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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Thursday October 4, 2012

October 5th- World Teacher’s Day

Our schools are filled with teachers who make an extraordinary impact on students, through every lesson, conversation and interaction. Our teachers inspire students to achieve more than they thought they could. They listen when students need someone to talk to, and they make learning fun. October 5th is World teachers Day. Celebrate the incredible difference that YOU make in the lives of students!

Assessment and Professional Judgement

The Eastern Update sent out on September 17 advised teachers that under Bill 115 teachers shall use their professional judgment to determine which assessment and/or evaluation tool(s) from a Board’s list of preapproved assessment tools is applicable, for which student(s), as well as the frequency and timing of the tool. Please be aware that this professional discretion applies to all assessment tools previously found on the Board assessment calendar, including the Visual Assessment Portfolio tool.

CPLC Release Time Trade Off for Technology

Some staffs are being asked by their administrations to agree to trade off CPLC release time with occasional teacher coverage for technology for their school. Please be aware that OECTA considers this to be an interference with its right to representation of its members. OECTA is the sole agent with the right to bargain working conditions for teachers. This is a Labour Board violation. OECTA is working hard to ensure that, wherever possible, professional development opportunities are provided to teachers during their work day. Agreeing to this arrangement contributes to undermining all teachers working conditions. Please do not as a staff agree to this arrangement. Furthermore, it is important to remind teachers, that all PD that is held either before or after school, or during a teacher’s lunch is purely voluntary. No teacher is to be intimidated, coerced or disciplined for choosing not to attend such PD sessions.

Survey of Sick Days Used to Care for Family

A few questions have been asked about the survey we would like teachers to complete regarding their use of sick days to care for family members. Since we are trying to establish past practice, the period of time that this survey would apply to is anytime in past years. Even as far back as eight years ago would be acceptable evidence. If this year you have had to take time to care for family with the knowledge of administration, then likewise you could include this information.

What if you do not remember the exact dates that you were off? Exact dates would certainly be preferable on this survey. Your school secretary may be able to help you out with checking your sick day usage history so that you can establish those dates. Or, you can call us at the Unit office and we can assist you too in finding your dates of absence in the last two years. In the absence of exact dates, even a survey stating that you took such dates several times over the course of the past years with the knowledge of your administrator (with the administrator being identified) is better than no response at all.

Thank you to all the teachers who have already submitted these surveys to our office. We look forward to receiving many more! The date by which we have asked that these forms be remitted is Friday, October 5th. (Late forms WILL be accepted!)

E-Learning and Continuing Education Grievance

Please be aware that the Association has launched a grievance over the use of Continuing Education teachers to deliver e-learning courses to day school students in our schools.

In the past the School Board has always had permanent teachers on staff designated to deliver e-learning course to students who, for a variety of reasons, were unable to take these courses at their own high school. The students had these courses on their day schedules, and their teachers might be on-site or might be off-site. The workload value for teachers teaching e-learning were the same as other credit courses. These were permanent teaching jobs, with permanent teacher wages and benefits.

This year the School Board has discontinued this practice. Students still take e-learning courses during the day, and they appear on the roster of teachers who are teaching other courses. They sit at computer terminals at the back of classes, in essence being supervised by the teacher who is conducting their regular class. The difference is, the teachers delivering the courses are Continuing Education Teachers, paid at an hourly rate, or rate by lesson: no benefits, few rights. In essence, we are bleeding good, well-paid, permanent jobs to Continuing Education jobs. If this is happening at your high school please advise us at the Unit office.


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