Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can it Be?

Well here we are - 7 days left until the end of the school year.  As everyone is busy cleaning out classrooms and desks, we too are busy planning for next year's school year.  2010 - 2011 brought many an opportunity for Professional Development for the elementary Occasional Teacher and we were pleased to see how many of you took advantage of these very beneficial events. 
In a nutshell, next year's tentative PD schedule looks like this:

October 2011:     SMARTBoard PD (always fully registered when offered)
Oct/ Nov 2011:    PD Boutiques offered at the offices of ETFO TVOT
Nov  24  2011  :     Fall General Meeting at Elm Hurst Inn, Ingersoll
Feb/ Mar 2012:    PD Boutiques offered at the offices of ETFO TVOT
March 7 2012 :    PD Evening Meeting at Lamplighter Inn, London
April 20, 2012:     Designated Paid PD at Althouse College (includes AM and PM sessions)
May 24, 2012:     Spring General Meeting and Elections at Lamplighter Inn, London

All events will be detailed in our Fall, Winter and Spring newsletters.

We are currently working on finalizing the handy pocket calendars that will be mailed to you in September. Please remember to refer to these as we go to great lengths to include accurate information and contacts that are very pertinent to the OT. 

Regarding LTOs, the second round of LTO assignments will be posted on First Class under the Occasional Teachers’ Folder on August 15th 

Those LTOs currently in a continuous assignment which extends beyond 3 months will be paid an additional $8.00 per day worked (pro-rated for part-time) in addition to regular salary, in lieu of benefits, commencing the fourth working month.  This amount includes vacation pay and     statutory holiday pay. This is the second installment for full year LTOs and it will come with your July 15th pay.

As well, if you expressed an Interest in an Elementary Teaching Position and received an evaluation this year, submit your receipt for single board Apply to Education subscription to Sandi Douglas at the Board for reimbursement per Article 17.03 of the Agreement.

This will be our last Wednesday Blog posting for the school year.  We thank you for reading and hope you found it beneficial.  We look forward to resuming on Wednesdays in September. 

Have a safe, enjoyable and relaxing summer! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Hiring Process

We have received several enquiries this past week from members pertaining to the hiring process and how it unfolds. 
In a nutshell, there are three (3) rounds of hiring for permanent teachers. Initially, it is an internal process for permanent teachers only.  Occasional Teachers cannot apply at this point.  Once Round 3 is completed, the Board reviews what positions have been filled, what jobs may still be available, complete any and all transfers, etc.  Only when Round 3 is completed will the postings be available on "Apply to Education" - these may be available by June-end, where these postings will be up and open for application by the OT.

Please refer to your Collective Agreement - Article 17.04
a) When interviews are conducted for a position posted at the completion of the internal elementary staffing process, at least three (3) Occasional Teachers who have indicated an Interest in an Elementary Teaching Position, and who are qualified for the posted position and who apply for the posted position, shall receive an interview when interviews are conducted for the posted position for a school.
c) If an external candidate and a member from the Occasional Teacher List are under consideration for a position, and all other factors are equal, the member from the Occasional Teacher List will receive the appointment.

On another note, with regards to LTOs that have just been posted on 1st class, the Board will release an LTO to take a permanent position but will not release an LTO to take another or  more desirable LTO.

Additional LTOs will be posted on First Class > Occasional Teachers' Folder on August 15th.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Your Pension is Safe!

On June 3, 2011, The Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF) and the Ontario government agreed to a three-part plan to address the projected $17.2 billion funding shortfall in the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. The plan, which is subject to final approval by OTF and the government, includes:
  • A 1.1% contribution rate increase, phased in over the next three years
  • Slightly smaller annual cost-of-living increases for teachers who retired after 2009
  • Recognizing the current contribution rate as the permanent base rate
The pension plan board increased the rate of return assumption used in the 2011 funding valuation to 3.25% from 3.15%, a move that reduced the size of the shortfall.  This change was made possible by measures introduced to resolve the 2011 shortfall, which reduced the plan's funding risk.
The rate of return assumption, also called the discount rate assumption, plays a critical role in projecting whether or not the pension plan has enough assets to meet its future pension obligations.  A lower discount rate assumption increases the projected cost of pensions; a higher assumption lowers this cost.

In taking action now, OTF and the government addressed the current shortfall and will file a funding valuation with the provincial pension regulator one year earlier than required.  An earlier filing avoids potentially more dramatic changes that likely would be necessary if next year's valuation were filed, and provides time for possible improvements in factors, such as real interest rates, that affect pension costs.  A valuation filed with the regulator must show future assets and future liabilities are in balance - there cannot be a shortfall.
OTF, the government and the pension plan continue to work together to examine the plan's long-term funding challenges stemming from member demographics, plan maturity, uncertain economic conditions and other factors.  The three parties will continue to study ways to keep the Teachers' pension plan secure and affordable well into the future.
For more information, visit the plan funding section of

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 30th PD Day Clarification

We are in receipt of numerous requests for clarification regarding the June 30th P.D. Day.  Some members are asking how they can participate and where it will be held.
The June 30th PD Day is the day that OTs will receive a day's pay for working providing all 21 on-line training modules* are completed.  These are the Mandatory On-Line Training that you must complete.  It is accessed by going to the Employee Portal under Staff Development and Training/Mandatory Training.
So, there is no PD to actually "go to".  It is the day that all OTs will be paid for completing the Mandatory On-Line Training, by June 30th, 2011.
* Please note that the Domestic Violence module is in development and will not be available until the next school year. 

Our Spring General Meeting on May 26th, at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn was a wonderful success.  We held Elections for our Local and we are pleased to announce your New Executive for 2011-2012:

Returning President and Chief Negotiator (two year term; no election this year) - Terry Card
1st Vice-President - Nancy Springer
2nd Vice-President - Sheri-Lynn Honyust
Treasurer - Lorna Wilson
Secretary - Gina Droppo
Executive:  Health and Safety - Carrie Heiter
Executive at Large - Donna Leonard
Executive at Large - Angela Mitchell
Executive at Large - Vivek Nath

Congratulations and thank you to each of our Executive members for their dedication and hard work for our Local.