E a s t e r n U p d a t e - Friday, October 3, 2014
World Teachers’ Day- October 5th
Sunday, October 5th is World Teachers’ Day. This year we’d like to ask you to do something special to
celebrate the day. OECTA is encouraging teachers to participate in the Education International
campaign at noon on October 5th by sending an email, text or tweet to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki
Moon, expressing support for the global goal of quality education for all, and getting all girls into
school. Watch for an email from us to prompt you to participate on Sunday. What a great way to
celebrate the day- teachers working together to promote access to education for all!
Unit Office Open House and Blessing- October 9th
We will be holding our new Unit office open house and blessing next Thursday, October 9th, following
our Staff Rep in-service. It will be held from 3:00 to 6:00. All are welcome to attend! Please drop by!
Board Appeals Eastern Arbitration Win
The Board has appealed arbitrator George Surdykowski’s decision ordering that the July 5th MOU be
appended and form a part of our Collective Agreement. The decision will now go to judicial review.
The decision still stands while the appeal goes through the court. OECTA feels confident that the
decision will be upheld.
Just a reminder that under our collective agreement teachers use their professional judgment to decide
which assessment from the Board list of preapproved ssessment tools is applicable, for which
student(s), as well as the frequency and timing of the tool. To inform their instruction, teachers must
use diagnostic assessment during the school year.
Soon it will be time to begin writing progress reports. Please keep in mind the board’s position with
respect to completing progress reports:
“We value teachers’ professional judgment to determine the length and detail of the comment(s)
required to convey “personalized, precise, clear and meaningful feedback to parents,” on the subjects(s)/strand(s). For the Progress Report Card, it is not necessary to comment on all the
subject(s)/strand(s), nor is it necessary for teachers to fill in all of the available space in the text box.”
This is in-line with the Growing Success policy. It is up to the teacher to decide how much to write
and which learning skills and subjects/ strands require comments
Tracking Use of “5 Other Leave Days”
For your convenience attached is a tracking sheet that you can use to track your usage of your “5 Other
Leave Days.” These are separate from your 11 sick leave days. These days include, among other
things, your 2 personal leave days, medical/dental appointments, and leave to care for ill family
members. Please keep careful track of your usage of these days. If you use more than five, the board
may deduct pay from you.
VLAP Days and SSI (Attendance Recognition)
We’ve received many calls asking whether the opportunity to request VLAP days (unpaid days off)
still exists as last year. Likewise teachers are wondering if there still exists an attendance recognition
program that gives you a day of pay for using less than six sick leave days. The answer is no; both
programs were time definite under the MOU and ceased on August 31st, 2014. Teachers still have the
opportunity to request unpaid leave days under Article 19.12, Leave of Absence Without Pay.
However the Board’s practice in granting such days is as it was prior to the MOU, and will vary
depending on the circumstances. Don’t book holidays without having received approval in advance.
Prior to last year our Board scheduled an early release day the Friday of the week of parent-teacher
interviews following the progress report. The early release day allowed teachers to schedule overflow
interviews that they could not fit into the parent-teacher interview evening. OECTA lobbied the Board
to maintain this practice however the Board decided not to do so. OECTA had made its position clear
to the board: we will not be expanding parent-teacher interviews to two nights. Where necessary the
length of interviews will have to be shortened in order to fit within the constraints set by the Board.
If you are an Ontario NDP supporter, OECTA is encouraging you to attend the ONDP convention
being held from November 14-16 as an official delegate. To attend as a delegate you must be elected
by the local riding association. It’s important that we have OECTA members attend because we are
aware that there is at least one motion coming to the floor from a riding calling for the merger of the
Catholic and public school systems. We need members to advocate for our position at the mic’s.
OECTA will cover travel and accommodation costs. Please contact the Unit office for further
information if you are interested in attending.
Johnson’s Insurance Scholarship Program
If you have a child or grandchild beginning post-secondary education this fall, they could be eligible
for one of 50, one-thousand dollar scholarships through Johnson’s. No need to be insured by them.
Visit www.johnson.ca and click “About Us”, for more information.