Important Updates

Welcome to the new Waterloo Catholic Teachers website!

It’s exciting to share with Occasional Teachers no matter what their stage in their career. Many OTs have “graduated” on to permanent contracts. Congratulations! This has been happening faster and faster over the last couple of years. It is common now to see Occasional Teachers being offered a permanent contract who are not yet on the LTO List. We encourage all teachers who are interested in a permanent contract or an LTO to apply to them. Being on the LTO List gives priority to the position, but in many instances, there is no one on the LTO List who applied. (Note: the seniority language in Reg 274 for posted positions applies only to those on the LTO List.)

Welcome to the new Occasional Teachers! Please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for assistance if you have a question or need any guidance. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved both locally and provincially. In addition, there are conferences and PD money available. Please make sure to take the time to read communications from both the local and the provincial office for invitations to participate.

We have a lot of newly-retired teachers who have opted to become an Occasional Teacher. For this we are grateful, as the daily demands on the system outweigh the supply of OTs, and without retirees, we would be in more of a crisis than we already are. It’s important to know that permanent teachers are able to join the OT Roster without an interview. As such, they are provided access to daily assignments via the second callout stage of Smartfind. Retired teachers may also access LTOs if they so desire. Retirees aren’t provided access to Apply To Education, by default, but may request it if they wish. With the high availability of work available to the second callout, it is important that any teacher collecting an Ontario Teachers pension carefully review the rules around limits of work with a school Board.

Collective bargaining is a big topic around the province these days. With our collective agreement scheduled to expire on August 31, 2019, our provincial office is busy preparing for negotiating the central part of the collective agreement. We will soon follow at the local level once we have a clearer indication of what components will fall under the local definitions.

A key topic as we move towards collective bargaining is ensuring we are addressing and protecting language we currently have. This can be a challenge as the crisis we are experiencing with the shortage to address daily assignments stretches teachers to the max. It is heartwarming to hear teachers wanting to help and be part of a team, BUT as much as this may help in the moment, it may put existing language at risk. As such, it is extremely important that all teachers inform us when being assigned work that violates the collective agreement.

One item from the collective agreement that we are actively tracking is the loss of planning time. All Elementary teachers are entitled to a minimum of 40 minutes per day. For an Occasional Teacher, they should be assigned the regular schedule of the teacher they are in for. Any Occasional Teacher not receiving the full planning time for the day should track the details and provide it to me.

I look forward to meeting more of you at our various events. I invite those of you doing daily work to check out the lunch calendar on this website to see where we will be. If you are teaching at that school, please join us for the lunch and some great topics of conversation. It’s always a good time to ask those questions that you may have been wondering about.

Jeannette Cowen
Vice-President Occasional