September 29, 2020
Virtual Teacher Meeting/Information Session with HEU All virtual teachers are invited to join an online meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, September 30th at 4:30PM. The focus of the meeting will be to share what is happening with the virtual schools and to go over your rights under the collective agreement. All virtual teachers are invited to participate. To register please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a link to the meeting will be sent to your personal email. World Teacher Day Contest October 5th is World Teacher Day so we want to celebrate all that you do for the students. To be entered into our contest please send an email to email@example.com with one word to describe how you are feeling this school year. In that email let me know what you need to survive the year (this will help determine the prizes to be awarded). COVID in Schools We are now hearing about multiple classes being closed in schools where there are positive COVID cases. If your class is closed and you are expected to teach from the empty class you will want to ensure your classroom has been CLEANED and DISINFECTED. All classes should be cleaned and disinfected daily, not just sprayed. If this is not being done it needs to be reported to your admin and health and safety rep. If a student you teach or have been near has tested positive for COVID you need to fill out a WSIB Exposure form. https://www.wsib.ca/sites/default/files/documents/2018-12/3958a_07_16_fs.pdf This form is used if you have been exposed but do not have any symptoms yet. If there has been a positive COVID case in your school and you feel unsafe due to either lack of cleaning or lack of transparency you do have the right to refuse unsafe work. If you feel unsafe you can initiate a work refusal. Pay Back Planning Time and Pay Back Supervision Anytime you do not get your 240 minutes of planning time a week (prorated for part time teachers) you are to log it in the pay back book. Anytime your supervision goes beyond 80 minutes a week (unless it was an actual inclement weather day) it is to be logged in the pay back book. The pay back book should be in a central location so that all teachers have access to it. Teachers are to log their own time in it. If teachers at your school do not have access to it let me know. In Solidarity,Tara
September 21, 2020
Below you will find the information on Supervision again as it appears not everyone received it and it is very important for all teachers to read.
Inclement Weather SupervisionI am still trying to find the inclement weather that is apparently occurring at some HCDSB schools since school started. Inclement Weather Supervision should only be called for Inclement weather (rain, snow, extreme high wind, ect). If inclement supervision is called on days it is sunny out please take a picture with the date and on it write inclement weather so we can track the days it is being called with proof that it is not inclement weather. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. The picture only needs the sign with the date to show the weather so no one can be identified. AbsencesTeachers are required to provide 3 days of emergency plans in the case of an absence. After the 3 days the Occasional Teacher would plan based on what was covered and student needs. Be sure to update your Emergency Folder and have it somewhere noticeable in your class.
Protect Our Students WebsitePlease do not engage on this website. All health and safety concerns are to be reported to your administrator and health and safety rep. Also be mindful of what you post on social media. You are a Catholic Teacher 24/7. Bargaining Update
The local bargaining team had a few bargaining dates with the board in the summer and we have another date this month. Once we reach a settlement we will provide information on ratification. Also once we ratify teachers will get the 1% lump sum from last years salary increase and this years salary will increase as per the central terms. OT’s have a separate agreement which we bargain jointly with the secondary OT’s and they have a separate ratification process once we reach a settlement as well. Scheduling Issues I have been hearing from some teachers about scheduling issues so I just want to clarify a few issues:1. Teachers teach (or have planning time) during a 300 minute instructional day. This is all the hours in the day minus AM recess, lunch and PM recess. Those periods are not counted in the 300 instructional minutes. This time starts at the school start time and ends at the dismissal bell.2. All teachers get a 15 minute AM break, 1 hour lunch and 15 minute PM break. All teachers get an hour for lunch and 40 minutes of that time must be uninterrupted. Days you do not have a lunch duty the full hour is yours. 3. Planning time cannot occur during a recess or lunch time. Planning time must be scheduled within the 300 instructional minutes.4. Kindergarten teachers have the same working conditions. Kindergarten teachers should also have a 15 minute AM break, 1 hour for lunch and 15 minute PM break. They should be on the regular school schedule as every other teacher and only have 80 minutes of supervision.5. There is an 80 minute supervision cap. If there is a temporary situation where teachers are over while waiting for a LTS the time over 80 minutes a week is to be banked. If your school schedule has everyone over and no intention of changing that I need to be made aware. 6. If teachers are being scheduled to be with a class during any of the school break times that counts as supervision. If you have not been given the same breaks or lunch as everyone else that is supervision and needs to be banked. 7. Inclement weather supervision is for INCLEMENT WEATHER! It is called inclement weather supervision so if you are being told to go on inclement duty and it is perfectly sunny out and there is no inclement weather it needs to be banked. The Unit office should be contacted when you are being directed to do inclement duty and there is no inclement weather. 8. School starts at the designed school start time. You are required to be at school 15 minutes prior to the school bell but any time you are required to supervise students in that time frame it is counted as supervision. 9. After school supervision. Teachers can be given this duty but it must be included in the 80 minute cap. If your duty is suppose to be 15 minutes in length but you need to remain out longer you would bank the excessive time.10. ISSAC. All ISSAC committees should be meeting and going over the schedule together to ensure they are fair and equitable. The form SHOULD NOT be signed if there are concerns to the scheduling and the Unit should be contacted immediately. The OECTA rep is the only teacher who is to sign the form. Once completed a copy is to be sent to the Unit office.11. Teachers who travel to another school at lunch have that travel time counted as a duty. Any day a teacher travels at lunch to another school it is considered a 15 minute duty and counts towards their 80 minute weekly cap.12. Part time teachers have supervision and planning time prorated to their FTE.13. Occasional Teachers take on the schedule of the teacher they are replacing. Their schedule should not be changed. The only person authorized to change their schedule is the administrator. 14. Teachers cannot negotiate their own working conditions or agree to changes from the Collective Agreement. We have a collective agreement for a reason and it is to be followed. You cannot agree to make changes to your working conditions. Any violations of the collective agreement need to be reported to the Unit. By agreeing to do things that contradict the collective agreement you are undermining all OECTA members and the bargaining process. The Association is the exclusive bargaining agent for every teacher. 15. We are all in this together! We are all teachers and OECTA members and must support each other. We are only as strong as the collective. You should never be made to feel bad for standing up for your rights! We are OECTA Strong!16. Whenever in doubt contact the Unit office! In Solidarity,Tara
September 15, 2020
Dear Members, EmailWe apologize for the inconvenience as we have been experiencing technical issues with a new email server. We hope that it will soon have all the kinks worked out and run smoothly. If you have sent an email that has not been responded to please resend it. If you have an urgent matter please call the Unit office or send an email with a phone number to reach you at so we can assist you in a timely manner.Health and SafetyIf there is a health and safety concern at your school you MUST report it to your worker Health and Safety Rep and your administrator. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act employees are required to report unsafe work to their employer. Reps should be documenting all health and safety concerns and writing up a 21 day report for them to be addressed and resolved.Planning TimeAll full time teachers are entitled to 240 minutes of planning time a week. Planning time must be scheduled during the 300 instructional minutes of the day, meaning it cannot be scheduled during recess or lunch. Principals should be making every effort to develop schedules that allow for 40 minute uninterrupted blocks. Any lost planning time should be banked in the pay back book. Part time teachers have planning time prorated to their FTE.SupervisionFull time teachers have a maximum of 80 minutes of supervision a week. If you are scheduled for time over the 80 minutes it is to be banked in the pay back book. Some schools have asked for “volunteers” to do extra duties each week that will put them over the 80 minutes. If you “volunteer” and it is over 80 minutes that week it needs to be banked. By forcing teachers to “volunteer” rather than to schedule times accordingly is an attempt to circumvent the collective agreement.Part time teachers have supervision prorated to their FTE.Teachers are required to be at school 15 minutes prior to the start of the school day but if you are being scheduled to supervise students at that time it is considered a supervision and if over 80 minutes a week is to be banked. If you are banking supervision or planning time you should be keeping your own record of the time you are owed. If your school is over the supervision caps or are using “creative” means to circumvent the collective agreement you need to contact the Unit office ASAP.Teachers are allowed to have “inclement weather” supervision above the regular duty but if it is being used as a standing duty or being called when there is no inclement weather it should be banked and the Unit informed.For teachers between schools, if travelling occurs over the lunch hour no lunch supervision shall be scheduled and travel time will be considered assigned duty. Each day of travel is considered 15 minutes of duty.All teachers are entitled to a 40 minute uninterrupted lunch.Kindergarten teachers have the same working conditions as all teachers including supervision, planning time and breaks.ISSACAs per the Collective Agreement all ISSAC committees should be meeting in September as they are required to meet a minimum of 3 times per year. Even though things are up in the air right now that is no reason to overlook the ISSAC committee and their role to go over the school schedules. The OECTA rep is the only teacher who should be signing off the form after the committee has met.In Solidarity,Tara
September 9, 2020
Dear Members, Please note the Unit email is working. We are working at responding to the ones that have come through so if you emailed the Unit and do not get a response by end of day today please resend. Welcome Back! We know this year will bring many new challenges with it. But as teachers you always rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done for your students. As we begin this year it is important to take time for yourself and time for your mental health. If you need someone to talk to there is the EAP program through Morneau Shepell. You can also download the My EAP app for assistance and resources. You can also access benefits for psychological care if needed and Feelingbetternow.com/otip. Health and Safety Report all health and safety concerns to your school worker health and safety rep and administrator in writing. We have site based Joint health and safety committees so all health and safety issues must be reported to the rep and admin and addressed at the school level, if needed I can step in but it always needs to go to the school level first.The worker Health and Safety Rep is to be chosen from the workers at that site. It is usually an OECTA member as we are the largest employee group in a school, but it can be a CUPE member if needed. That rep must be certified and the employer is required to pay for the certification of the worker rep. Make sure your masks are properly fitted, in good repair, there are no gaps and you are following the direction for their use and disposal. You will also want to ensure they are medical grade masks that you are provided. Each classroom should have soap, running water or sanitizer. If you do not or if you run out you need to report it immediately. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work If you feel like you health and safety is at risk you have the right to initiate a work refusal. If you need to do so you must make your health and safety rep and administrator aware. When initiating a work refusal students cannot be left alone so it is best, if possible, to initiate one prior to taking your class for the day. If that is not possible the students need to be secured first. Accommodations Under the Human Rights Code the employer has a duty to accommodate to undue hardship. If you have provided medical for an accommodation and you have been denied or it has not been put in place yet please contact the Unit office for assistance. We always advise members to follow the advice of your doctor. Media and COVID cases Please be conscious of what you post online about your school and any COVID concerns. We do not want to create fear in the community. If there is a case at your school, or suspected case you should not be making it public on social media. If you are contacted by media about possible cases in your school you should direct all questions to your administrator or the board. Technology Those who have been assigned to remote classes should be provided with board technology. If you require a laptop, camera, wifi, or any other items you need to contact your administrator. Family Consent Forms As per the Board Policy, page 37 “students place in basket in classroom, after 72 hours can be brought to the office for sorting and organizing.”This 72 hour rule should apply to all paperwork and items in the class. Anything handed in should sit for 72 hours before you pick them up to mark/assess.