Grand Erie District School Board Occasional Teachers

Bargaining Bites



Bargaining Bites

  1. Schedule of the Replaced Teacher(preps & supervision)
  2. Remaining on the OT Roster and Voluntary Leaves
  3. Sick Leave for OT's on Long Term Assignments
  4. QECO Ratings and Salary
  5. Salary for Long-term Occasional Teachers
  6. No Supervision Duties before the Teaching Day Begins
  7. Maternity Benefits
  8. Benefits for Long-term Occasional Teachers
  9. The Humanity Fund Deduction
  10. Current Personal Contact Information
  11. Human Resource Personnel Files
  12. Collective Agreement Copies and Continuing on the Roster from year to year
  13. Payroll Adjustments for Errors
  14. Daily Casual Assignments (half-days, late calls, cancellations)
  15. Access to Board In-service Professional Learning
  16. Hours of Daily Credit for Employment Insurance Purposes
  17. Hiring Regulation 274 (postings and changing assignments)

Bite 3Bargaining Bite #1
Schedule of the Replaced Teacher

Having completed negotiations for 2014-2017, it is now time for us to focus our energies on enforcement of our rights. I believe communication and understanding are key to enforcement. Hence, I am undertaking to write a series of Bargaining Bites, which will each highlight a key article or related articles which I believe need to be reviewed and clearly understood.

One of the most important and most frequently violated terms of our Collective agreement is Article 13.02.

Article 13.02 of our current collective agreement states: The Board agrees that the primary responsibility of the Occasional Teacher is to fulfill the timetable of the elementary teacher being replaced. This means that, except in very rare circumstances, we are to follow the same supervision schedule and teaching schedule as the teacher we are replacing. If the regular duty of the teacher we are replacing, happens to be the yard duty immediately preceding the start of your teaching duties, you are not expected to fulfill this duty, (stated in a Letter of Understanding dated January, 2016) but will accept another duty later in the day as a trade; this is necessary to facilitate our preparedness for the day's teaching. Furthermore, you are entitled to the same regularly scheduled Preparation time as the teacher you are replacing. Often times this time is crucial to successfully teaching in that there are papers to be copied, work to be marked or at least collated, and detailed lesson plans to be read and digested.

If you believe these contractual terms have been violated, you need to promptly contact President Kevin Utley at 519-536-9711 or gedsbot@bell.netplease keep copies of the teaching and supervision duties you were assigned and the regular duty schedule and teaching schedule of the teacher you were replacing. Violations must be dealt with, in recognition of the hard work of past members to achieve this fair working condition, and to protect the rights of all other members.

Bite 2Bargaining Bite #2
Remaining on the OT Roster and a Voluntary Leave of Absence

Our energies continue to be focused on enforcement of our rights. I believe communication and understanding are key to enforcement.

An important obligation for our members is stated in Article 8.03.

Minimum Teaching Days to Remain on the Roster

Beginning Feb. 1, 2018, for this school year, members must work 10 days between Feb. 1 and June 30, 2018.

Beginning next year, September, 2018, members must work 8 days minimum between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31 AND 7 days minimum between Feb. 1 and June 30 AND their total number of days worked for the whole school year must be a minimum of 20 days.

Article 8.03 (a) (iii):
Effective February 1, 2018: “In addition the Board reserves the right to remove an Occasional Teacher from the Roster and the Long-term Occasional List if he/she is unavailable for assignment and/or does not accept at least eight (8) FTE days of work in the period of September 1 to January 31 and  at least seven (7) FTE days of work in the period of February 1 to June 30, and, in addition, fails to accept at least twenty (20) FTE days of work in the period of September 1 to June 30.”  
For purposes of clarity, an occasional teacher may be removed as of February 1 in the event he/she is unavailable for assignment and/or does not accept at least eight (8) FTE days of work in the period of September 1 to January 31.
For purposes of clarity, an occasional teacher may be removed as of July 1 in the event he/she is unavailable for assignment and/or does not accept at least seven (7) FTE days of work in the period of February 1 to June 30.

For purposes of clarity, an occasional teacher may be removed as of July 1 in the event he/she is unavailable for assignment and/or does not accept twenty (20) FTE days of work in the period of September 1 to June 30, even if he/she has met the requirements to teach eight (8) and seven (7) FTE days of work in the periods of September 1 to January 31 and February 1 to June 30, respectively.


While it is preferred that you work as much as you possibly can to meet the needs of the system, and maintain a stable number of OT's on our Roster, Article 8.03 does indicate that you must work at least twenty (20) days in the whole school year, with at least 8 days in the first half of the year and at least 7 days in the second half of the school year. If members foresee a problem with meeting these conditions, and wish to maintain their place on the Roster/List, they should contact President Kevin and consider a "Voluntary Leave" for known extended absences.

19.01 The Board may allow a leave of absence to an Occasional Teacher. Such leave will not be unreasonably denied. In granting the leave of absence, the Occasional Teacher's name shall be removed from the Occasional Teacher List for a period of up to and including one (1) school year. The Occasional Teacher shall be returned to the Occasional Teacher List at the end of the leave provided that the Occasional Teacher is available to accept assignments and advises the Board's Human Resources Department thirty (30) days prior to the end of the leave.

Article 19.01 is helpful in maintaining members on our OT list, while allowing them some extended absence from actual work assignments in the elementary panel with Grand Erie. Reasons could include sickness, family emergencies, vacation/travel, or even an LTO assignment with another Board. Please note, Human Resources knows if someone is working in the secondary panel full time and is thus not available. When members are working part-time LTO's in secondary, Human Resources does expect them to be accepting assignments in the elementary panel during their available time.

It is critical that members remember their obligation to notify the Board, in writing (email is fine), of their return to availability, THIRTY (30) days PRIOR to the end of the leave.

President Kevin, is available to assist with leave requests/information.
The actual leaves are processed through the Board's Human Resources Services.


Bite 3Bargaining Bite #3
Sick Leave for OT's on Long-term Assignments

We continue to focus our energies on enforcement of our rights. I believe communication and understanding are key to enforcement.

A review of the Sick Leave Regulation NOW means that members in long-term assignments can use their sick leave days to attend medical appointments and thus be paid.

Frequently questions arise about sick leave. Hopefully the following will help to clarify a few basic issues. Sick leave is a very complicated issue under current Regulations and cases must often be addressed individually.

Sick Leave and Short-term Disability Plan

Members in long-term assignments have:

  • 11 sick days paid at 100% of salary, pro-rated for part-time assignments and the length of the assignment

  • 120 days short term sick leave at 90% of salary, pro-rated for part-time assignments and assignments that are less than a full school year

While these accumulated sick leave credits do carry over into any other LTO assignment in the SAME school year, they do in fact cease to exist each July 1 as they regretably, do NOT carry forward into subsequent school years.

If you have any further questions, please contact President Kevin.

Bite 4Bargaining Bite #4
Do you know your QECO rating and how it impacts your salary?

Teachers, like most professionals, are paid according to their specific qualifications and experience. Article 12.06 is key in this regard.

12.06 It shall be incumbent upon a newly appointed Occasional Teacher to provide Human Resources Services documented proof in the form of a Category Certification Statement from Q.E.C.O. as to his/her appropriate group classification. An Occasional Teacher shall be placed in Category A1, or Category A in the event the Occasional Teacher does not have a degree, until such time as documentation supporting category placement is submitted and accepted by the Board, after which time the Occasional Teacher shall receive the appropriate differential amount retroactive to the commencement of duties. Notwithstanding the foregoing, retroactive adjustments shall not be made beyond September 1 of the current school year.

ALL Teachers should have a QECO Certification Statement completed as soon as possible after their hire to the Board. There is no cost, but if you ever attain a Long-Term assignment, there is much to be gained financially.

Remember, an LTO assignment (not a posted assignment with an end date) is deemed to begin on the NINTH consecutive casual day of teaching as a replacement for the same absent teacher. Furthermore, the rise in pay, by being paid on grid, is retroactive to the first day of the assignment. It is not unusual for a one day absence to continue 'day to day', as someone struggles with an illness - and before you know it you have 9 continuous days you never expected, but for which you are entitled to be appropriately reimbursed. Your assignment has morphed into an unplanned LTO.

Also bear in mind, that while you may not believe as a predominantly daily occasional teacher, you have much experience credit, EVERY DAY YOU HAVE TAUGHT COUNTS AS A DAY OF EXPERIENCE for grid placement. This is a more recently acquired benefit and is contained in Article 12.02 f.

All this is good news in these days where "every penny counts", but it is all dependent on YOU getting your QECO Certification Statement completed.

Finally it should be noted that salary adjustments can be made retroactively, but only back to September 1 of the CURRENT school year. So don't delay!

Bite 5Bargaining Bite #5
Salary for Long-Term OT's

For many of our members, working conditions and specifically salary, are some of the most important elements of our Collective Agreement. Article 12.02 addresses the salary of Long-Term Occasional teachers.

12.02 (b) (i) A Long-term Occasional Teacher shall be placed on the current Elementary Teachers' Salary Scale in accordance with the teacher's recognized teaching experience and category placement effective on the ninth (9th) consecutive day of teaching and retroactive to the first day the Occasional Teacher began the long-term assignment. It shall be the responsibility of the Occasional Teacher to provide the Board with documentation pertaining to recognized teaching experience. No retroactive salary adjustments shall be made beyond September 1 of the current school year.

ii) Notwithstanding the foregoing, if an occasional teacher is hired for a long term assignment which is expected by the Superintendent of Human Resources to be at least twenty (20) teaching days, salary grid placement shall be effective the first day of the assignment

iii) The return of the regular teacher for one (1) day within the first nine (9) days of an assignment will not interrupt a long-term occasional assignment for grid placement.

Article 12.04 further states: The daily rate for long-term occasional assignments will be calculated by dividing the annual salary by the total number of school days in the school year. [ this year that is /194]

If you have any further questions, please contact President Kevin.

Bite 6Bargaining Bite #6
No Duties Before Teaching Begins for the Day

With a Collective agreement in place for 2012-2014, it is now time for us to focus our energies on enforcement of our rights. I believe communication and understanding are key to enforcement.

Our Letter of Understanding # 1 states:

This will serve to confirm our mutual understanding of the following matters as a result of our recent negotiations for an Agreement for the term September 1, 2014 to

August 31, 2017.

1. The Board shall advise Principals to endeavour to ensure that an Occasional Teacher shall not be assigned yard duty prior to the commencement of teaching duties.

This means that OT's should NOT have any supervision prior to the start of teaching their whole or half day. This time is needed by the OT to properly prepare for their teaching duties. However, it does not preclude a supervision duty later in the day, to pay back the first duty someone else had to cover.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact President Kevin.

Bite 7Bargaining Bite #7
Maternity Benefits

Effective May 1, 2013, members in long-term assignments, will be paid 8 weeks at 100% salary, limited only by the end date of the assignment and EI qualification requirements. Further information is available at

Bite 8Bargaining Bite #8
Benefits for Long-term Occasional Teachers

Subject to eligibility requirements, a Long-term Occasional Teacher employed on a long-term occasional assignment of at least 90 consecutive calendar days may participate in the Extended Health Plan, Dental Plan and Life Insurance benefits available through OTIP (Ontario Teachers’ Insurance Plan).  1.0 assignments have no monthly employee premium, but part-time assignments pay partial monthly pro-rated premiums. (For 0.5 assignment, approximately $82.00 per month.)


MEMBERS automatically receive an email with a link to sign-up for benefits if they wish. YOU MUST reply to the enrolment email within 30 days of receiving it. Benefits are retroactive to the first day of your qualifying LTO assignment, so be sure to keep ALL RECEIPTS.

Bite 9 Bargaining Bite #9
The Humanity Fund Deduction

Since 2004, all members of our local have contributed 10 cents for each full day they worked. These funds go to the ETFO Humanity Fund and the Stephen Lewis Foundation for Aids work in Africa is the principal benefactor, receiving half of all monies received. The other half is administered by a Board of Directors which includes your President. These remaining funds are distributed to a broad variety of charitable organizations benefiting school children and their families in countries all across our world.

This deduction became problematic to the Board when the new payroll software was introduced two years ago. Beginning with days worked after January 15, 2016, the deduction will change to .0004 times gross salary. Thus the deduction for a day of casual daily work will change from 10 cents to 9 cents (.0004 x $226.95). If we assume an average of 40 casual days taught by casual daily members, they will contribute 40 cents less annually. The average or median LTO member will pay about $3.00 more per school year, which is an extra 30 cents per month or 15 cents per pay period. Please be assured this was the best possible resolution as the software will only accept four decimal place figures and LTO salaries range broadly with qualifications and experience.

You should regularly check to verify that the Board is making this, and all other deductions, accurately.

4.05The Board shall deduct a percentage of earnings [x.0004] for the ETFO Humanity Fund. Monies shall be forwarded to the Union on a monthly basis. Deductions shall be shown on a separate “field” on each Occasional Teachers' pay statement.

Bite 10 Bargaining Bite #10
Personal Contact Information must be kept current with the Board

It is both reasonable and essential that employers have correct contact information for their employees; they need to be able to contact you. Cynthia Townson in Human Resources (extension 281141) is the Board contact for all changes to contact information. Failure to notify the Board of changes to your contact information shall result in your removal from the Roster, if you do not reply to the Board's request within 21 days of notification.

Article 8.06 reads: The onus is on the Occasional Teacher to notify the Board in writing of any changes in name, address or telephone number. The Board shall send an email to the email address on file with the Board of any Occasional Teacher whose contact information is known to be inaccurate, with a copy to the President of the Elementary Occasional Teacher local, requesting current information. Effective January 1, 2016, failure to reply with current contact information within twenty-one (21) calendar days shall result in the Occasional Teacher's name being removed from the Roster and Long-term Occasional Teacher List, if applicable.

As you can see, it is alsoimportant to keep your information current with the Union Local. It can be updated on our website or by emailing the President or phoning 519-536-9711.

Bite 11 Bargaining Bite #11
Human Resource Personnel Files

You still have full access to your file, but the Board must be given advance notice (appointment) so that personnel are available to facilitate your request.

You may still request copies of materials contained in your file, but the Board reserves the right to make a reasonable charge for materials in excess of 25 pages. There should be nothing of much consequence in your file, of which you do not already have a copy, as you always receive a copy of any “adverse” material within 7 days (disciplinary, evaluations, salary/experience statements, etc.)

You may request the removal of any disciplinary documents and letters of expectation, after the latter of 2 years or 200 days of teaching, if there has been no further similar disciplinary action. President Kevin would be happy to assess, discuss and facilitate these matters.

6.01 The only personnel file respecting an Occasional Teacher shall be maintained by Human Resources of the Board and shall be available and open to the Occasional Teacher for inspection in the presence of the Superintendent responsible for Human Resources, or designate, at any reasonable time during the regular working hours of the Department with advance notice of appointment.

6.02 An Occasional Teacher shall be entitled to request copies of any materials contained in his/her personnel file. The Board reserves the right to levy a reasonable charge for copies in excess of 25 pages.

6.06 An Occasional Teacher shall receive a copy of any adverse material placed in his/her personnel file within seven (7) calendar days of the material being filed.

6.08 Upon written request of the teacher to the Superintendent of Education (responsible for Human Resources), documents contained in the teacher's personnel file which are disciplinary in nature or letters of expectation and all supporting documents shall be removed from the file the later of two years or 200 days worked for the Board as an Occasional Teacher from the date of issue, unless further similar disciplinary action has occurred in that period.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, disciplinary materials regarding suspensions, harassment, violence, or any discipline related to inappropriate interaction with students will remain in a teacher's file.

Bite 12 Bargaining Bite #12
Collective Agreement Copies and Continuing on the Roster from year to year

The Board is moving progressively into the electronic era. No paper copies of the Collective Agreement will be issued; it will be available to all members on the Board's portal and our website.

7.01A copy of the collective agreement shall be available on line.

The June mailing from the Board advising all members who wish to remain on the Roster for Occasional Teaching for the coming new school year to “re-enlist”, will be replaced by an electronic notification and reply to indicate your intent to remain on the Roster for the next year. Be assured I will be providing notice and further details as this new process unfolds (but I must have your accurate email address).

8.03An Occasional Teacher who wishes to be continued on the Occasional Teacher Roster for the following school year shall notify Human Resources Services by June 30th each year. The required notification will be sent by email and/or posted on line by the Board by June 1st. Human Resources Services shall remove from the Occasional Teacher Roster the name of any Occasional Teacher for whom no notification is received by June 30th. It is the responsibility of each Occasional Teacher to confirm that their notification has been received by Human Resources Services prior to the June 30th deadline.

Bite 13 Bargaining Bite #13
Payroll Adjustment for Errors

In an arbitration a few years ago, the following matter was resolved. This language is what has been practice for many years now. When the Board (or the Union/members) discover an error has been made in salary paid, it is corrected back to the beginning of the school year previous to the school year of such discovery. This may result in the member or the Board having to make payments to correct the error. Repayment plans must be within reasonable amounts and a reasonable timeline. In all cases, members need to seek Union assistance to ensure due process.

12.08 Adjustments for overpayment or underpayment of salary shall be retroactive to September 1 of the previous school year from the date on which Human Resources Services determines that there is an overpayment or an underpayment. Prior to any adjustment to salary as a result of an overpayment or underpayment, the Superintendent responsible for Human Resources, or designate, shall consult with the occasional teacher to discuss the timing for the necessary adjustment. Both parties are expected to cooperate and be reasonable in the development of the repayment plan. Notice of the adjustment shall be given to the President of the local prior to the implementation of the adjustment.

Bite 14 Bargaining Bite #14
Daily Casual Assignments

  1. If you are called to a half-day assignment, it must be for the morning or the afternoon.

    13.03 When an Occasional Teacher is called to an assignment for a half day, it will be either for the morning or the afternoon. No casual occasional teacher will be paid for less than one-half day. Remuneration paid to casual occasional teachers will be prorated for assignments less than full-time.

  2. You will receive full assignment pay for a late call assignment (after the start of the teaching day, or without adequate advance notice to allow you to arrive at the assignment before it starts) if you arrive within 30 minutes of the start time of the assignment. Despite our best efforts to negotiate a better recognition of the unfairness of paying late calls in other than half or whole days, this is the best that could be accomplished at this time.

    15.03 An Occasional Teacher shall not be considered late for an assignment as a result of a late request to report for such assignment provided he or she arrives within thirty (30) minutes of the start time of the assignment.

  3. The late cancellation of assignments has been a concern for members for many years. We now have language in place which should end this frustration in most cases. The minimum notice of cancellation which the Board can provide, without the member being entitled to payment for the assignment, is two (2) hours; you must answer your phone, check your voicemail and still report to the assignment and accept other work. In most cases this will provide notice to the member before they leave their house to travel to their assignment and allow some time for a new assignment to potentially replace the one which was canceled.

    15.04 (a) The Board shall give a minimum of two (2) hours notice of cancellation of any assignment. The Board shall attempt to contact the occasional teacher to notify them of the cancellation. It is the responsibility of the occasional teacher to answer their telephone and check voicemail messages. If the occasional teacher reports to work, he/she will not be paid.

    (b) Should an assignment be canceled without such notice, the Board shall pay the Occasional Teacher the pay he/she would have received for that assignment for that day provided the Occasional Teacher reports for, and completes alternate professional duties.

Bite 15 Bargaining Bite #15
Access to Board In-Service Professional Learning

Provided space is available, members may voluntarily (without pay) attend Board In-Service programs. Be sure to check the Board PORTAL for opportunities; access is in the portal under the Links and Resourcestab at the top middle and the drop- down line PD Place (e-Centre), or on the Board Portal Website: (login required).

24.03 b) Subject to the availability of space, an Occasional Teacher may be offered the opportunity to attend without pay, the Board's in-service programs on a voluntary basis.

Bite 16 Bargaining Bite #16
Hours of Daily Credit for Employment Insurance Purposes

Effective September, 2016, eight (8) hours of credit for EI purposes will be credited by the Board for each full day worked. Part days will be pro-rated. This new clause will make it easier for Occasional Teachers to qualify with enough hours for summer EI and maternity leave benefits.

3.07 Effective September 2016, for the purpose of reporting hours worked for Employment Insurance, the Board shall record each full day of work as eight (8) hours worked.

Bite 17 Bargaining Bite #17
A letter was given to the Board varying a few specific aspects of HIRING REGULATION 274 for the duration of this Collective Agreement:

  1. Assignments of less than 30 days will not be posted.

    Our experience shows that very few of these short assignments were ever filled by members on our LTO List. It sometimes took most of such a short assignment to complete the posting/interviewing/hiring process. They went to members on our Roster as members on the LTO List awaited longer assignments.

  2. Job postings shall be a minimum of four (4) days, excluding weekends or statutory holidays.

    The Board wanted to shorten the process and with applications for assignments being processed electronically, it seemed worth testing this one day shortening.

  3. Occasional Teachers in full-time, long-term assignments, may only apply to another long-term assignment which begins after their current assignment's end date.

    This is being tried to attempt to create greater continuity of instruction to classrooms. It is a common practice in many Boards in Ontario