E a s t e r n U p d a t e - Monday, February 24, 2014
March 7th Unpaid PA Day
You will have received notice by now that we did not generate enough savings to offset a
second unpaid PA day on March 7th. The savings that needed to be realized were $377,621.
Only $156,118 were saved with VLAP days and the Early Retirement incentive. Nothing precludes teachers, however, from still requesting VLAP days should you wish to!
New Unit Office
Through your Staff Rep you may have already heard that our Unit Office will be moving. Our current landlords, EastGen served notice that we will have to vacate our current premises by the end of June. We formed an Office Committee immediately to investigate options of rental, purchase or building in Kemptville. We could find no office rental available, and found the costs of building prohibitive. After viewing several properties, one location was found that we felt would suit our needs very well, at a reasonable price. The address is 33 Somerville, a former veterinary clinic. We negotiated the purchase of this property and are now in the process of getting bids for the renovations required before our move. Our projected moving date is May 1st. We look forward to holding an open house to introduce you to our new location. The building came with a surprise feature that was certainly not one of our spec’s: an in-ground pool. Until it’s filled in some time in the future, we can foresee using it to host family fun days or fundraisers for the membership.
Occasional Teacher Shortages
Numerous schools have been experiencing trouble getting occasional teachers in for teacher absences. This is causing a lot of disruption in our schools. OECTA has met with the Board and Canpage to try trouble shoot and find solutions to the supply problems. One problem identified was a lack of occasional teachers in the Prescott-Russell area. The Board recently opened the “B” List to new occasional teachers, and is currently seeking further teachers to supply in this region. Canpage also identified that it is far more successful in filling vacancies when they are known well in advance; same day and next day calls are far more difficult to fill. Therefore, teachers are asked to send in their requests as soon as they are known. Schools have also been notified to no longer use faxes to send in requests to Canpage, but to use the email. Canpage has been experiencing problems with receiving faxes that are being sent. Schools that are experiencing difficulties are also being encouraged to maintain a list of CDSBEO Occasional Teachers who live in proximity to the school. Where Canpage sends an “Unable to Fill” notice, schools can try to contact these OT’s directly. Canpage also identified problems with being able to contact OT’s, as well as high incidence of assignment refusals among some “A List” teachers. Those teachers are being reminded by the Board to provide several contact numbers if possible, and to always notify HR and Canpage of dates of unavailability.
OECTA will be holding its annual Retirement Workshop on Saturday, April 12th. The location of the workshop will depend on where most registrants come from. NEW: A $10 registration fee payable by cheque to Eastern OECTA must be given to your Staff Rep by the registration deadline of April 1st. This money will be returned on arrival at the workshop. (A significant number of “no-shows” in the past has caused a lot of wastage in food costs.) Please call Sandy at the Unit Office if you are interested in attending.
Additional to the OECTA Workshop, OTIP is holding two Retirement Workshops in our region. One will be held on March 22nd at the Best Western in Cornwall. Another will be held on May 13th at the University of Guelph Campus in Kemptville. Registration information will be forwarded as soon as it arrives.
RTO (Retired Teachers of Ontario) will also be holding a Retirement Workshop in the area as well. It’s being held on Thursday, April 10th, from 4:15- 6:30 at the Beckwith Township Municipal Hall. For more information, please visit the District Website at: http://district29.rto-ero.org.
5 Other Leave Days
A number of teachers recently received notification from the Board that they have used more than 5 days from the “5 Other Leave Day” provisions of the Collective Agreement. This could result in the Board deducting salary for the overage. In most instances it is likely that days of absence were misattributed to this category. Teachers need to send to the board information explaining the reasons for absence caught under this category in order to correct any mistakes. Where a teacher has an underlying medical condition that might cause them to require more than the average number of medical appointments, these can also come out of sick leave days and should not result in a deduction of salary. Please give us a call at the Unit office if you need any assistance. Attached for all teachers is a form developed by one of our Staff Reps for tracking absences. It is a great idea to use such a form every year so that any misattributed days of absence can be quickly rectified.
Attendance Recognition- SSI (Shared Savings Initiative)
Just a reminder that one of your two unpaid days will be paid back to you this year if you use less than 6 sick leave days! For this reason the importance of correctly attributing absences to the appropriate category can’t be overstated. “5 Other Leave Days” do not count against sick leave, and so do not against SSI. Please keep accurate records of your absences!
Provincial Collective Bargaining Survey
If you haven’t yet had a chance to participate in the OECTA Provincial Collective Bargaining Survey, you are encouraged to still do so. The survey deadline has been extended.