Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Front-Line Support needed! Sandi Douglas Retirement Announcement and a Note from the TVARRIS Coordinator

More front-line supports to address the classroom violence issue are called for. Please consider participating in ETFO's letter campaign to the Minister of Education.
You can access the letter through ETFO's Building Better Scholls campaign website:

Your TVOT Local is sad to share the following message from TVDSB:
With mixed emotions we announce the retirement of Sandi Douglas, effective 2017 August 31. Sandi's last day of work will be July 27. Sandi has been the key driver in our Junk Food Friday events and an avid supporter of United Way and Heart and Stroke fundraisers. We wish Sandi loads of health, happiness and the best retirement ever!

Sandi Douglas has been TVOT's invaluable contact with the Board's HR department since the inception of the Thames Valley District School Board and of ETFO.   We will greatly miss her professionalism and assistance.
Congratulations Sandi and best wishes for fun and happiness as you start this next phase of your life!

Over the summer months maintenance will be taking place in TVARRIS and your Substitute schedule/locations will be cleared out.  To receive a TVARRIS call and to be pre-arranged into a job this must be populated.

Please review the job aids regarding location selection and schedule availability to update your profile including AVAILABILITY and LOCATIONS AFTER AUGUST 7th. Recognizing TVARRIS will begin calling up to two weeks in advance for future dated absences. You will need a schedule for a school to create your LTO/LTA job, or to be pre-arranged.

This is a reminder to maintain an accurate availability in your TVARRIS Substitute profile at all times. You should not be getting a TVARRIS call if you are not able to accept it.  If you are on a leave please delete your schedule. Having an accurate location selection and schedule will allow TVARRIS to match you up more accurately to jobs so that you are not ignoring a TVARRIS call. Please ANSWER WHEN TVARRIS CALLS.

Until September -
This is our last edition of the WEDNESDAY BLOG for the 2016-2017 school year!
Please note the ETFO-TVOT office will be closed from July 1st - September 5th, 2017.
On behalf of your President, Terry Card and the Executive, we would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you an enjoyable and safe summer break.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Important June 30th Deadlines; National Aboriginal Day; QECO

June 30th Deadlines and Important Information:
- Mandatory online training modules: a condition of remaining active on OT Roster and worth .5 credit as a day of work; Thirteen modules beginning with Fire Code Training and ending with Slips, Trips and Falls. LTOs must also submit these modules and will have completed most of them with the staff at their schools. NB: This year, daily OTs must ensure they are "Available" June 30th so that their pay can be entered in TVARRIS.
- Extra 1.5 day of pay: for daily OTs or those in less than .5 LTO. Check out the Employee Portal > Conference Registration > Elementary OT PD and the online options listed under July 1.  Complete these anytime but make sure to submit a Reflection Form (available on the site) by 4 PM on June 30. Each module earns .5 of a day credit for all purposes including seniority, pay, EI, pension etc.

N.B. - All LTOs with an end date of June 30 are expected to attend school and be paid according to their grid rate that day so long as the permanent Teacher is not attending school that day. LTOs are paid at grid rate for all PA days within their assignment.
National Aboriginal Day

Today, June 21 is National Aboriginal Day - a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous Peoples. Although similar, each group has its own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose the summer solstice for National Aboriginal Day. Historically, many Indigenous communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day,  the year's longest day.

Deepen your understanding of FNMI issues and perspectives with ETFO resources available at

QECO and Grid Pay
If you are in a LTO and still being paid at the daily OT rate, you need to apply for a QECO rating and submit it to the Board Staffing Officer Sandi Douglas by the July 31st deadline.  The application process can take several weeks so start the process immediately and submit the green QECO confirmation card if it seems the final statement will not be available in time. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Good news about your Teachers' Pension & 2 New Schools

The Ontario Teachers' Federation who oversees our Teachers' Pension Plan has just released the following:

Full inflation protection for retired teachers and a contribution rate reduction for active teachers.
The Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF) and the Ontario Government, joint sponsors of the $175.6 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Plan), will use a portion of the $11.5 billion surplus in the Plan (as of January 1, 2017) to complete the restoration of inflation protection for teachers who retired after 2009. As well, the contribution rate for the Plan's active members will be reduced by 1.1%. Both changes are effective January 1, 2018.
"Conditional inflation protection has been proven to be an effective tool for managing Plan deficits and now, for the fourth year in a row, the sponsors will use some of the surplus to finish the restoration of indexing that pensioners lost in recent years," said OTF President Mike Foulds. "In addition, the Plan's active members will enjoy a 1.1% reduction in the contribution rate. The remainder of the surplus will be kept in reserve to provide benefit and contribution rate stability against future funding challenges such as low interest rates and increasing longevity, both of which increase the Plan's liabilities."
Pensioners who retired after 2009 will receive a one-time increase in January 2018 to restore their pensions to the levels they would have been at, had full inflation protection been provided each year since they retired. They will also receive a slightly higher inflation increase next year for the portion of their pensions earned after 2009. Cost-of-living increases for this portion of pension credit will equal 100% of the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), up from the current level of 90%. Pension credits earned before 2010 remain fully inflation-protected.
Active Plan members will enjoy a 1.1% reduction in the contribution rate they pay to the Plan.
Last March, Teachers' reported its fourth surplus in a decade. A preliminary funding valuation showed that the Plan was 105% funded at the beginning of 2017, based on current benefits and contribution rates.
For more information on these changes, please go to<>.


Reminder: 2 new schools will be opening up in September- here is the contact information:

Sir Arthur Currie P.S.
 2435 Buroak Drive
 London, ON  N6G 5B6

Cedar Hollow P.S.
 1800 Cedarhollow Boulevard
 London, ON  N5X 0C5

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Note to LTOs re June 30th PD Day, PLDF Reminder; Regulation 274

Note to LTOs re June 30th PD Day
Please be aware that the Agreement provides that:
L20.03 A Long-Term Occasional Teacher who is scheduled to work when there is a Professional Activity Day will be paid for the day and will be required to participate in the scheduled professional activity sessions, pro-rated according to the FTE of the assignment.
This means that full LTOs are to be in school on June 30th and will be paid at grid rate on the last day of school unless the permanent Teacher is being paid to return to the job that day.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if you have any questions.

PLDF Reminder
If you are considering submitting a request for the Professional Learning Development Fund for a course you will be taking over the summer, we wish to remind you to send your application before the end of the month.  Approval for retroactive applications will not be approved.  Please ensure all requirements as stated on the application form are met.  Download applications from the ETFO-TVOT website under useful forms/documents in Member Services. Applicants must have been on the OT List for one year in order to be eligible.

Regulation 274
Just a reminder of the steps to hiring as legislated under Regulation 274:
1) All elementary Occasional Teachers are member of the Roster and are ranked according to seniority. Seniority is not transferable from Board to Board or panel to panel.
2) After being a Board employee for 10 months and having taught 20 days, those on the Roster are eligible to apply to be interviewed for the LTO List. Unsuccessful candidates can ask for a debriefing from those who conducted the interview.
3) LTO positions are posted and will be filled first from those most senior qualified candidates from the LTO List who apply, and if the position remains unfilled, the posting becomes open to applicants from the OT Roster.
4) An OT who successfully completes a 4 month long-term assignment once they are on the LTO List, becomes eligible for permanent hire with interviews again offered by seniority. Unsuccessful applicants may request debriefing.
A few TVDSB specifics:
- In TVDSB seniority is defined as the accumulated number of days taught since hire to the Board's elementary OT Roster. (Those returning from maternity leave may apply to have their seniority adjusted so that the average number of days previously taught in the time period is added back).
- This year, more than 60% of those interviewed in TVDSB were successful.
- September LTO assignments will be posted by TVDSB on August 14th and placement will be by central staffing by seniority from those who apply  i.e., there will no interviews.
- TVDSB Permanent postings for "Round 4" are expected in the last week of June.

Please do not hesitate to contact the OT Office for further clarification.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Last Chance for 2 extra days of pay and SMART Board Workshop - June 7th, 2017

Daily Occasional Teachers have access to 2 extra days of pay, delivered as paid Professional Development. (Those in LTO assignments .5 FTE or less can be paid for one full day). A half-day is to be paid for completion of the 13 online mandatory training modules listed in the Employee Portal under "Employee Training".  Your other three half day options include online webinars that can be done at your leisure, or by participating in the final Board sponsored PD sessions being offered on June 9th, however registration closes for these on this Friday, June 2nd.
Sessions fill quickly so check out the Employee Portal >Conference/Session Registrations> Elementary Occasional Teacher PD (2016-2017). Click on "Register" to see your options.
These days count as a day of work for purposes of seniority, Employment Insurance, Pension credit etc. so register today and "Earn as you Learn".
SMART Board PD Workshop- Wednesday, June 7th, 2017   

Westmount P.S. , 1011 Viscount Road in London from 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
(a light dinner will be provided).

The SMART Board has become integral to the modern, elementary classroom and an essential tool for creating lessons that are both interactive and engaging for students. During this hands-on workshop, participants will experience many of the basic features and have an opportunity to practice creating SMART Board lessons in a relaxed, supportive environment.

Presenter :  Katie Jeffries
Registration is now open at under Member Services


Registration is now open for ETFO Summer Academy!!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spring General Meeting and your Local Executive for 2017-2018; ETFO Provincial Opportunities; Deadline for your Book Rebate Application

Spring General Meeting
Over 100 members registered for our Spring General Meeting and Elections which took place at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, last Thursday.
The following TVOT Members were elected for the your Local 2017-2018 Executive Positions:

 President:  Terry Card
 1st Vice-President: Nancy Springer
 2nd Vice-President: Vivek Nath
 Secretary: Sarah Pye
 Treasurer: Kevin Utley
 Health & Safety Officer:  David Griffith
 Executive Members at Large:  Meera Jain, Farida Makhani, Sharon Pinylo, Shasta Tunks

 Collective Bargaining Committee:
  Chief Negotiator:  Terry Card
  Bargaining Committee Members:  Vivek Nath, Sharon Pinylo, Nancy Springer, Kevin Utley

Thank you for interest and support!!!!
ETFO AQ Courses
Registration is now open for ETFO's Additional Qualifications courses which includes the new "Environmental Education Part 1" session.  These are high-quality courses by developed by Teachers for Teachers so we encourage members to check out for the this year's selections.

ETFO Summer Academy
Just a heads up to members that registration for the popular 3 day sessions, will open next week at  Courses are extremely popular so make sure to act quickly if you are interested.  A good opportunity to meet other Teachers from across Ontario.
TVOT $50 Book Rebate
Don't miss the deadline to submit your claim for $50 towards the purchase of a professional resource. Forms along with accompanying receipts are due at the ETFO- TVOT office by May 31, 2017!  The following books are some of the resources your peers have used their book rebates toward:

 - Classroom Management Guide for Substitute Teachers: And New Teachers, Author: Bonnie Moon,      Publisher:  Outskirts Press (May 1, 2013),
 - Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity and Transform Your Life as an Educator,  Author: Dave Burgess    Publisher:  Dave Burgess Consulting, Incorporated (Aug. 18, 2012),
  -  See Me After Class:  Advice for Teachers by Teachers,  Author:  Roxanna Elden,   Publisher: Sourcebooks, 2nd ed. (Nov. 1, 2013).
   - Lost AT School,  Author:  Ross W. Greene,    Publisher:  Simon and Schuster


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring General Meeting & Banquet; Go to the Sources for your Info: Robert Reich on Widening Inequality;

Spring General Meeting and Banquet
We look forward to seeing over 100 members at tomorrow afternoon's Spring General Meeting and Banquet at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road South, in London from 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm.  We have a lovely  plated dinner to be served along with door prizes and a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow members and your Executive! There may be cancellations so please call the office if you are interested in attending.

Where do you get your information?
Just a reminder to members that gossip runs rampant, whether in staff rooms, unauthorized Facebook groups, or among friends.  If you want to ensure that you have the correct information, please call either your Local at 519-641-3936 or the Board Office.  These are the parties who have negotiated your Collective Agreement and who oversee all aspects of your working relationship as TVDSB elementary Occasional Teachers. All questions are valued and confidential.  This is your livelihood - why settle for an unauthorized and possibly ill-informed interpretation of the terms of your working conditions.

Brief video worth viewing from Robert Reich 
Time Magazine has called him one of the 10 best US cabinet members of the century.  See Robert Reich's short illustration on the widening economic inequality in North America: