" to ESD in a game called "conflict resolution" (Texas Wild Card Poker knowing the cards/ outcome) . If the teacher has a "spine", he then plays the "Ace" and brings in a Halifax lawyer to trump,,,no wonder the Federation's legal costs rose over 200% last year. Well THERE IS and HAS BEEN a teacher with 'spine' and Ms. Lanigan has stood against both ESD and The Federation,,,she lead the way not only for these gentlemen but also for the six other cases in or about to be in, the system. I suggest to both ESD and The Federation, NOW is the time to "repent" for you are facing a "modern day" Wonder Woman who is NOT about to be "pushed around" and who stands for JUSTICE . These gentlemen are but two of many followers! Hopefully The Guardian will not "censor" these comments like the comments I submitted yesterday morning were censored. The truth may hurt but it will get out and The Federation's incompetence will either come forth in "public" or in Legal Court evidence.

  • Defend yourself
    July 07, 2012 - 06:52

    The problem Proud to Be, is not being white, black, yellow or red; the problem is being a teacher without an union. It is sad to see teachers that must defend themselves as it is definitively showing what this Federation (PEITF) of friends working for friends try to protect. Teachers need a "real" union or people that are hired by them to do their jobs, protect them.

  • Proud to be Caucasian
    July 06, 2012 - 19:22

    Minorities are so qick to cry foul, when it comes to "thinking" they're being descriminated against. ( no matter how miniscule or baseless the complaint might be ) And in this poiitically correct society, rulings seem to be in their favor, REGARDLESS.

    • Just Another Tax Payer
      July 06, 2012 - 23:59

      Put away the pointed white hat.I wouldn't be "proud" of anything coming from your comment. These gentlemen are representing a lot of teachers that don't come forward with their issues,and are of ALL races.

  • Just Another Tax Payer
    July 06, 2012 - 15:23

    Way to go boys. About time ESD and PEITF were held accountable. Study hard, be sharp; their Halifax lawyers are only too willing to waste more tax payers' money to drag things out, only to be proven wrong.

  • Wondering
    July 05, 2012 - 11:44

    What ever happened to the case with the radiologist and his wife from Summerside and now in Manitoba? The radiologist? Was that not suppose to be dealt with on PEI in June? Was his not a racism claim? Was it not suppose to go up against Human rights?

  • Charles Barkley
    July 05, 2012 - 11:12

    Go Mr. Ayangma! it's too bad that some people still have dinosaur mindsets.

  • Another Teacher
    July 05, 2012 - 10:24

    This is not surprising. Dont expect the PEITF to go to bat for you. Some of its executives have worked for the school boards as well and wear two hats. The PEITF has very little strength against school boards for fear of biting the hand that feeds it. You cannot have an effective union when executive members work for the employer at the same time.

  • Uncle Ruckus
    July 05, 2012 - 09:42

    these poor gentlemen just want to be treated fairly and equally, and have been discriminated for years.... hopefully they finally win this fight and the racism that seems to follow these fine men is put to rest. if not, ghiz should step up and show his committment to excellence and a free world.

    • moe
      July 05, 2012 - 15:39

      Can you have one comment without praising Ghiz...........your kissing up is disgusting.

  • know any happy lawyers
    July 05, 2012 - 09:42

    I love these guys and they are a great example for all Islanders to follow. The high cost of overpaid lawyers has put Justice out of reach for the common. These gentlemen are educating themselves and pursuing justice without the parasitic lawyers getting a thin dime. Bravo!! Get your guy to get in touch with my guy and lets sue each other. Everybody should sue everybody else, tho will be our new economy and it will keep the judges working. The professional set, lawyers, get enough handouts from Ghiz and his crown corporations.

  • Neil
    July 05, 2012 - 09:34

    I don't know who is right or wrong in this situation, but I can tell you that the Teacher's Union, Federation and Boards are full of corruption and old teacher's who benefited from a time when there was employment opportunities. The boards use teachers (temporary, contract) as much as they can and then cut them off every year and make them re apply. I am a teacher, but I believe that the people running the show are truly a fine representation of the "those who can do, those who can't teach"

  • j
    July 05, 2012 - 09:22

    These two do not know when to quit!

  • How It Is...
    July 05, 2012 - 09:05

    When will this guy give it a rest? Seems like he's trying to sue anybody and everybody he's coming into contact with. I sure hope he doesn't plan on trying to teach ever again, or work on the Island, because given his track record I'm guess he'll hear a lot of "Sorry, the position has been filled"

    • Island Boy
      July 06, 2012 - 09:50

      "HOW IT IS"... with you attitude you should refer to your comments as "HOW IT WILL REMAIN"...these gentlemen plus some other lady teachers are bring out into the "light" the antics of the Komic Keystone Kops of Education and the self protecting, incompetent Federation that 'butt covers" for them. As an Islander you should be asking about your tax dollars being wasted by the Department of Education, The District and The Federation to defend the stupidities committed by their staff in the name of educating Islanders.