Thursday, June 26, 2014

Employment Insurance

The Reference Code for Employment Insurance Applications for the 2014 Summer Break is:

3511012014201406   Effective 2014 June 15    Expiry:  2014 August 03

All records of employment (for permanent and temporary employees) will be sent electronically to Services Canada by Payroll Services.  Employees do not need a hard copy of their Record of Employment to apply for Employment Insurance.

Please note that Payroll Services will process the mass Records of Employment for Employment Insurance purposes on 2014 June 24 for all permanent employess and 2014 July 09 for all temporary employees.

This e-mail will also be posted on the Employee Portal (under Reference>Board Documents>Payroll).

Any questions please call the TVDSB Payroll Help Line at (519)452-2521.

Urgent Action Required if you have not completed your MANDATORY On-Line Training Modules.  You have until Friday, June 27 to complete them.

This will be the last Wednesday Blog for the 2013 - 2014 school year.  On behalf of your President, Terry Card and the Executive, I would like to wish all our members a safe and enjoyable summer vacation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Volunteering during the Instructional Day

Many members volunteer in classroom settings with the hope that volunteer work will improve their chances of being hired for full-time, permanent contracts or long term occasional work.

Professional Liability
Whether your volunteer activity involves contact with students, parents, colleagues or other members of the school community, you are at risk of being the subject of complaints about your conduct.  The distinction between your paid and unpaid work may not be understood by other members of the school community. They will expect the same level of professionalism regardless of the duties you perform:  it is likely that the College of Teaches will also share the same view.

It is important to remember that the Child and Family Services Act does not clearly distinguish between paid or volunteer activities when it comes to the duty to report suspicion of harm or risk of harm.

Ongoing Risk and Limited Protection
The protections and entitlements negotiated for ETFO members generally only apply to paid positions, not to volunteer activities. Be aware that you are not covered for issues arising during volunteer activities outside your professional obligations.
Entitlement to benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act may also limit your activities.  Your employer only pays premiums for employees based on payroll:  injuries arising from volunteer activities may not provide entitlements under the Act.

Working for no pay?
Working for no pay is not something ETFO views to be in a member's best interest.  Your professional services are valuable to the employer and the education community.  Work should be compensated.

  • Volunteering in a school setting is by choice and members should not be coerced or pressured by promises of full time work.
  • There should  be a formal written plan in place clarifying the scope of your volunteer role.
  • The hours of the volunteer work should be formalized.
  • If you are not being paid as an Occasional Teacher, you should not be taking on the responsibilities of the Teacher.  The classroom Teacher must have all responsibility for planning, supervision, discipline, assessment, communications with parents and teaching.
  • All parties should be aware of the limitations you have in your volunteer capacity:  this includes staff colleagues, students and parents:  It must be clear that you are attending in a volunteer capacity.
  • Continue to conduct yourself professionally.  Maintain boundaries.  Maintain reliable, diligent and professional work habits.  Maintain positive, professional relationships with staff.  Recognize that you are in an employment environment.  If you would not do something as an Occasional Teacher, don't do it as a volunteer.
  • Minimize your involvement in activities that will expose you to risk of injury or liability for which you have no or limited coverage.
  • Ensure that the volunteer placement is limited.
  • Be sure to notify the school administration when participating in a field trip or event outside your paid assignment.


The Federation views province-wide testing of every student in the primary and junior divisions and grades 9 and 10 as both a misuse of student time, and an ineffective use of funds that should be redirected to support students' learning.

Members are advised:
  • Not to participate in any EQAO marking exercise.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vote Strategically to stop Tim Hudak

There are just a few days left for you to do what you can to ensure that the natural flow from the ranks of Occasional Teacher to permanent Teacher is not reversed.  Talk to your friends and family about what Tim Hudak cuts to education would mean to you.  Remind them that the PC promise to cut 10,000 non-teaching jobs meaning schools will be dirtier. there will be fewer Educational Assistants in the system and so less help for special needs students.  Full-day kindergarten classes will be larger and without the assistance of ECEs.
Tell your friends and family how larger class sizes in all grades means a need for fewer permanent Teachers.  This certainly does not auger well for those just starting their careers.  With the PCs offering less professional development, there will be fewer days of work for Occasional Teachers and Tim Hudak has stated that he would cancel the Liberal's promise to restore equity in salary with the rest of Ontario's Teachers in September.
Finally, we must acknowledge that the effects of a Hudak government would be felt in every sector.  CUPE research states that the cuts to wages and jobs would cost London 7116 jobs.  Even those who manage to hold on to employment could expect fewer benefits and more desperation.  The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives points out that today, only 47% of Canadians self-identify as middle class, compared to 70% in 2002.
You may be sick of politics, but we need to have these conversations.  Time is of the essence.  We must do all we can to get out the vote to stop Tim Hudak.

2 Smartboard workshops on June 11th (beginner) and June 12th (advanced) will be held after school at 4:30pm at: Woodland Heights P.S.474 Springbank Dr, London, ON N6J 1G8 A light dinner will be provided.
Session 1Smartboard Basics Workshop: Walking into a new class can be challenging enough, why does classroom technology have to make it more difficult? If you are new to interactive whiteboards, this session will help introduce you to the technology and familiarize you with their basic use and functions.Participants will be taken step-by-step through the process of opening and accessing smartboard programs and get to practice making some of their own activities in Smart Notebook. Though computer access will be provided, any participants wishing to bring their own laptops are recommended to downl oad the Smart Notebook program 
Session 2: Intermediate smartboard  Do you have an LTO in a class with an interactive whiteboard? You know the basics, but want to learn how to take your lessons to the next level. This workshop is designed to give teachers with some basic knowledge of Smart Notebook tips and examples to make full use of the powerful software. Participants will explore the various functions of the Notebook program, and with examples, start to make their own advanced activities for use in the classroom. Using this software can be a great way to engage students or impress a potential employer, so when it comes to working with an interactive whiteboard, take your skills from 'how?' to 'wow!' today! Though computer access will be provided, any participants wishing to bring their own laptops are recommended to download the Smart Notebook program 
about the presenterKevin O'Neill is a core French teacher for TVDSB and technology consultant for RK Publishing.  Kevin has presented at conferences and for school boards across the province discussing diverse topics in regards to technology use in the classroom