Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week Two Already...

Provincial Occasional Teacher Conference -
First Vice-President Nancy Springer and President Terry Card had the honour of representing the interest of our members in Thunder Bay from Sept 8-10th.  Though many other issues were discussed and positions developed, the major concern of all OT Locals in Ontario remains the implementation of the hiring process imposed by Regulation 274. In the Memorandum of Settlement signed by ETFO in June, there is agreement that the Union and government will set up a committee to examine issues around the regulation and those in attendance at the conference worked hard to ensure that relevant feedback and data would be in the hands of our representatives at that table.

Labour Management -
Members may not be aware that the Local meets with Human Resources at the Board on a monthly basis to discuss matters which require more than a phone call or quick visit to resolve. As stated in Article 1.02 of our Collective Agreement: "It is the desire of the Parties to maintain a harmonious relationship between the Board and each Occasional Teacher covered under the Agreement." We welcome the opportunity to bring forward the issues and concerns of our members so please do not hesitate to contact the Local for assistance.

Pocket Calendars -
We are again pleased to offer each member a pocket calendar with information relevant to TVOT needs.  These are currently at our printer, Zippy Print and will be mailed out with the Fall newsletter towards the end of the month when the Board provides us with our membership data. NB: September 2013 was included in last year's edition to bridge the gap.

ETFO Kindergarten Specialist AQ Course -
ETFO is very excited this fall to be offering the Kindergarten Specialist Additional Qualification Course in Thames Valley - a blended model of face to face learning time with instructor Rose Walton plus online learning time done independently by each course participant.
Location: TVDSB Ed Centre, 1250 Dundas Street, London
When: 5:30 - 9:30 PM Wednesdays Sept 25, Oct 2, Oct 9, Oct 16, Oct 23, Oct 30, Nov 6, Nov 13, Nov 29, Nov 27 and 8:30 - 5:00 PM Saturdays Sept 28, Oct 26, Nov 9
Registration: by Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Fee: $650

Voluntary Unpaid Leave of Absence Program (VLAP) for LTOs -
  • LTOs may apply to the Board for up to 5 unpaid leave of absence days for personal reasons in 2013-2014.  Participation in VLAP is voluntary. LTOs may choose to take 1 unpaid day or up to 5 unpaid days (either individually or consecutively).
  • VLAP days may not occur during the first week of school, during student assessment periods and parent reporting days.
  • If LTOs apply for VLAP in writing before Sept 15th, the Board can spread the loss of pay over the the entire school year.  Otherwise the lost pay will be deducted on the applicable pay. There is no deadline to apply but the Board has requested one week's advance notice.  VLAP forms are available from the Principal.
  • LTOs taking a VLAP day are required to provide appropriate work for each of their classes and other regular teaching and assessment responsibilities including responsibility for report cards.
  • For pension purposes, Boards will report VLAP days as approved leaves, eligible to be purchased by LTOs.  After the leave(s), you are advised to contact OTPP directly to arrange to purchase credit for the leave: 1-800-668-+0105/416-226-2700 or got to iAccess on the OTPP website. Otherwise LTOs will lose service credit for that day. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Welcome Back to Reg. 274

Even in September, it seems no Occasional Teacher conversation is exempt from discussions regarding Regulation 274 and the confusion it has caused among the membership, the Principals, and Boards of Education across Ontario. It certainly was paramount when Occasional Teacher presidents met at the provincial OT Conference in June, and it will be at the forefront when we meet again Sunday to Wednesday of next week.  President Sam Hammond has given his word that the province will assist Locals in dealing with this "chaos" and as stipulated by the ETFO Memorandum of Understanding, a committee with the government and ETFO representation is to be struck to work this out.
The government's intention  was to make hiring accountable and transparent which is laudable for we have all witnessed arbitrary hiring practices. However, this is an unwieldy process for Boards the size of Thames Valley and all parties acknowledge that there have been oversights and errors. The Union need first-hand anecdotes to take to our monthly Labour Management meetings so that we can identify and resolve as many of these difficulties as possible. Also know that the Union has filed a grievance regarding the group interview process and our first hearing is scheduled for October 11, 2013.

We hope the following will provide some clarification but do not hesitate to contact us with your questions:

Subsets of the Membership per Regulation 274
OT Roster (seniority list)
- All members on the OT List are ranked according to accumulated teaching days with the Board as an elementary Occasional Teacher only.
LTO List
- Those who successfully interviewed for a posted LTO position in 2012-2013, 2011-2012 or who were successful in the group interviews; and had worked as an elementary OT for the Board for 10 months as of March 1, 2013 and had taught a minimum of 20 days are included.
LTO List for permanent hire

- Includes those from the LTO List who had successfully completed a long-term assignment of 4 months or longer (no evaluation requirement since that process is still being developed) and who are not part-time permanent Teachers (the opportunity to increase their FTE is governed by the TVTL permanent Teacher Collective Agreement).

  • The original OT Roster (seniority list) was revised after consideration of additional information provided by the membership last spring. The revised OT Roster was posted at the end of July, but does not take into account days worked from March 1, 2013 to the end of the school year.  The Union will be advocating that this adjustment take place as soon as possible.
  • The LTO List that was also posted at the end of July is different from the LTO List for permanent positions because of the factors listed in the above chart.