Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Regulation 274 to be Revoked; Credit for Previous Teaching Experience; Prep pay back assignments; Multiple Classrooms in a Day?

 

Regulation 274 to be Revoked

Rather than focus on the safety of students and staff in schools, the Minister of Education has tried to deflect attention by revoking the law that ensured fair hiring practices by setting out the path to permanent employment - Reg. 274.

It has always been the Union's position that the Board should hire those Occasional Teachers that they know through the work they have done in TVDSB. Teachers should be hired based on their experience and qualifications. Regulation 274 removed any bias based on discrimination and was effective in promoting equity in hiring.

In light of this new announcement, OT Locals will be in discussions with their individual boards to develop new practices and protocols. The Thames Valley OT Collective Agreement has language previously negotiated with regards to posting and hiring - this will be the basis for our upcoming discussions. New hiring protocols are to be established by the end of December/20.

If you want to add your voice to those who are speaking out against this attack on fair hiring practices and why revoking this will not improve equity in hiring, we urge you to see https://www.etfo.ca/DefendingWorkingConditions/ETFOTakesAction/Pages/fairhiring.aspx

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NEW: Credit for Previous Teaching Experience

As of September of this school year, under the terms of our new Collective Agreement an Occasional Teacher who did daily OT work with another Ontario school board, can submit that to TVDSB for credit on the grid when they are in a LTO assignment. Credit will not be granted retroactively, but if you teach for more than one school Board or worked at another before coming to Thames Valley, this new provision may increase your long-term occasional salary.

As well, don't forget that QECO does not submit the ratings directly to school boards, so be sure you send yours to HR once you receive it. Please note that there is a delay in processing documents at QECO since they too are generally working remotely. 

N.B: Members only have until July 31st to submit documentation that will increase their grid rate salary for assignments completed during the school year.

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NEW: Prep periods for Prep Payback Assignments

Under the terms of the new Collective Agreement, an Occasional Teacher who is hired for a full day assignment to provide missed prep time, will have the first 40 minutes of that assignment free to prepare for these lessons.  OTs may wish to check with the Teachers they will be replacing to see what is going on in each class so that this is meaningful time for all.

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Multiple Classrooms in a Day?

As schools experience incidents of Covid-19, it has become apparent that daily Occasional Teachers need to record the rooms that they visit during the course of their assignment. 

That way, should there be an outbreak at a school you have visited, you will know if you have been exposed and need to self-isolate or quarantine.

And unlike this fellow, don't let down your guard. Follow the Covid-19 protocols and wear your mask at all times. If you are in a situation where you cannot maintain safe distancing (such as a kindergarten setting), then wear a face shield, available upon request at the school office. This mask will remain with you and it will be your responsibility to ensure it is clean before you need it at your next site.

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On behalf of your TVOT Local Executive to all those who are joining us tonight at our first virtual Fall General Meeting! 

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

New Covid-19 Federal Benefits; Face Shields for Occasional Teachers; Columbia Outlet Store Invitation; Provincial ETFO Workshops; Local Fall Meeting

New Covid-19 Federal Benefits

Members may not be aware that the federal government now has several new benefit programs for those who are affected by the pandemic: 

1) Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit/CRSB: provides income support to those who are unable to work because they are sick or isolating due to Covid-19 or who are unable to work because they are at greater risk of contracting the disease because of an underlying medical condition. This plan provides up to 2 weeks of coverage that can be used up to September 21, 2021. Here is the link for further information - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html

2) Canada Recovery Benefit/CRB: provides income support to those directly affected by Covid-19 who are not eligible for Employment Insurance/EI.  For these details go to - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html

3) Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit/CRCB: provides income support to those who are unable to work because they must care for a child under 12 years of age or a family member who needs supervised care. You can find out more at - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit.html

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Face Shields are Recommended

Whenever safe distancing cannot be maintained, the Health Unit and TVDSB Covid-19 protocols recommend that Teachers/OTs wear face shields as well as their masks.  This is especially important in kindergarten classes where children often encroach on your personal space.

TVDSB has purchased face shields for Occasional Teachers - you can request one when you check into a school and one will be provided. These are not single use - at the end of the assignment, the OT will be responsible for cleaning the face shield so that they can use it at their next site. 

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ETFO Provincial Workshops 

Did you know that Occasional Teachers are eligible to register for conferences and workshops offered by ETFO Provincial? For instance, here are some of those upcoming opportunities:

Identity in Time of Crisis - a racialized members' virtual conference with Part 1 being held Saturday, Nov. 7 and Part 2 on Saturday, Nov. 28/20: 

https://www.etfo.ca/AboutETFO/Calendar/Lists/ETFO%20Calendar2/DispForm.aspx?ID=4782&InitialTabID=Ribbon.Read

An Ounce of Prevention - Knowing your rights and responsibilities is a one day conference to be held on Saturday, Nov. 21/20 for members who want to know more about professional boundaries, developing a positive relationship with parents and using social media:

https://www.etfo.ca/AboutETFO/Calendar/Lists/ETFO%20Calendar2/DispForm.aspx?ID=4784&InitialTabID=Ribbon.Read

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It's next week!
TVOT Local Fall General Meeting
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 

Via Zoom 
(desktop, laptop, cellphone, tablet - no microphone or camera necessary)
4:30pm - 7:00pm

Register at www.etfotvot.com - the meeting link will be emailed to registrants in advance

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Roster Applicants for LTOs; Keys for OTs; Nominations Have Closed; ETFO Provincial Covid Update #16

OT Roster Applicants for LTOs -  

Although hiring for LTO positions must follow the process legislated under Regulation 274, the Local encourages those on the OT Roster to apply for any posted position for which they are qualified and interested in teaching as the LTO List is soon depleted allowing Roster candidates an excellent chance of securing a long-term assignment. Please note that the Board does not have to consider seniority when hiring from Roster applicants. 

Long-term positions are posted throughout the course of the school year.  Most postings are up for 5 days, however in certain circumstances, the Local will agree to a 3 day posting so we urge members to get used to checking back throughout the week. 

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Keys for Occasional Teachers -

We remind TVOT members that as a Teacher, you are responsible for the safety of the children in your care. To that end, every Occasional Teacher needs to have access to the classroom keys so that they can lock their door when an emergency code has been called. The Local has heard reports that some schools feel they cannot share these keys because of concerns about sanitation. This is not acceptable. Keys can be sanitized and are essential.  Access to classroom keys was negotiated between ETFO Provincial and the Provincial government in 2015 so please do not hesitate to ask for keys when you check in at the school office and if you are not provided with them, please notify us at the TVOT Office 519-641-3936. We will take the matter to HR for resolution with reference to the name of the school but not to the name of the Occasional Teacher.

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TVOT Executive for 2020 - 2021 -

Nominations for the TVOT Executive have closed and we are pleased to report that the following members will be acclaimed to the Local Executive 2020-2021 at our Fall General Meeting on October 21st:

  • Terry Card, President (two year term to end June 30, 2022)
  • Nancy Springer, First Vice-President
  • Vivek Nath, Second Vice-President
  • Kevin Utley, Treasurer
  • Sharon Pinylo, Secretary
  • David Griffith, Health and Safety Officer
  • Chief Negotiator, Terry Card
  • Collective Bargaining Committee (alphabetically): Farida Makhani, Vivek Nath, Sharon Pinylo, Nancy Springer, Kevin Utley
Elections will be held on October 21st via Zoom, to fill four Executive at large positions. 
Listed inn alphabetical order, the candidates are:
  • Sean Cousins
  • Meera Jain
  • Farida Makhani
  • Krisanne Nunes
  • Vandana Sharma
  • Cindy Webb
It is very unfortunate that we won't be able to meet you in person that day, but we urge you to join your peers for a virtual meeting. Zoom is accessible by computer, cell phone or any device with an internet connection. No camera or microphone will be necessary for participants as we will accept questions from members typing in the "Chat" feature. 
Registration at www.etfotvot.com is necessary at this membership meeting is restricted to TVOT members per our Local Constitution. 

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ETFO Provincial's Covid-19 Update  #16 -
Hopefully members have registered to receive these regular updates from the ETFO Provincial Office. 
This latest e-edition contains timely information on PPE, the requirement to isolate, when to file a WSIB claim because of exposure, remote learning assignments, report cards etc. 
Register at www.etfo.ca if you are not yet on their mailing list - you need to know!



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