Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Stress; Daily Assignments; Violence Training and Paid PD; Fall General Membership Meeting and Elections; New Website; ETFO Conference

These are Stressful Times! 

It has taken years, but your Local is pleased to report that TVOT members now have access to the TVDSB Employee Assistance Plan/EAP. To access these supports, log into the Employee Portal and go to "Personal Information" and "View my Employee Assistance Program".

Asking for help shows courage - be assured that use of EAP services is confidential!

As well, the Canadian Addiction and Mental Health/CAMH website from one of the world's leading mental health research hospitals provides helpful links for those trying to cope with stress and anxiety during Covid-19:


Notes for a Daily OT -

Complete self-screening each day before teaching. Enter wearing your own mask - you will sanitize when you enter the building then change into the medical mask provided. At the office, you will be given a sanitized key. Instructions on sanitizing equipment such as the photocopier, will be posted so look for these directions and make sure you sanitize each time you leave a room and again, when you re-enter the class.

Be sure to bring your own personal items such as pens and water bottles, maintain 2M physical distancing when possible and observe posted capacity limits in common areas such as the staff room.   

We can do this!


Paid Violence Awareness Training has moved -

This opportunity can now be found in the TVDSB Employee Portal in "Conference Registration" under "Elementary Occasional Teacher PD 2020-2021". As with other paid PD sessions, payment for completion of this will be triggered by submitting a "Reflection Form" as directed. For all purposes including E.I., Teachers' Pension, requisite number of days to remain on the OTE Roster, this module counts as a half-day of teaching. N.B. This day is in addition to the Paid PD days negotiated in our TVOT Collective Agreement.

Other Paid PD Opportunities -

What is paid PD?  The Local has negotiated that every OT (including LTOs in assignments of .5FTE or less) is eligible for 4 half-days of PD to be treated for all purposes and paid as teaching time. One half-day of this must be reserved for mandatory online training that will be posted this Spring, however the 3 remaining half-days are yours to select from the options listed. The Board plans to post several of these additional paid PD online sessions in the Employee Portal sometime next week. Staff Development is aware that many of our members are asking for Brightspace training and they will advise us when sessions are available to address this need.


Fall General Membership Meeting and Elections - 

Registration has opened at for the Local Fall General Membership Meeting and Elections being held virtually on October 21st at 4:30 PM

These elections were postponed from May when the Covid-19 lockdown prohibited the membership from meeting in person. Such restrictions remain in place and so we will look forward to meeting everyone virtually, using the Zoom platform.

Become involved - we are truly looking forward to meeting you!


New TVOT Website -

TVOT is almost ready to transition to our revised website - a badly needed project tabled because of the demands of last year's strikes and the pandemic closure of school.

There may be a few glitches along the way so we ask in advance for your patience. We are certain however, that TVOT members will find the new site more appealing and easier to navigate.

Same address but improved features - coming soon!


Upcoming ETFO Provincial Conference: Building and Strengthening Partnerships in the Kindergarten Program

Registration is now open for this virtual conference to be held 7 PM Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24th. For more information visit -


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

More LTOs to Come; Deadline for Payment; Health and Safety Paid Training is Online; Calendar and Newsletter are in the Works; Time to Elect Your Local Executive;

More LTOs to Come -

To say that staffing classes this Fall has been a challenge for TVDSB staff, is definitely an understatement. New announcements and additional dollars from the government have caused the Board to re-organize permanent Teacher assignments several times these past few weeks and from that shuffle, has come the displacement and re-organization of many elementary long-term assignments. 

As these pieces start to fall into place, we remind members that there will be additional LTO postings - possibly as early as this week so be sure to check LTO postings with TVDSB each day as the Union has agreed to allow some of these to close after 3 days so that classes get off to the best start possible.


Deadline for Payment -  

TVDSB Occasional Teachers have until September 13, 2020 to complete the paid mandatory online "Covid-19 Re-opening Attestation and Training", now available in the Employee Portal. TVOT members must complete this training in order to be eligible to teach in with the Board -  completion will still be necessary if you miss this deadline, however you will not be paid after that date.


Paid Training for Health and Safety now Posted -

TVOT members can log into the Employee Portal and in the "Employee Training" folder you will find "H&S Half Day PA Day Violence Awareness Training, September 03, 2020" . Completion of this module qualifies for a half-day of pay for members not in LTO assignments greater than .5 FTE.  


Your TVOT Pocket Calendar and Newsletter - 

No need to panic - your 2020 -2021 pocket calendar and newsletter are in the works with contact information for every school site, your pay dates, and what to do in an Emergency situation as an ETFO Teacher. 

Please make sure that the address you have listed with the Board is accurate as this is what the Local uses for mailouts. TVOT members can check this information and make changes in the Employee Portal under "View/Change My Personal Information". Remember that maintaining accurate contact information is a condition of your employment with TVDSB - the onus is on you to keep this data up to date.


Election Time is Coming -

Have you ever considered running for a position on the ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers’ Local Executive?  

Why not join your Executive team and find out what is going on – you can make a difference! Meetings are held once a month after school. In usual times, these are dinner meetings at our TVOT Office in London. 

These positions are typically elected in the Spring, however due to the pandemic, our elections were deferred until the fall in hopes that an in-person meeting could take place. Unfortunately that will not be possible. Therefore elections will be held for these following positions at our Fall General Meeting (date to be announced):

President – two year term, full-time position; legal spokesperson and representative of Local; Grievance Officer; liaison/ member of all committees; signing officer; attends all Provincial Rep. Councils, ETFO Annual Meeting, other ETFO meetings in Toronto Local Constitution 7.2.1 Candidates for President must have a minimum of one year of Local Executive experience (Local Constitution 9.1.2) 

First Vice-President – assists the President, coordinates preparation of the newsletter, attends committees (Local Constitution 7.2.2) 

Second Vice-President - assists the President and First Vice-President and acts as liaison to the P.D. Committee (Local Constitution 7.2.3) 

Secretary – records, prepares and circulates accurate minutes of past and present Executive and General Membership Meetings (Local Constitution 7.2.4) 

Treasurer - maintains financial records, pays expenses of the Local as signing officer, drafts budget and reports to Executive and membership (Local Constitution 7.2.5) 

Health and Safety Officer - acts as liaison with the Board’s Joint Health and Safety Committee, the Local Executive and general membership; conducts annual audits of schools and participates in all applicable training (Local Constitution 7.2.7) 

Executive Members at Large (4) – great learning position with duties as determined by the Executive (Local Constitution 7.1.1 – 7.1.14) 

Chief Negotiator - negotiates the collective agreement; maintains agreement and reports to membership (Local Constitution 7.2.6) 

Collective Bargaining Committee (President, Chief Negotiator and 4-5 others) - collects information from membership and prepares Local preliminary submission (Local Constitution 7.3.4) 

ETFO Provincial Annual Meeting Alternates (5) – pool from which delegate vacancies will be filled; Toronto mid-August with all costs paid (Local Constitution 10.1 – 10.3)

Candidate Forms will be posted on the Local website Friday, Sept 11/20: 

The date for this Fall General Meeting will be announced in next Wednesday's Blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Welcome Back to a Different School Year

So, here we go....  Welcome back to another school year, but one that is different from all those that have preceded it.  During these unprecedented times we must try to stay informed and keep matters in perspective. We will need to be adaptable so let's make a point of supporting one another, staying in contact and being kind to our colleagues and of course, to our students and their families.  And if at times you feel overwhelmed, anxious and need support, TVOT Occasional Teachers now have access to the Board's confidential Employee Assistance Plan. No need to suffer in silence for together, we will get through this! 

Displaced LTOs - With the influx of additional Federal funding, the Board has had to make last minute staffing changes throughout the system. In fact, TVDSB staff worked over this past weekend re-organizing permanent Teacher assignments and school allocations. As a result, many of our LTOs assigned to long-term assignments through central staffing, have been displaced. The Board assures us they are in the process of offering new positions to those who have been affected so we advise patience as the process may take several days yet. 

Work for Daily OTs - At this time, TVDSB intends to use daily Occasional Teachers in the usual manner with no limitations on the number of schools OTs can visit. PPE for daily use will be available at each school but no OT will be eligible to teach in TVDSB until they complete the mandatory Covid-19 Procedures training now available in the Employee Portal. The deadline for completion is September 13th and for this, you will be paid a full day salary.

Unlike during the emergency instruction that took place in the spring, OTs will be called on to replace absent Teachers/LTOs who are teaching remotely. Familiarity with "Brightspace" will be a pre-requisite for taking such assignments and OTs will be expected to conform to the timetable of the absent Teacher. The Board assures us it will be clear when an assignment is to replace a remote learning Teacher.

Website in Transition - Your TVOT Local is excited to announce that our new website is almost ready. We are hoping the transition will have little impact in our service to the membership and that you will find the new format, much more convenient. Also, don't forget to open an account there (using a personal email address) so that you have access to our Lending Library, the $50 Annual Book Rebate and the Professional Learning Development Fund. It's also how we contact members to keep you abreast of emerging news.

Did you know that TVOT members have access to Provincial ETFO conferences -