Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Holiday Pay and more Snow Day Information

The incredible amount of snow we've experienced this fall has wreaked havoc with transportation in the London area and especially in the counties.  It has prompted many questions with respect to the rules regarding what takes place when there are bus delays and/or cancellations when the OT has managed to get themselves to the school. What happens if they get to the school and there aren't any students to teach due to bus cancellations and delays?

The rules are:
Bus delays: OTs go to the assignment and will be paid (regardless of whether the school is 100% bussed)
Bus delays that later become cancellations: you are expected to arrive at the assignment and will be paid (regardless of whether it is 100% bussed)
Bus cancellations at a 100% bussed school: the school will be closed, your assignment is cancelled and you will not be paid
Bus cancellation at all other schools: OTs are expected to arrive at the assignment and will be paid

There are several sources to learn about bus cancellations and school closures:  listen to the radio, visit radio websites and of course the TVDSB website. The most accurate information regarding which schools are closed is found on the Board's homepage.  This information is posted daily and updated throughout the day.  It is the source you should refer to first.

Another frequently asked question is in regards to pay over the Christmas Holidays for LTOs.  If you refer to your pocket calendar, you'll notice there are no teaching days listed for the January 14th deposit date. Be assured that as an LTO, you get the same annual pay as a permanent teacher with the same grid placement, however, your pay is divided into the 194 teachings days as per diem salary.  In other words, permanent teachers have to wait 12 months to receive their full salary while as an LTO, you will receive yours 2 weeks after your last teaching day.

N.B. This is our final Wednesday BLOG for the 2010 calendar year.  The BLOG will not be posted over the Christmas Break.
See you on January 5th, 2011 . 
Happy Holidays to everyone!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Regarding Snow Days.....

LTOs will be paid for the snow days but according to the Collective Agreement: Article 16.05 b)   In the event of inclement weather, Occasional Teachers will receive information on the status of school closures or delays in openings by the normal Board communication process.  Notice of closure due to inclement weather will be deemed to meet the minimum notice requirement of Article 16.05 (a).
The "normal" communication process includes the radio and the TVDSB web page, so in this case those notices were sufficient to meet the provisions of the Agreement.
On another note, having 3 unscheduled days off can be either rewarding with time off for oneself or unnerving with the winter break quickly approaching.  Teachers and students alike must now scramble to make up for lost time.  Do so with ease and thought for the students - we're all in the same boat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reap the Benefits of Giving

Our Fall General Meeting on November 24th last, was a very well attended event whereby attendees were able to mingle amongst their peers in the beautiful setting of Sunningdale Golf Club. Over 150 guests attended the meeting, heard speakers who motivated, encouraged and inspired us and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Attendees were asked to bring donations to Merrymount's Family Support and Crisis Centre which has children up to age 12 years of age in it's Overnight Care Program - our members did not disappoint!  Merrymount's Executive Director - Ailene Wittstein, was in attendance and was overwhelmed by the number of donations brought in for Merrymount.  These were delivered to Merrymount the following morning because there were too many to fit in Ms. Wittstein's vehicle.  The staff and children were overcome with excitement.  Here comes the good part folks:  the following day, one of our members was teaching and after the last bell of the day had rung, a little girl came running back into the classroom  looking for the new hat that she had just received from Merrymount- she did not want to leave it behind!  Now doesn't that make you feel great?
We would like to thank those of you who advised our office of any cancellations.  This allowed  members who were on a waiting list to attend.  This consideration not only allows other members to participate, but of equal importance, does not waste your membership dues as the cost of these events is determined by the number of meals we advise the host venue we will require - your consideration in this respect is most appreciated.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2011 ETFO's Eleventh Annual Leadership Conference for Women

...and Still We Rise 2011 Conference
2011 ETFO's Eleventh Annual Leadership Conference for Women scheduled for February 9 (evening), 10 and 11, 2011 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto promises, once again, to be informative, exciting and beneficial to all in attendance.  Conference topics include: Keynote Speakers, Leadership Presentations, Elective Workshops, Artisan Displays, and  plenty of Networking Opportunities.
For members, the ETFO Provincial Office will cover the costs of travel, shared accomodation, meals, release time and dependent care. 
Further Conference Information and Registration Package can be found at: (PDF)
hhtp:// (Word)
To register, print out the Conference Information and Registration Package for reference (links above), then submit this secure online form:
You can also mail or fax the forms in the Conference INformation and registration Package.
Registration Deadline:  Friday, November 26, 2010
If you have additional questions, please contact Kalpana Makan at
Telephone:  416-962-3836, ext. 2245
Toll free:  1-888-838-3836

To all those members who will be attending our Fall General Meeting and Banquet at Sunningdale Golf Club this evening, please remember to bring in your Donations to Merrymount's Family Support and Crisis Centre as we will be making a presentation to Merrymount's Executive Director.      

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Attitude: It's Everything

An individual's attitude can affect the overall morale of the whole staff and the tone of the workplace.
Research indicates that those with positive attitudes have lower stress levels, occasional sickness and live longer.  As well as improving the environment for colleagues, an optimistic teacher helps students understand the importance of attitude in realizing one's dreams and potential.  Negativity causes conflict and tension in the workplace.

Dealing with Negative Comments

The first step towards resolution is to identify these behaviours; the second is to talk about them and work together to create a healthy and pleasant work environment.

- Assume the best in others.  Look for the positive side of a situation.  Try to find common ground to build     a positive outcome.
- Actions speak louder than words.  Don't just think or talk about a problem, do something about it.
- Simplify your life.  Get rid of unhealthy relationships and maintain contact with positive people.
- Set reasonable tasks, goals, and expectations for yourself.  Celebrate your accomplishments.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes.
- Laugh often with others and at yourself.
- Don't hesitate to forgive, forget, and move ahead.
- Celebrate the successes of others as much as your own.
- Avoid listening to or participating in negative talk about a colleague.
- Share the work fairly in the school among the staff.
- Be kind to each other.  Empathize when necessary.


We cannot make other people act in certain ways, but we can make choices regarding our attitude to a situation.  A positive attitude can make each day better, and keep us in good health for our entire lives.
The above was published by ETFO, from After the Chalkdust Settles.

And in this spirit, we invite you to join us at our Fall General Meeting and Banquet, next Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club as we celebrate this years Award Recipients Mr. Keith Tapp, as Honourary Life Member and Ms. Lynn McClean from ETFO Provincial for Outstanding Service to our Local. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The Smart Board PD Event held at W. Sherwood Fox proved to be both beneficial and enjoyable to those in attendance.  Over 200 members registered and participated in either a Basic, Intermediate or Advanced session and your feedback is telling us that you would like more of these types of workshops.  To those members who were unable to attend because registration filled up so quickly, we are hoping to offer a similar workshop at our designated paid PD event at Althouse College on April 8. 2011.   Continue to check our blog, website and newsletters for further information.
Our next exciting event will be our Fall General Membership Meeting and Banquet which will be held at Sunningdale Golf Club on November 24, 2010, from 4:30 - 7:30 pm.  Please register at by noon November 17, 2010 and please indicate your choice of a vegetarian or turkey dinner.  There is no charge for members but 24 hours notice is required to cancel your spot or you will be charged for the cost of the meal.
This year, we are honouring Mr. Keith Tapp as an Honourary Life Member for his oustanding service to the Local.  We will also be honouring Ms. Lynn McClean from ETFO Provincial for her outstanding service to the Local.
Hope to see you there.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nov 4th SMART Board PD Event in BIG Demand!

Member response to the SMART Board workshop PD event has been tremendous- over 200 registrants will be participating!  We are thrilled to be able to offer our members the kind of Professional Development you feel would be most beneficial to your careers.
For those members who were not able to get into one of the workshops this time, we are hoping to offer a similar one at our designated paid PD event at Althouse College on April 8th, 2011.  Keep looking for information in our Newsletter, Blog, and Website. 
If for any reason any member who has received confirmation cannot attend the Smart Board workshop tomorrow, we would ask that you please advise our office as soon as possible so we could fill the spot with someone else.       
If you would like a say in what your Local is doing and how you are being represented, be sure to attend the Fall General Meeting at Sunningdale Golf Club on November 24th, 2010.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

November 4th, 2010- Mid-Autumn Professional Development

In response to the demands of the membership, the Local has cancelled the Lamplighter event on Thursday, November 4th to focus our resources on twelve SMART Board workshops we will host that same day at W. Sherwood Fox Public School, 660 Steeplechase Drive in London.  The sessions will run from 4:30 - 7:30 PM and a light dinner will be provided.
Please let us know by email at if you are interested in registering for either a Basic, Intermediate or Advanced SMART Board workshop.
Registration closes at noon  - November 1, 2010.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 25th Elections

We are due to vote in Monday's Municipal Election.  Based on the results of a survey of candidates conducted by our colleagues at the ETFO Thames Valley Teacher Local, we recommend the following Trustee Candidates for Board of Education:

County of Oxford (two Trustees to be elected)               
- Marlene Turkington
- Robin Barker-James                                                  
- Bill McKinnon                                                                 
- James Battin

County of Elgin (Two Trustees to be elected)            
- James Todd                                                               

County of Middlesex (Two Trustees to be elected)       
- Jennifer Coghlin                                                          

City of London

Wards 1, 11, 12, 14 (Two Trustees to be elected)
- Graham McIntyre

Wards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Two Trustees to be elected)
- Darlene Snyders

Wards 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 (Two Trustees to be elected)
- Teresa Bell

 - Thirteen Trustee Candidates responded to the ETFO Thames Valley Teacher Local Questionnaire.
 - Four incumbent Trustees (Peggy Sattler, Peter Jaffe, Terry Roberts, and Joyce Bennett) indicated that they both supported and voted for the TVDSB Attendance "Support" Program.  Only Peter Jaffe indicated support for wage parity between elementary and secondary teachers.
- Ten non-incumbent Trustee Candidates indicated some degree of opposition to the TVDSB Attendance "Support" Program and support for wage parity between elementary and secondary teachers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Financial Tools for Women Conference - December 3-4, 2010, Toronto

Provincial ETFO is presenting a Conference specifically designed for women to provide participants with an opportunity to increase their financial literacy and learn about proactive strategies to reflect on and address their financial fitness.  Conference Workshop Topics include:  Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Estate Planning, Tax time tips, Budgeting, and much more.
Registration Fee for ETFO Members is $50.00, non-ETFO Members is $150.00.
The registration deadline is November 1, 2010.  For members, the ETFO provincial office will cover the cost of travel, conference materials, accommodation (double occupancy), meals, and dependent care based upon provincial guidelines. 
Keynote Speaker: Evelyn Jacks, Founder and President, Knowledge Bureau.
This conference takes place on Dec. 3-4, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Toronto on King St.
The conference application form will be available on the ETFO website, by October 1, 2010.
For further information about this program, please contact ETFO Executive Assistant:  Jennifer Mitchell, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario Federation des enseignantes et des enseignants de l'elementaire de l'Ontario, 480 University Avenue, Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1V2.  Telephone : 416-962-3836, Toll free:  1-888-838-3836.  Website:    

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mandatory Responsibilities under Bill 157 - Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Act

You may not be aware but Bill 157 requires that all school staff who become aware of inappropriate student activity must notify the Principal "as soon as reasonably possible".  Staff must complete a copy of a new form, called the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form whenever a report is made to the Principal regarding student misconduct which can lead to suspension or expulsion.  Members could potentially face discipline for failure to comply with these new obligations and the Principal is required to provide an acknowledgement of receipt of a report filed.  FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION, ETFO IS ADVISING MEMBERS THAT THIS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT OF A REPORT IS A CRUCIAL DOCUMENT, AND SHOULD BE KEPT BY THE MEMBER.
Principals may suspend students if they believe the pupil has engaged in any of the following activities while at school, at a school-related activity or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will affect the school climate:
1. uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
2. possessing alcohol or illegal drugs;
3. being under the influence of alcohol;
4. swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
5. committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil's school or to  property located on the premises of the pupil's school;
6. bullying;
7. any other activity that is an activity for which a principal may suspend a pupil under a policy of the board.
For further information contact your Local (519-641-3936) or ETFO Professional Relations (416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836).


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reminder When Doing Your Long Range Planning

Your Union has negotiated two paid PD days. 
Day 1 is mandatory.  There are several options for Day 2.
Day 1 (Mandatory): Throughout the year, the Board will post training modules on the Employee Portal. The Board will pay members following completion of all mandatory on-line training modules.  The training modules will be available throughout the school year, with compensation being paid on completion of all modules by year's end. 
Day 2 (Optional):  April 8, 2011 - Althouse College opportunity:  This joint effort between the Board and your Union will be a full day event with a keynote speaker, a message from the Board and a variety of workshops from which to choose.  Check the newsletter and First Class for additional options.
The combination of the online training and April 8, will count as 2 days of Occasional Teaching. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Edvantage Discount Opportunities

Your provincial ETFO membership card is your Edvantage discount card. The Edvantage programme / provides rewards and discounts to education workers and their families through partnerships with Ontario retailers and businesses such as GoodLife Fitness (40% -50% off), Enterprise Rent-A-Car (9% off), Canadianflowershop FTD (15% off), Hakim Optical (30% off), Scholar’s Education Centre (10% -25% off), Softmoc (10% off), Colour Your World ICI Paints, Apple Canada and more.   To update your member information and to request new ETFO cards go to > Quick Links or call ETFO at 1-888-838-3836 for your ETFO card.    

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pocket Calendar Update

Your  ETFO TVOT pocket calendar is at the printers and will be mailed out to members by month's end.  This should ensure that we have accurate names and addresses of our membership so as not to miss anyone.  To buffer the inconvenience of a later delivery, we will now include the upcoming September in each edition to carry members over until the next calendar is available. Your Fall newsletter will arrive with that same mailing so be certain to check it out as well for information important to all elementary Occasional Teachers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Footwear Policy is coming

Though the new Footwear Policy policy is still in draft and not yet open for public input, the Board is immediately enacting the provisions in response to Ministry of Labour orders.  
So, effective immediately all employees must:

• Wear the appropriate footwear for the location and activity at all times.
• Wear shoes that are in good condition and provide a secure fit.

• Be aware of surroundings and conditions which may dictate the use of appropriate footwear and equipment.

• Report unsafe and unexpected surface/work conditions which may require isolation, repair or implementation of the steps listed within this document.

Due to the nature of a school environment, the increased presence of hazards within schools and the requirement to work outdoors, no open toed shoes should be worn. Soles should be non-skid and provide a snug fit.That is to say, footwear should be designed for the task being performed and must:

• provide adequate protection against injury to toes

• have soles that are soft rubber and non-skid

• fit snugly and fully enclose the foot

• be flat or maximum two and one-half inch (2.5") heel

The following are considered as inappropriate footwear:

• flip flops, beach shoes or slippers

• shoes with spiked heels

• platform shoes, soles greater than 1 inch

• molded/plastic “gummy” shoes or “Crocs”

• bare feet or socks

• “wheelies”, roller blades, roller skates, or similar type of footwear

Gym shoes worn must have soft rubber soles/non-skid soles and have a flat heel. Technical shops, the lab or chemical store rooms will require complete foot protection.

Employees working outside (recess/bus duty) during the winter are at a greater risk of falling. Footwear with soles resistant to slippery surfaces must be worn. Winter footwear should have flat soles with a raised pattern that grip the walking surface.