Frequently Asked Questions
Sick and Personal Obligation Days
What can I use my personal obligation days for?
Personal Obligation Leave days were negotiated in order to provide teachers with the opportunity, without loss of pay or credit, to attend to those urgent personal matters which come up in life. Examples are, but are not limited to, meeting with a lawyer to close the sale of your house, attending a child’s doctor appointment, attending a significant family event that is out of town and requires your presence.
Personal Obligation Leave Days are not intended to be used for your own personal doctor appointment, these are sick days. Nor are they to be used for non-urgent matters such as shopping, golfing, etc.
Personal Obligation Leave Days must be pre-booked with your principal, unless in an emergency.
They cannot be used in conjunction with a long weekend or an unpaid leave. They may not be taken on a professional activity day, evaluation day, or holiday break (summer, Christmas or March).
What does “Personal obligation days may not conflict with the start of school” mean?
The intent of this phrase is to ensure that personal obligation days do not conflict with that time in the new school year or start of semester, when classroom routines are being established. This means that a personal obligation day would not be used on the first or second day of classes. In some cases, this period may be extended a bit, if classes and teacher assignments are being changed, which would disrupt the establishment of regular class routines.
Can I take a personal obligation day prior to, or immediately after, a long weekend?
The contract states that a personal obligation day cannot be scheduled on days before or after a break. So a full day, personal obligation day prior to or immediately after a long weekend cannot be granted. However, it is the practice to allow a half-day personal obligation leave in the morning prior to a long weekend or in the afternoon after a long weekend – in both cases there is a period of work adjacent to the weekend.
How many sick days do I have?
Each year, at the beginning of the year, up to 11 sick days are added to your sick day account as follows:
-if actively at work, then prorated, based on your contract (that is part time versus full time)
-if not working (ie unpaid leave, DSL), no allocation is provided (the exception is a parental/maternity leave â€“ these leaves are treated as if actively working)
-if you are working only part of your contract due to illness and you carried over sick days from the previous year, sick days are allocated based on your contract
-if you are partially working due to illness but exhausted all sick leave in the previous year, then sick leave is prorated to your working status (not on your contract status)
note: in the case that you return to full teaching status at some point in the school year, a prorated portion of your sick days is restored to you that is based on the remaining portion of the school year
Additionally, you will get access to a short term disability leave plan of up to 120 days paid at 90% if adjudicated in your favour (considering medical documentation provided by the teacher). If NOT adjudicated in your favour, then these absences are deemed “culpable” and teachers may receive 0% of their pay.
Sick leave is available to you for personal illness on any work day regardless of its proximity to holidays or professional activity days or exam days.
You may be required to provide a doctor’s note to confirm your reason for absence. A note requested by the Board will be paid for by the Board.
How do I book an Earned Leave Day?
The Earned Leave Plan Application 2016/2017 is accessible to you in 2 ways: 1) Link provided on StaffNet Welcome page under “Top Links” By clicking on this link. It is recommended that you open it in a browser other than Internet Explorer. To fill out the online form, you will need to be in your GAFE account. If you have submitted a requested before October 28, there is no need to resubmit.
Please direct questions regarding your Earned Leave Plan request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maternity and Leave of Absences
How do I apply for Maternity leave?
Download our Pregnancy and Parental leave booklet. Still have questions? Call us at (519) 744-8051.
How does a Maternity leave affect my TPA?
A TPA must have 4 non-evaluative years preceding them. If this period includes a maternity leave, then the TPA is deferred one year.
How does a Maternity leave affect my eligibility for a Deferred Salary Leave?
For the purposes of eligibility for a deferred salary leave, being on a maternity leave is considered being at work. So if the eligibility requirement calls for 4 consecutive years of work, then a maternity leave is considered as one of those years.
Will I have access to Board email while on a leave?
During a long term leave or statutory leave, the Board keeps you on their email system. However, you are removed from the ‘all users’ list at your school. Upon return, it is the administrator’s responsibility to make you aware of any policy or procedure change.
How many Long Term Leaves of Absence can I take?
The Board’s policy is to grant a maximum of two Long Term Leaves in a teacher’s career. See the contract for the procedure for requesting a Long Term Leave. Each leave is one year in length, or less. A teacher may take their two leaves consecutively, or with many years in between. A leave may be used to temporarily teach only a portion of a day, for example, to teach only half time. In Elementary, a leave of less than six months does not normally count as one of the two leaves.
When I change my address with the board, do I need to change it with OECTA?
Yes. If you are moving, please update OECTA provincial office of your change in address and phone number. You can update your personal information with OECTA online by logging into the Member’s Centre to update your profile. You should also inform your school board.
How can I change my name and/or address with OECTA?
Login to the Members Centre and Update your personal member “My Profile”. Or, you can phone 1-800-268-7230 or email OECTA with your name and/or address change. Proof of name change is not required.
How do I get a new or replacement OECTA card?
OECTA membership cards are issued by request. If you have lost/misplaced your OECTA card, or if you are a newly hired teacher, please follow the instructions on the OECTA Provincial website to place your request for a new/replacement membership card. You will need to log in to the members section of the site to do this.
Do I receive a new OECTA card every year?
Yes, provincial office sends a new card to your school every year.
How do I get my QECO rating?
Application forms for QECO ratings can be found at qeco.on.ca. To apply for a QECO rating you will need to have available your teacher record card, your university transcript, your Ontario College of Teachers membership and your Teaching Certificate. Some of these documents may have been provided before and are unchanged in which case you do not have to resubmit them. If you are a beginning teacher you may have received a letter from QECO indicating where you will be placed when you have been evaluated. This letter is NOT your official evaluation. You are still required to submit an evaluation application once you have started to work for a board.
It is very important to submit these documents to QECO as soon as possible. You are responsible for having your qualifications evaluated and failure to submit your QECO rating prior to January 15 of the year of your adjustment will result in a loss of retroactive pay for course taken before August 31 of the prior year. Documents submitted prior to April 30 will enable you to collect retroactive pay to January 1st prior to submission.
Where can I get my Religion Part I?
Can I get financial assistance for workshops and courses?
OECTA Waterloo does support your professional growth by providing individual assistance to teachers. This assistance can only be applied to workshops and conferences and not to credit course. Individual assistance is applied for using an individual assistance form, available from your staff rep. Receipts for conference registration fees or workshop registration must be accompanied with a conference/workshop brochure. 75% of registration fees up to $200 every two years are available to each member for individual assistance. Check the form for a convenient checklist to ensure you are submitting all of your documents and that your cheque is processed quickly.
How do I obtain a Superintendent’s signature for an AQ course?
A confirmation of teaching experience form, required in order to take an AQ course, must be signed by the Superintendent of Human Resources. Send your forms to the Board Office, attention Human Resources and upon receipt, they will confirm your experience, have the Superintendent of Human Resource Services sign it, make a copy for your personnel file and return it to you. The Board does not fax them to the faculty on your behalf, so please allow sufficient time for the turn-around in order to meet your registration deadline. The Superintendent of Human Resource Services signs all forms; school superintendents do not.
Note: classroom experience in an inclusive setting will be considered to satisfy the teaching experience requirement for Special Education and ESL part 3 and the superintendent will sign the form. Teaching exclusively in a Special Education or ESL class is not required.