Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Vote is in; Paid PD; Mandaatory online training; Book Rebates $50 and the PLDF $350

Have you heard?
Provincial ETFO has released the results of the all-member vote on the Central Table Collective Agreements and members voted 97% in favour of what was proposed.
Was it a great agreement? Not really, but there were no strips and frankly, the focus of the province had understandably changed during the course of these negotiations.
TVOT members need to be aware that their Local bargaining team will continue to bargain on their behalf with TVDSB.
N.B. under the terms of the Central Agreement, the 1% salary increase for this school year cannot be paid to members until 30 days after a Local settlement is reached - stay tuned...
Paid PD Opportunities to resume online
Given that there have been changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefits/CERB plan to allow claimants to earn up to $1000 per month, TVDSB is going to resume hosting online opportunities for daily OT and those LTOs in assignments of less than .5 FTE. These count for all purposes as time worked (seniority credit, Teachers' Pension, EI etc.) and TVOT members will have up to 3 half-days available to them for the 2019 - 2020 school year so please check the Employee Portal for these opportunities which will be posted in the Employee Portal early next week.

Mandatory online Training Modules
Please note that all Occasional Teachers, whether in LTO or daily assignments, must complete the mandatory online training modules that will be posted by the Board in the Employee Portal next week.  These modules will remain posted for completion by the end of the school year. Completion counts for all purposes as a half-day of teaching and will be paid as a half-day of work on the last day of school. Do not forget to complete your WHIMIS review and Offcnce Declarations as well.  These are all necessary for members to remain active on the elementary OT Roster - the onus is on you!

The $50 Book Rebate and the $350 Professional Learning Development Fund
Your Local has not discontinued to offer these programs to eligible TVOT members.  All applications for the Book Rebate must be received by May 31st for purchases made within 60 days.
Applications for the PLDF must be sent to the Local in advance of the course to ensure that there is still money in that budget line.  It will be no surprise that more members than ever have taken advantage of these opportunities this year so please act quickly. The Local is currently accepting applications from members who wish to take AQ courses over the summer months.
Application Forms are available on our Local Website under Member Services

Schools will remain closed until the end of May 
Please continue to direct your questions and concerns to your OT Local at
Take care and stay well!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Voting opens tomorrow evening; QECO; Your Mental Health

Vote on the Tentative Central Agreement
Thursday, April 23rd at 5:30 pm, ETFO Provincial will open the online balloting site for members to vote on the Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement. Posted there will be full details of the agreement. Please take time to look these over, especially if you missed the telephone Town Hall last week. Members may visit the site as many times as they wish up until you finally cast your vote and you will need your ETFO ID number: 1-888-838-3836.
Voting closes on Monday, April 27th at 7 pm and we expect the results to be released by ETFO Provincial the following day.

QECO/Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario

Wondering why you are still being paid at the same rate as a daily Occasional Teacher when you have taken on a long-term teaching assignment?
Before the Board can pay you according to your qualifications, you need to apply for a QECO rating where they will assess the courses you completed and the grades you achieved. Once you receive your rating, it is up to you to submit this to the Board - it is not automatically sent to them by QECO. Please be aware that according to our Collective Agreement, you have until the end of July to get this into HR at TVDSB if you want your salary adjusted for any LTOs of that school year. Miss the deadline and you miss out so please do not delay. The Board will accept the card/receipt you receive from QECO that states your application is being processed, however it must show that documents were submitted in a timely manner.
Don't forget that if you received your teaching certificate and taught previous to coming to Thames Valley, that previous teaching experience may be recognized by the Board and move your along the grid.  Check out your Collective Agreement or contact us at for more information.

Re: Students -
This Friday. April 24th at 11 am, School Mental Health Ontario, an organisation that works alongside the Ministry of Education to enhance mental health within our schools, will be offering a live webinar for Teachers offering resources and other supports for educators.
Space is limited so act quickly. You can find out more about this at

Re: Occasional Teachers -
Though Occasional Teachers generally have no access to the Board's Employee Assistance Plan/EAP, TVDSB has arranged that during this time of Covid-19, all employees will have access to support provided by Homewood Health. (see email from Jeremy Roy sent March 91th on Outlook.)
It takes courage to ask for help. Do not hesitate to contact Homewood at 1-800-663-1142 if you feel the need and be assured that services are provided confidentially.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

CERB and averaged days; Tentative ETFO Central Agreement; TVOT Local Annual Meeting; ETFO E-Newsletter

Averaged Earnings and the C.E.R.B.
It was announced this morning, that the criteria for eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit plan was to be adjusted to allow for up to $1000 of employment income per month and for those whose Employment Insurance benefits had recently run out. This may alter whether or not Occasional Teachers decide to opt in to receive the second week of averaged earnings from TVDSB.  Requests made after today's deadline will be processed for payment on the TVDSB May 8th pay date.
Town Hall meeting Friday
TVOT members are reminded that ETFO Provincial will be conducting a Telephone Town Hall meeting this Friday, April 17th at 3:30 PM regarding the tentative Central Agreement for Teachers and Occasional Teachers. Members who have accurate information on file with ETFO Provincial will receive a phone call invitation 10-20 minutes before the start with details on how to participate.  This will be a chance for members to hear about the tentative ETFO Central Agreement and to ask questions before they cast their ballot on whether to accept or reject the deal.
 Update Member Information to ensure the Provincial Office can reach you.


Spring Annual Meeting and Elections 

As ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers may be aware, our Local's Constitution requires that there be an Annual Membership Meeting to be held each year between January 1 and May 31st (Article VII, Section 3 8.3.1). The meeting this year was to be held May 21, 2020 at the Lamplighter Inn, but given the Covid-19 crisis, this cannot take place. In an effort to abide as much as possible by stipulations in our Local Constitution, all duly passed by the membership, your TVOT Executive has voted to postpone the annual meeting to the early Fall. The meeting date will be the only change - all other stipulations regarding the meeting and election process will remain as set out in our Constitution but the current Executive will remain in office over the summer months. We will notify members of the new date as soon as arrangements are confirmed. Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.

ETFO E-Newsletter
Your ETFO Provincial Office is doing an excellent job of providing resources and information related to Covid-19 via their e-newsletters. ETFO Update #4 which has just been released, is especially relevant. We urge all members to subscribe at and stay updated as to how this crisis affects us as daily and long-term Occasional Teachers.
Stay safe and take care.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Happy Holidays; Donations; Number of Days to Remain on the TVDSB Roster; ETFO news re Covid-19

Happy Easter 
Happy Passover

In spite of this year's abnormal circumstances, your ETFO Local wishes members a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover. Traditionally many of us celebrate these times with family and friends but we cannot discard all the warnings to maintain physical distancing - our surest safeguard and the only control we have over this pandemic.
Please take time to reach out anyone in your life who may find it difficult being alone over the holidays. I can assure you, this simple act will enrich you both.

Donations to Food Banks
As someone teaching in Thames Valley, you cannot help but be aware that a number of our students come to school each day, hungry.  Loss of employment because of the Covid-19 crisis has added even more children to those in need.
Because of our arrangement to promote OTIP insurance products, the Local has funds that are not been generated by our members. In this time of great need, your TVOT Executive decided to donate $4000 from those discretionary funds to our local food banks. ETFO members should know that Provincial ETFO agreed to match such contributions for a combined total of $205,000 in donations from ETFO Locals and Provincial ETFO to Ontario Food Banks.


The Requirement to Teach 10 Days per School Year
Your TVOT Local is very pleased that in light of the Covid-19 school closures, TVDSB has agreed to waive the requirement this school year for elementary Occasional Teachers to teach 10 days in the elementary panel in order to remain on the Roster.
Your Local office was well aware of our members' anxiety and we hope this news will ease some of  your stress.

ETFO and Covid-19
As you have discovered, what is fact one day, may change considerably as we find our way in this new world. One example of this is the parameters for eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The federal government has stated it plans to ease these requirements so again, we urge members to subscribe for the Provincial ETFO newsletters in order to keep abreast of such news. Please know  that the TVOT Local is doing our best to advocate for your needs at all levels and that your best way to communicate with the Local these days is via email:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

As the Covid-19 Crisis Unfolds...; Voting on the ETFO Tentative Agreement

As the Covid-19 Crisis Unfolds
These are indeed challenging times.
Many of our TVOT members are finding themselves without an income, including many LTOs who are finding the absent Teachers they had replaced, are now able to return to their classes.
ETFO Provincial has excellent resources that can assist you as you consider your options:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit vs. Employment Insurance
 - Though the full details of the plan are not yet released, ETFO has important information on each plan at CERB vs. EI 
- For more specific information visit their Frequently Asked Questions about both plans.

Supporting Members Throughout the Pandemic
 - We recommend TVOT members visit ETFO Provincial's Professional Resources information PRS Bulletin #108 for "Distance Learning Tips", your "Duty to Report" in the virtual classroom world, "Conflict of Interest Guidelines", "WSIB Coverage While Working at Home" and other information on navigating this new method of elementary instruction.

ETFO Provincial e-newsletters
If you have not already subscribed, the Local highly recommends you do so immediately to keep informed in this ever-changing landscape. Go to the ETFO hompage where registration begins at the top right hand corner.
  ETFO Central Agreement Ratification Update

ETFO is committed to replicating as closely as possible the ratification vote experience Members are accustomed to from previous collective bargaining rounds, while keeping our members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  Here is the information ETFO to date about the ratification process:
  • On Monday, March 30, 2020, ETFO subscribed members received a CB eNewsletter with tentative central agreement highlights, a summary document of central bargaining issues and events, and a ratification vote 'FAQ'.
  • On Monday, April 6, 2020, ETFO members will be receiving a CB eNewsletter with a copy of all Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker tentative central agreement documents.
  • Telephone town hall information meetings for members will be taking place between Tuesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 23, 2020. The town hall meeting schedule will be sent to members in a CB eNewsletter on Monday, April 6, 2020, and will also be posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website.
  • General voting information will be posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website on Monday, April 6, 2020.
  • ETFO's central ratification votes will be online and will take place from Thursday, April 23 to Monday, April 27, 2020. Detailed information about the ratification process, including a link to online voting sites, will be sent to members in a CB eNewsletter and posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
  • The results of ETFO's central ratification votes will be provided to members on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 in a CB eNewsletter and posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website.


You Need Your ETFO ID Number  

To vote on the ETFO tentative Central Agreement, TVOT members will need their ETF ID numbers. Do not confuse this with your TVDSB Employee number.
The ETFO number can be found above the address label on your ETFO Voice Magazine, on your ETFO ID card with the apple or by contacting member services at ETFO Provincial.