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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Monday October 1, 2012


QUESTION: How does the Memorandum of Understanding and Bill 115 affect teachers going on Maternity Leave and their S.E.I.B. (Supplemental Employment Insurance Benefit) entitlement in our contract?

The M.O.U. states that all teachers going on a Pregnancy Leave will now have six weeks of paid leave at 100% of salary on the birth of their child, regardless of the number of sick days a teacher may have left for the year. These days will no longer come out of a teacher’s sick leave. In the past, a teacher had to have had 30 banked sick days to access this payment.

The school board is taking the position that teachers will not have access to this money on days that school is not in session, for example over the Christmas holidays or the summer holidays, and only the balance of the six weeks that falls on school days is paid out. If the timing of the birth is such that there are no holidays in the six weeks following the birth, then a teacher would be paid the six weeks in full. This is a matter that may have to be arbitrated through the Arbitrated Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism under the M.O.U.

A teacher’s 52 weeks of pregnancy and parental leave will not be extended as a result of the six weeks of pay. The pregnancy leave can start no later than the day the baby is born. Payment and top-up for a typical leave would be as follows:

   -6 weeks paid leave on birth of baby
   -2 week EI waiting period with 75% of salary top-up
        through the S.E.I.B. plan
-30 weeks of EI with $100 per week top-up through the S.E.I.B.         plan (totaling $3,000)
-14 weeks of EI only =
52 weeks

Teachers can start their pregnancy and parental leave up to 17 weeks before their due date. This would not affect a teachers’ overall income while on leave.

QUESTION: What if a teacher has to go on leave due to complications prior to the birth of the child?

Teachers have access to 10 sick leave days per year, paid at 100% of salary. A teacher could use these days (that is, what days they haven’t as yet used), as long as she has an appropriate medical certificate.

Under the Short Term Leave and Disability Plan (STLP) a teacher may be eligible for 90% of their regular salary for the time that extends beyond their remaining sick days if:

  1. The length of the absence is for five or more consecutive workdays with required medical evidence provided to the adjudicator.

  2. The absence is due to an ongoing or intermittent medical condition such as a recurring illness or chronic condition with required medical evidence provided to the adjudicator.

Eligibility for payment of 90% salary will be determined by the third-party adjudication process, when implemented. Until the adjudication process is implemented, boards must pay 90% salary for all absences of five days or more due to illness that extend beyond the 10 sick leave days.

Should the adjudicator not substantiate eligibility, the teacher will be eligible for 66.66% of salary for those days extending beyond the 10 sick days. The adjudication can be appealed but not grieved.

QUESTION: What if I have a miscarriage?

When a teacher has a miscarriage, she is entitled to five (5) days of compassionate/ bereavement leave without deduction from sick leave credits. (Article 19.01 a)

A teacher is still entitled to an E.I. pregnancy leave of six weeks from the time of her miscarriage. She needs to give written notice of the day that her pregnancy leave began or is to begin, and if the board requests, a medical certificate stating the date of the miscarriage.

A teacher is entitled to 75% top up for the two week EI waiting period, and $100 top up per week for any remaining weeks of the 6 week leave. (Article 19.08)

The teacher can end her leave earlier than the six weeks by giving the board notice 4 weeks prior to the day she wishes her leave to end.

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