Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

President's Memo

Most Current President's Memo

Welcome Back: As remarkable conditions continue this year in education we hope that all District 13 members have had a successful September. We wish for a great school year ahead and remind members that we are here to help with any issue you have related to work. Don’t hesitate to get in contact with us via phone or email.  

You can reach each Executive Officer and President via email:
District and Teacher Bargaining Unit President: shane.stagg@d13.osstf.ca
Chief Negotiator/Benefits Officer: nicole.bleau@d13.osstf.ca
Health and Safety/Staffing Officer: richard.mcormack@d13.osstf.ca
Occasional Teacher Bargaining Unit President: avril.burns@d13.osstf.ca
Professional Student Services Personnel President: kristen.bennett@d13.osstf.ca
Office Manager: ruth.leone@d13.osstf.ca 
Office phone: 905 668 7100

Email List – send an email to richard.mccormack@d13.osstf.ca with a NON-DDSB email address and we will add you to our email list to receive important news and updates.

Our website is www.d13.osstf.ca – There you can find forms, constitutions, contracts, dates for committee meetings, instructions on the abilities form and much more. Under the menu item Flip Chart, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions from our members on topics such as Social Media, Injured at Work, Teacher Performance Appraisal, Certification, College of Teachers and CAS, Professional Judgement, Incident Reporting, Harassment at Work, Sick Days, OTIP and Leave Days.

You can also find us on social media: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook by searching for District 13 OSSTF.

Chief Negotiator: The TBU Executive has appointed Nicole Bléau to the position of Chief Negotiator. Nicole brings 10 years of experience as a District Officer to this role. Nicole’s thorough knowledge of collective agreements and working conditions in the District as well as her strong history of advocacy for members make her the ideal candidate for this position. Nicole is also in the position of Additional TBU Provincial Councillor. 

Grid Pay and Schedule:  An updated salary grid became effective on September 1 which included a 1% increase. The pay schedule has also changed to every two weeks including during the summer months. A list of pay dates can be found on our website under the menu items Useful Information and Paydates. Updated salary grids can be found under Useful Information, Collective Agreements and Constitutions, TBU Collective Agreement. 

OCT Qualifications in ApplytoEducation Profile: In order for OCT qualification to be included in your ApplytoEducation profile, members must add their OCT number. This can be checked by logging into ApplytoEducation and choosing Portfolio and Qualifications from the menu at the top. 

Collective Agreement Language and Consideration for Job Postings: Article L4.02(c) of the TBU Collective Agreement states the following:

For any internal/external posting, where the internal applicants’ Certificates of Qualification match a job posting, all such internal applicants will be interviewed before external applicants are interviewed. If a short list is created from among these internal applicants, then an internal applicant will be hired.

What this means is that any permanent teacher or eligible Adult Day School applicant to a permanent job posting with the required qualifications can expect to be granted an interview for the position. If you are a permanent or Adult Day School teacher that applies to a position for which you have the qualifications and you are not contacted for an interview please contact the District Office for assistance.

The short listing language above means that a hiring principal can choose to interview fewer than all qualified internal candidates but must then offer the position to an internal applicant. A hiring principal cannot interview a short list of internal candidates and then interview and hire an external candidate.

For clarity: an internal candidate is a current full or part-time permanent teacher, or eligible Adult Day School teacher.

OTIP: Members are reminded that if they have had any life changes such as a new child, a new spouse, a divorce etc. that they have a 31 day window of opportunity to add them to their benefits. Once the window closes, you can only make changes upon your next life change! 

Covid Vaccine Attestation and Rapid Testing: The following points cover some questions that may be asked by members and are based on continued communication between Provincial Office, legal counsel, and the local District 13 Office.

  • Privacy and Attestation - OSSTF has sought legal advice on this matter and it has been determined that an employer has a legitimate basis to request information about an employee’s vaccination status to meet its obligations to provide a safe workplace for all workers and students. The right to privacy must be balanced against the employer’s obligations to take every reasonable precaution necessary to keep schools safe.
  • Rapid Testing - A review of legal decisions over a number of decades has shown that arbitrators tend to rule on the side of caution. In the case of an educational setting an arbitrator would assess the health and safety of the individual as well as the risk to students and the community. Because students have to attend school, arbitrator rulings indicate that all precautions should be taken to protect their safety. There is consideration as well for the fact that teachers are in a position of in loco parentis which means there is an additional expectation to take precautions to ensure the safety of students. Rapid testing is seen as a reasonable measure to protect members and those that they teach.

Social Media: Members are encouraged to be mindful when making social media posts, commenting on posts, or sharing. Any post that could potentially reflect poorly on the DDSB can gather the attention of the employer. The position of the Board is that all employees share a responsibility to the reputation of that Board and it refers to the OCT advisory, “Maintaining Professionalism – Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media” as a guide when establishing expectations. Members are encouraged to read this document and be familiar with it when considering their activity on social media. Even if posting to a private group of online friends please be mindful that members of that group can share your content outside of the group or express concerns to others which can bring it to the attention of the Board which may then feel compelled to investigate.

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