Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

President's Memo

Most Current President's Memo

Welcome Back: We hope that all District 13 members have had a successful start to what continues to be a remarkable year in education. 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: shane.stagg@d13.osstf.ca
Chief Negotiator/ Health and Safety Officer: ryan.kelly@d13.osstf.ca
Benefits/Medical Officer: nicole.bleau@d13.osstf.ca
Executive Officer: richard.mcormack@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

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 address 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 and Facebook by searching for District 13 OSSTF.

Grid Pay:  An updated salary grid will become effective once a local agreement is ratified. This will include a 1% increase retroactive to September 2019, and a 1% increase effective September 2020. We have 3 bargaining dates set for October and will update members on the status of negotiations. 

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/delete them from their benefits. Once the window closes, you can only make changes upon your next life change! 

COVID Absence Scenarios: Updates to absence scenarios are posted on the DDSB staff portal (Spark) as well as our district website under the menu heading Useful Information → COVID 19 Updates. A common question at the District Office is what to do if your child is sent home from school or daycare with symptoms. Review the protocols below so that if things should come up, you will know what to do. 

A. If your child has symptoms of COVID

If your child is symptomatic and you think you might have an exposure, contact your principal/attendance secretary and indicate that you have a potential exposure and that you will be home awaiting instructions from the Durham Region Health Department. Indicate to the school that you will be able to continue working while at home so you will only require a half-day morning supply teacher. You will continue to run your afternoon online class on your own, and for the morning class, the supply teacher will be there but you will provide lessons, materials and marking. Enter your absence on SFE as “Quarantine”. You will be paid during this isolation time. Call the Durham Region Health Department for instructions about next steps for yourself and your child given your situation. You can wait on hold or leave your number and they will call you back. This could take up to 24 hours.

What happens next will depend on what the health department says:

1. If the health department determines that you require a COVID test, then you will remain off work under isolation until you are cleared. Update your principal/attendance secretary and SFE about your status.

2. If the health department determines that you are okay to return to work, then you are no longer under isolation. As well, if you are instructed to be tested and receive a negative COVID test before your child is cleared, then this becomes a childcare issue not a COVID one. You will not necessarily be paid for absences relating to childcare. See instructions in B.

B. If you have childcare issues

If you are faced with a childcare issue and you cannot be at work, you would ordinarily not be paid. Please note that sick days would not apply since you are not the one who is sick. Using sick days due to a sick child is not an appropriate use of sick days. During the pandemic, the Board is allowing people to work from home and may therefore only require unpaid days in half day increments. As well, in our collective agreement, we have up to three paid days (or six half days) per school year for a special event or compassionate reasons. It is an application process not an automatic granting, so you must provide information to the Board conveying the situation in the comment box. You will apply on the Staff Portal (Spark) under Quick Links→ Employee Self Serve → HRP Link (Forms Online) → Forms Online → Leave of Absence → Reason for Absence: 028 Leave for Compassionate Reasons. If you have exhausted all of the paid Compassionate Days, you can apply for unpaid days on the portal under Reason for Absence: 090 Unpaid (Short Term) Less than 10 days.

C. If YOU develop symptoms of COVID

If YOU develop symptoms of COVID, you will follow the same steps regarding exposure as in Scenario A above. The only difference is that your absence will be coded as sick leave rather than isolation. Also, since you have been COVID symptomatic, the Board requires you to provide a negative COVID test and be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to work. If your absence is longer than 2 days, you will also be required to provide an Abilities Form from your doctor to support your absence. The Abilities Form is available at www.d13.osstf.ca/AbilitiesForm. Send your completed Abilities Form to ShortTerm.Absence@ddsb.ca.

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