Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

President's Memo

Most Current President's Memo

Special Note: There is an absolute maximum of 27 half-period on-calls in a school year. This maximum can be smaller depending on how duty minutes are assigned at your school. There is a maximum of 1520 mins of supervision for lunch duties and on-calls combined. Be sure to track your minutes. This can be done easily with the assigned duties summary PDF sheet which can be found on the front page of our District website under Useful Information. There are also 25 minutes per week for bus duty, hall duty, homeroom or student or teacher mentoring but this time must be used each week and cannot be used for lunch duty or on-calls. Alert Administration when you are within two or three on-calls. There is a provision for an “emergency on-call” which could cause someone to do up to two extra half period on-calls above their max but this is only in the case of a true emergency. Administration cannot make an advance plan that relies on teachers serving emergency on-calls. If you are asked to serve an on-call that places you over your limit, alert the administration that you are at your limit and that it is a violation of the contract. If they instruct you to complete the on-call anyway you must do it, but then contact District Office directly or through your Branch President or CBC Rep.

  1. District 13 Executive Officer Posting – The District 13 Executive is pleased to announce the permanent hire of Shane Stagg as Executive Officer. Shane has already given us a glimpse of the work he is capable of while filling in as Interim Exec Officer and we know he will continue to impress.


  2. Planned Absences – The Board has stopped its initiative that was in place just before the long weekend in May of asking teachers for confirmation of a planned absence. Teachers are encouraged to plan absences as far ahead as possible in order to try to ensure a supply teacher will cover the class. If you are still being contacted for a confirmation of your planned absence, please call the District Office.


  3. On-calls Max and Study Hall– Teachers are reminded, at this time of year especially, that they must track their on-calls and if they are reaching their max, they should immediately inform the office to let them know. If you are asked to go above your maximum number of on-calls, please comply, get it in writing and contact the District Office. An emergency on-call, which allows a principal to assign you two on-call periods above max, is only to be used in a true emergency such as a 911 situation. Please contact the office if you think this provision in our Collective Agreement is being abused. The maximum number of students that can be assigned to study hall is 58 for each teacher or students from 4 classes whichever is lower.


  4. Supply Teachers – At this time of the year, with year-end trips and sports events, it is normal for there to be a high demand for supply teachers. This year, the situation seems to have reached a peak and the Board is running out of supply teachers on an almost daily basis. We are in talks with our OTBU colleagues and the Board to try to resolve this problem for next year and on a long-term basis. In the meantime, as you may have already experienced, you may find your classes are sent to on-call or study hall where you thought you would be getting a supply teacher. Please try to plan lessons accordingly and be understanding of your colleagues who unintentionally created an on-call for you when they thought a supply teacher was covering their classes.


  5. Provincial Leave Days – If you applied for a Provincial Leave Day and it was approved by your principal but your classes were sent to on-call/study hall, please contact the District Office immediately. Part of the remedy agreement was that these leave days granted to permanent teachers would result in days of work for our occasional teachers and so should be prioritized when we run out of supply teachers.


  6. Exam Supervision – Supervision for final exams should be available to teachers 3 days before the start of the exam period. Please make sure you have been equitably assigned a supervision load (within half an hour of everyone else). Every teacher should be on the supervision schedule including the non-classroom teachers such as guidance, library and Spec-Ed. Supervision minutes can only be counted if they fall within the formal exam schedule. An in-class exam during an instructional day cannot be counted as part of a supervision duty.


  7. Timetables for 2018 – 2019 – Article L9.05.11 in the collective agreement states that a tentative timetable will be provided to each teacher by the start of second semester’s exam period in June.You should be provided a timetable within these timelines.


  8. Staffing Update – The next round of postings will be internal/external which means more people are eligible to apply – permanent teachers, Article 10, 0.5FTE and LTO’s eligible for permanent status. There are over 45 permanent jobs that will be posted from June 12-18. Hiring will be done June 19-22. Then LTO positions will be posted June 25-29 and hiring will be done July 3-13. The Board is committed to not doing any hiring between July 16 and August 17 so any other positions that come up will be posted on August 20th and onward. Hopefully this timeline will help members plan their vacation days.


  9. End of Year Reporting – At the end of a semester, apart from the Ministry report cards, there are agreed to reports that a teacher supplies to the office for their classes.If a student fails a course the teacher then fills out the Recommended Course Placement Form and attaches a mark print out.If the teacher recommends a student for credit recovery then that teacher would fill out the Credit Recovery Profile sheet.


  10. Credit Completion – Teachers should use their professional judgment in determining whether it is possible for a student to demonstrate enough of the missing curricular expectations in the time allotted for credit completion.


  11. Chromebook Usage – The Board is monitoring the use of Chromebooks in order to identify barriers which may prevent some students from using them. If you are asked for feedback to help identify how they can remove these barriers, you should not feel you are being judged for your use of the Chromebooks in your own classrooms. It is up to you and your professional judgement whether you choose to use these devices in your lessons and to what extent.


  12. Department Heads in Interviews – The Board has messaged principals that department heads should not be asked to sit in on interviews at any time. Please notify the District Office if you are aware of any such situation when a Department Head sat in on the interview process. We would like to make it clear that any of our members who choose to sit in on interviews are opening themselves up to Labour Code accusations because they are essentially acting in a supervisory role where they could have influence over someone else getting a job.


  13. Summer School Medical or Maternity Leave: Someone who has the right of first refusal to a course but is not able to teach due to medical issues does not lose their right of first refusal if medical documentation is provided through Disability Management. If on a statutory parental leave, ensure that the leave is officially requested through the Board. The person replacing them is then also considered for first refusal the following year but will be on the bottom of the list in terms of seniority for Con-Ed summer school for that course. A teacher who is approved for medical or statutory parental leave will add one year of seniority for Con-Ed summer school for the year that they are on leave.


  14. Remedy Payout for Grid Freeze As part of OSSTF/FEESO’s Bill 115 Charter Challenge Remedy, members will be paid for half of their losses due to the grid freeze in 2012/13 and 2013/14. This payment must be made by June 30th, 2018. The Board has said they will make this in a separate payment from the June 30th pay check. Please visit the front page of our website for help with calculating how much you should be paid out for the grid freeze if you are eligible.


  15. Summer Hours at District 13 – The District Office is closed through the summer. However, the Office Manager will open the office every Wednesday morning from 9am to 12pm in order to deal with mail and pick up voice messages. If there is an emergency, please call the duty officer at Provincial OSSTF at 416-751-8300 or 1-800-267-7867. Have a safe and happy summer!


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