Personal Obligation Leave days were negotiated in order to provide teachers with the opportunity, without loss of pay or credit, to attend to those urgent personal matters which come up in life. Examples are, but are not limited to, meeting with a lawyer to close the sale of your house, attending a child's doctor appointment, attending a significant family event that is out of town and requires your presence.
Personal Obligation Leave Days are not intended to be used for your own personal doctor appointment, these are sick days. Nor are they to be used for non-urgent matters such as shopping, golfing, etc.
Personal Obligation Leave Days must be pre-booked with your principal, unless in an emergency.
They cannot be used in conjunction with a long weekend or an unpaid leave. They may not be taken on a professional activity day, evaluation day, or holiday break (summer, Christmas or March).
What does personal obligation days may not conflict with the start of school mean?
The intent of this phrase is to ensure that personal obligation days do not conflict with that time in the new school year or start of semester, when classroom routines are being established. This means that a personal obligation day would not be used on the first or second day of classes. In some cases, this period may be extended a bit, if classes and teacher assignments are being changed, which would disrupt the establishment of regular class routines.
Can I take a personal obligation day prior to, or immediately after, a long weekend?
The contract states that a personal obligation day cannot be scheduled on days before or after a break. So a full day, personal obligation day prior to or immediately after a long weekend cannot be granted. However, it is the practice to allow a half-day personal obligation leave in the morning prior to a long weekend or in the afternoon after a long weekend - in both cases there is a period of work adjacent to the weekend.
How many sick days do I have?
Each year, at the beginning of the year, up to 11 sick days are added to your sick day account as
if actively at work, then prorated, based on your contract (that is part time versus full time)
if not working (ie unpaid leave, DSL), no allocation is provided (the exception is a parental/maternity leave – these leaves are treated as if actively working)
if you are working only part of your contract due to illness and you carried over sick days from the previous year, sick days are allocated based on your contract
if you are partially working due to illness but exhausted all sick leave in the previous year, then sick leave is prorated to your working status (not on your contract status)
note: in the case that you return to full teaching status at some point in the school year, a prorated portion of your sick days is restored to you that is based on the remaining portion of the school year
Additionally, you will get access to a short term disability leave plan of up to 120 days paid at 90% if adjudicated in your favour (considering medical documentation provided by the teacher). If NOT adjudicated in your favour, then these absences are deemed "culpable" and teachers may receive 0% of their pay.
Sick leave is available to you for personal illness on any work day regardless of its proximity to holidays or professional activity days or exam days.
You may be required to provide a doctor's note to confirm your reason for absence. A note requested by the Board will be paid for by the Board.
How do I book an Earned Leave Day?
The Earned Leave Plan Application 2016/2017 is accessible to you in 2 ways: 1) Link provided on StaffNet Welcome page under “Top Links”;
2) By clicking on this link. It is recommended that you open it in a browser other than Internet Explorer.
To fill out the online form, you will need to be in your GAFE account. If you have submitted a requested before October 28, there is no need to resubmit.
A TPA must have 4 non-evaluative years preceding them. If this period includes a maternity leave, then the TPA is deferred one year.
How does a Maternity leave affect my eligibility for a Deferred Salary Leave?
For the purposes of eligibility for a deferred salary leave, being on a maternity leave is considered being at work. So if the eligibility requirement calls for 4 consecutive years of work, then a maternity leave is considered as one of those years.
Will I have acceess to Board email while on a leave?
During a long term leave or statutory leave, the Board keeps you on their email system. However, you are removed from the 'all users' list at your school. Upon return, it is the administrator's responsibility to make you aware of any policy or procedure change.
How many Long Term Leaves of Absence can I take?
The Board's policy is to grant a maximum of two Long Term Leaves in a teacher's career. See the contract for the procedure for requesting a Long Term Leave. Each leave is one year in length, or less. A teacher may take their two leaves consecutively, or with many years in between. A leave may be used to temporarily teach only a portion of a day, for example, to teach only half time. In Elementary, a leave of less than six months does not normally count as one of the two leaves.
When I change my address with the board, do I need to change it with OECTA?
Yes. If you are moving, please update OECTA provincial office of your change in address and
phone number. You can update your personal information with OECTA online by logging into the Member's Centre to update your
profile. You should also inform your school board.
How can I change my name and/or address with OECTA?
Login to the Members Centre and Update your personal member "My Profile".
Or, you can phone 1-800-268-7230 or email OECTA with your name and/or address change.
Proof of name change is not required.
How do I get a new or replacement OECTA card?
OECTA membership cards are issued by request. If you have lost/misplaced your OECTA card, or if you are a newly hired teacher, please follow the instructions on the OECTA Provincial website to place your request for a new/replacement membership card. You will need to log in to the members section of the site to do this.
Do I receive a new OECTA card every year?
Yes, provincial office sends a new card to your school every year.
How do I get my QECO rating?
Application forms for QECO ratings can be found at qeco.on.ca. To apply for a QECO rating you will need to have available your teacher record card, your university transcript, your Ontario College of Teachers membership and your Teaching Certificate. Some of these documents may have been provided before and are unchanged in which case you do not have to resubmit them. If you are a beginning teacher you may have received a letter from QECO indicating where you will be placed when you have been evaluated. This letter is NOT your official evaluation. You are still required to submit an evaluation application once you have started to work for a board.
It is very important to submit these documents to QECO as soon as possible. You are responsible for having your qualifications evaluated and failure to submit your QECO rating prior to January 15 of the year of your adjustment will result in a loss of retroactive pay for course taken before August 31 of the prior year. Documents submitted prior to April 30 will enable you to collect retroactive pay to January 1st prior to submission.
Where can I get my Religion Part I?
Religion Part I, II and III are offered through OECTA's Provincial office. To get a schedule of courses available across Ontario go to the OECTA Provincial website.
Can I get financial assistance for workshops and courses?
OECTA Waterloo does support your professional growth by providing individual assistance to teachers. This assistance can only be applied to workshops and conferences and not to credit course. Individual assistance is applied for using an individual assistance form, available from your staff rep or by clicking here. Receipts for conference registration fees or workshop registration must be accompanied with a conference/workshop brochure. 75% of registration fees up to $200 every two years are available to each member for individual assistance. Check the form for a convenient checklist to ensure you are submitting all of your documents and that your cheque is processed quickly.
How do I obtain a Superintendent's signature for an AQ course?
A confirmation of teaching experience form, required in order to take an AQ course, must be signed by the Superintendent of Human Resources. Send your forms to the Board Office, attention Human Resources and upon receipt, they will confirm your experience, have the Superintendent of Human Resource Services sign it, make a copy for your personnel file and return it to you. The Board does not fax them to the faculty on your behalf, so please allow sufficient time for the turn-around in order to meet your registration deadline. The Superintendent of Human Resource Services signs all forms; school superintendents do not.
Note: classroom experience in an inclusive setting will be considered to satisfy the teaching experience requirement for Special Education and ESL part 3 and the superintendent will sign the form. Teaching exclusively in a Special Education or ESL class is not required.
How do I get reimbursed for Religion Part I?
As per Article 6.16 (OECTA/OCSTA Religion Course) of both the Elementary and Secondary Collective Agreements, the Board will reimburse $500.00 upon receipt of the original receipt, a copy of your certificate and a completed Expense Reimbursement Form (available from Human Resources). Remit completed forms to the attention of Human Resource Services and Accounting will have $500.00 deposited into your account.
Support for Teachers
What do I do if F&CS investigates my conduct?
If you are informed in any way of a Family and Children's Services (F&CS) investigation of your conduct, you should immediately call your local Unit at (519) 744-8051. If no one is available then seek advice from OECTA's Counseling and Member Services Department. Call 1-800-268-7230.
An OECTA staff officer will assess your situation and provide direction and advice. A lawyer may contact you depending on the circumstances and whether or not the allegations relate to your duties as a teacher.
DO NOT discuss the complaint with anyone else, even your principal or vice-principal before you have been advised by OECTA or a lawyer. They are management and operate according to a protocol that requires them to report what is said.
If an F&CS caseworker arrives at school to question you, or if your principal asks to speak with you regarding an F&CS investigation of your conduct, ask politely to delay the interview until you have had an opportunity to speak with legal counsel through OECTA. Explain that this is OECTA's direction.
If F&CS insists on a meeting and you have not had an opportunity to call OECTA Provincial or speak with OECTA legal counsel, you are NOT obliged to attend the meeting or make any statement. You are obliged to attend a meeting with your principal or supervisory officer if requested, but you are NOT obliged to make a statement or answer questions without the benefit of legal counsel.
There is no such thing as "off-the-record" Every comment can or will be used in the investigation. There is no such thing as an "informal F&CS investigation".
What support is available if I am ill or injured?
If you are at risk of developing a long term disability, a few conversations with an OTIP Early Intervention Rehabilitation Consultant could save you months of time off work, speed healing and help you get your life back on track faster.
What can Early Intervention do for me?
OTIP provides a voluntary Early Intervention (EI) program as part of your long term disability (LTD) plan. The purpose of the EI program is to prevent or reduce the duration of long term disability claims so you can get back to life as usual.
Early Intervention starts before a member makes an LTD claim. When the school board or union identifies a member who is at risk of developing a long term disability (someone who has been off work for 20 consecutive days), a designated representative will ask the member if he or she is interested in the EI program. If so, an Early Intervention Rehabilitation Consultant will work with the member to determine the assistance and services that best meet the members’ needs and that will be the most beneficial in assisting the member with his or her return to work. Participation in the program is completely voluntary and confidential and will not affect future claims.
By working with an EI Rehabilitation Consultant, most members are able to return to work an average of 22% faster than others affected by the same condition who didn't take part in the EI program. OTIP may assist in funding services provided to you through the program.
The EI program frequently helps members suffering from mental and nervous disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, etc.), cancer, injuries and chronic illnesses (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, etc.).
Can I start my CPP at age 60?
Yes. You can start CPP while still working, if you earn less than approximately $900 in two consecutive months. Since money paid in July and August is actually earned previous to the summer, you effectively earn $0.00 during July and August. For more information, go to Service Canada.
Watch the calendar on the website for the next retirement planning workshop.
Can I place my retirement gratuity in a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)?
A tax free savings account is just a vehicle to put your money into whereby you will not be taxed on any of the interest/income that you earn as opposed to any other type of investment. You do not get a deduction for it like you do with an RRSP. Basically, the Board would pay the retiree their lump sum entitlement, with tax taken at the source and then they are free to do with their payout as they wish. This would be just like a regular payout and they would be responsible for putting it into the TFSA if they wanted.
When do I receive my retirement gratuity?
The Board will send a letter to all teachers that retired at the end of June, near the end of September. The letter will ask if you would like the gratuity immediately, in January, or deposited into your RRSP. Once you return the letter, your preference will be carried out.
After I retire, what options do I have for paying my benefit premium?
We do have automatic withdrawal of retiree benefit premiums for any retirees that wish to pay monthly. Some prefer to pay with a cheque in a lump sum for the 6 month period. Those are the only two options, we do not allow post-dated cheques any longer.
Do my benefits cover my child who is at university?
Yes, Greenshield benefits coverage of a dependent child, means all unmarried children, stepchildren and legally adopted children of the subscriber while residing with the subscriber or dependent upon the subscriber (or both) and not regularly employed up to the end of the year following their 21st birthday. Coverage is extended for dependents provided they are enrolled in full time attendance at a college, university or institute of higher learning up to the end of the year following their 25th birthday. Email Human Resources to be provided with the form on which you declare which university, or college, your child is attending.
Who do I talk to at the Board if I have questions about benefits?
You can either email Melissa Resmer, or call her at the Board Office: (519) 578-3677, ext. 2214.
Can I opt out of the LTD plan?
Teachers are no longer allowed to opt out of the LTD plan unless they are no longer able to collect LTD due to years of service.
When can I apply for a transfer?
After two years of continuous service at your current school, you are eligible for the transfer process.
When do postings for the upcoming school year occur?
Postings for September occur before June 1.
Do I need participate in extracurricular activities?
Teacher participation in extracurricular activities is recognized as voluntary, subject to provisions of the Education Act and Regulations.
I’m a Part-Time teacher, do I need to attend the P.A. Day?
Part-time teachers shall be required to participate in and attend Professional Activity Days and prorated to the percentage of your teaching contract.
What is Edvantage?
Edvantage is a program sponsored by the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) www.otip.com,
that offers discounts at participating retailers and businesses to OECTA members. OTIP is a non-profit organization directed by a
Board of Trustees consisting of two representatives from each of the four education affiliates: AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF.
To learn more about Edvantage visit www.edvantage.ca or call 1-800-267-6847.
Is my Edvantage number the same as my OECTA number?
Your OECTA ID number is your Edvantage number.
Do you have any questions for your OECTA Administration? Something you want to know about retirement? Benefits? On-calls? Supervision? Send us an email to email@example.com.