Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

President's Memo

Most Current President's Memo

1. Welcome Back: We hope that all District 13 members had a well-deserved break over the last two months. We hope you have a great school year and remember 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 Federation Officer and President via email:
District and Teacher Bargaining Unit President: lamia.sabbagh@d13.osstf.ca
Chief Negotiator/ Health and Safety Officer: ryan.kelly@d13.osstf.ca
Benefits/Medical Officer: nicole.bleau@d13.osstf.ca
Executive Officer: shane.stagg@d13.osstf.ca
Occasional Teacher Bargaining Unit President: avril.burns@d13.osstf.ca
Professional Student Services Personnel President: jennifer.seif@d13.osstf.ca
Office Manager: ruth.leone@d13.osstf.ca
Office phone: 905 668 7100

Mass email – send an email to district13@d13.osstf.ca with a NON DDSB email address and we will add you to our email list. We have about 97% of members signed up.

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.

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

You should have a flip chart “Guide for Secondary Teachers in Durham” in your workroom which have 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. If you can’t find one, please ask your Branch President or find it on our website under the tab “Flip Chart”. The website version has the most updated information. We are working on updating the hard copy for next year.

2. OSSTF PD Day: The OSSTF PD day will take place on November 15th, 2019 with a wellness theme, “Better Together”. The call for presenters is out and information can be found on the front page of our website (www.d13.osstf.ca). The deadline for submissions is September 27th, 2019.

3. School Supervision Schedules: Within the first two weeks of the school year, permanent teachers should be provided a supervision schedule for the entire semester.

4. Grid Pay: The 2019/2020 pay grid now includes the last installment of 0.5% increase so that the group 4 max salary will be $99,960. Unfortunately, due to a technical error, this pay was incorrectly calculated by the payroll system at $99,690. The Board has acknowledged the issue and will make the correction on the next pay on September 19th. Any member who is on the grid will be given their experience credit increase in September. Any questions about pay should be directed to the District Office.

5. Bargaining: There is much talk in the media about labour unrest in Education. Although our Collective Agreement expired on August 31st, we continue to live under the terms and conditions of our expired Collective Agreement until a new one is negotiated. It is during these negotiations that job action may unfold depending on how they go. We are committed to always keeping our members informed of the latest news regarding negotiations. The best way to do so is through our Bargaining Bulletins which we will email directly to you if we have your non-board email. Or you can always log in to our Provincial site to see the latest Bargaining Bulletin at osstf.on.ca under myOSSTF. On August 22nd, we presented our ideas at the Ontario Labor Relations Board (OLRB) as to what should be at the Central Table and what should be at the Local Table. A Bargaining Bulletin was issued shortly after this date to update our membership. Until those issues are resolved, bargaining (either centrally or locally) cannot begin. A timeline of how bargaining can unfold under the School Board Collective Bargaining Act is posted on the front page of our website and will be continuously updated as we move down it. Please visit www.d13.osstf.ca.

6. Certification Upgrades and Transfer to QECO: Members are reminded to contact the Certification Department at OSSTF Provincial if they have done any courses over the summer to upgrade their pay group. They can be reached by visiting www.osstf.on.ca and choosing Certification under Quick Links. More information about certification and deadlines for retro pay specific to Durham can be found on our local website, www.d13.osstf.ca, under the Flip Chart tab in Certification. An important reminder to our members: all certification of members is done through OSSTF which only recognizes Additional Qualifications courses from accredited universities. Make sure that you consult with Certification BEFORE spending money on a course to see if it will be accepted in order to upgrade or to make sure you are following the correct route to change pay groups. For example, at this time the AQ courses offered in the summer through the DDSB will not be accepted for an upgrade in pay group.

Please be advised that steps are underway to transfer OSSTF Certification to the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario (QECO). OSSTF and QECO certification regulations regarding the placement of teachers in groups or categories are similar, however the charts are not identical. It is possible for some members to be in a different Group or Category in one system than in the other, depending on your academic credentials. These differences may impact your decisions regarding future professional development decisions.

Until further notice, members applying for an OSSTF certification rating statement or re-evaluation must continue to do so using the forms available on the OSSTF website. Certification requests which are not accompanied by a current application form will not be processed. During the transfer and digitization of files, some information may be inaccessible for a number of days. You are encouraged to apply for rating statements and group changes as early as possible. The transfer to QECO will not be complete until Collective Agreements are updated to reflect the change, and we cannot predict what those timelines will be. For more information about QECO certification, visit their website.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the move to QECO, please see the June 2019 article in Update, “Did you know that OSSTF/FEESO Certification is moving to QECO?”

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

8. Site visits: The District Office will be doing Site visits (including pizza!) beginning in October – please keep an eye out for signs.

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