E a s t e r n U p d a t e - Friday, October 17, 2008
Good Progress in Occassional Teacher Bargaining
The Teachers and the Board met for two days this week, on October 15th and 16th, to bargain a new collective agreement for Occasional Teachers. Although a deal has not yet been reached, the two sides are close and it is hoped that the next day of bargaining, scheduled for October 28th, will bring a successful resolution to the process. Should that be the case, Occasional Teachers should expect a ratification meeting sometime in mid-November.
Bargaining for Statutory Teachers resumes on October 29th and 30th.
Program & Structures Survey
OECTA is currently reviewing its Professional Development Programmes. Part of this review includes a member survey. It would be greatly appreciated it if you would take a few moments to complete OECTA’s online survey. Complete the survey here. The information obtained in this survey will be used to improve the professional development opportunities available to you and your colleagues.
For those teachers who will be commencing a pregnancy or parental leave this year, you may want to access a publication put out by OECTA called “Pregnancy & Parental Leaves – A Guide”. It is available on the provincial website, www.oecta.on.ca, under Publications- Pamplets & Booklets. Here you will find most of your questions answered about the Employment Insurance and Employment Standards Acts and your entitlement and obligations under these Acts.
It is important to remind teachers that you are entitled to access sick leave with pay for a period of normally 6 weeks immediately following childbirth, if you have enough accumulated sick leave credits. This does not extend your statutory leave, and any pay will be deducted from EI benefits. However the difference in income is substantial.
It is also important to note that a teacher who is on leave for the entire school year, (not calendar year), must work at least 11 days in order for that year to count as a qualifying year for Teacher Pension Plan purposes. This is not necessary, however, if you continue to contribute to the pension plan while on leave, or if you purchase credit for that leave (which you have 5 years to do.) If you are a part-time teacher, please contact the pension plan directly, as other rules may apply to you in terms of gaining a full qualifying year for your year of leave.
Professional Development Opportunities:
“Women Abuse Affects Our Children”- Regional Workshop- Change in date
Four spaces still remain for elementary teachers interested in attending a two-day regional workshop being put on by the Ontario Women’s Directorate on November 4-5 in Ottawa. This is reputed to be an excellent workshop for teachers to grow in their awareness of the affects of spousal abuse on the children we teach. Please contact the Unit Office if you are interested in attending.
Week To End Poverty
October 12th through the 19th was designated as the Week to End Poverty. Within the week, October 16th was World Food Day and October 17th was International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Some schools may have held events to mark this week. KAIROS (an ecumenical organization dedicated to global social justice and equality) has produced a booklet which can be used in Catholic schools on the topics of right to food and ending poverty. Albeit a bit late, this booklet will be sent to staff reps and may be used by teachers involved in social justice activities. Other websites that deal with poverty and social justice issues that may be of interest to teachers include: