Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

Sick Days, Leave Days & OTIP

Sick Days:

Our Sick Leave Plan will provide sick leave days and short term disability days for reasons of personal illness, personal injury, including personal medical appointments and personal dental appointments. 


A permanent full time teacher is allotted 11 sick days at full salary plus 120 days at 90% salary (plus any additional top-up from last year's 11 days) with appropriate medical documentation.   Top-up explanation: If there are any of your 11 days from last year that were unused, they will be chopped up into 10% parts to top up the 90% days.  So each unused 100% day from last year = 10 more days topped up to 100% this year.


Here is what is expected in terms of documentation for our members: If you are off for 1 or 2 days in a row, you call in sick to your school.  If you are off for more than 2 days in a row, you call in sick to your school and you will need an Abilities Form completed which you will send to the Disability Management Department.

Click here for the Abilities Form and Instructions.


OTIP Programs:

As an OSSTF member with an LTD plan through OTIP, you also benefit from the free services provided by OTIP.  To access any of these OTIP programs, contact the District Office or your Branch President for the LTD plan contract number.


LifeWorks Program:

Eligible members have access to LifeWorks through their OTIP LTD plan.

Members have up to 12 hours of counselling for the school year (September 1 – August 31). This program is separate from the school board/employer’s plan.

To access the counselling services through LifeWorks members can call: 1-800-668-0193 for service in English and 1-800-361-9669 for service in French.
There are many features offered by LifeWorks that members can access for their mental and physical well-being.

- Members can chat online to book a service or for immediate clinical consultation 24/7.
- In addition to articles, the new LifeWorks website offers videos, podcasts, assessments, toolkits and access to the CareNow program (specialized self-help resources to help with anxiety, depression and stress). 
- LifeWorks is also accessible on a mobile device by downloading LifeWorks from Google Play or the App Store.
- Members will need the NEW login and password information to log in to LifeWorks.

To learn more about LifeWorks, check out this video.

Who to Call for Help

If members require technical assistance or a password reset, they can visit help.lifeworks.com and submit a request.

Attachment: LifeWorks OTIP Poster

Starling Minds:

Starling Minds offers 24/7 access to a digital mental health platform that can help members proactively build healthier, more positive life-long habits into their daily lives and build resilience to stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression.

How to Register:
1. Go to member.starlingminds.com, select register and then enter the access code
2. Members can invite family members to join Starling Minds by visiting member.starlingminds.com, select register and enter the access code

Please reach out to the District 13 OSSTF office to retrieve the access codes.

Attachment: Starling Minds Brochure

CAREpath Cancer Assistance Program:

The CAREpath Cancer Assistance Program provides services to help you navigate the complex health care system so you and your family members who are newly-diagnosed with cancer or have a cancer recurrence can receive the very best cancer-related treatment and support. This service is free of charge to you if you have received a cancer diagnosis for you, your spouse or your dependent children.  Members are assigned a personal oncology nurse case manager to guide you through your treatment. Members can see how the CAREpath Navigation System works using this link. CAREpath's role is NOT to replace your primary treating physician, or any part of a recommended cancer care plan. What CAREpath does is make sure you get the most out of every aspect of your treatment. CAREpath will guide you regarding what questions to ask your doctors, explain your test results, and help determine the best treatment plan for you. The team at CAREpath includes leading oncology physicians and nurses from across Canada. CAREpath enjoys unrivalled access to the most up-to-date, reliable, evidence-based information on cancer care from around the world.  Call 1-866-599-2720, but you must get the LTD Plan Contract Number from the District Office or your Branch President.


CAREpath Cancer Information Line:

Also available free of charge is the CAREpath Cancer Information Line, where members can access cancer-related information for extended family members, colleagues and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer. The CAREpath Cancer Information Line provides basic information on a variety of cancer-related topics. Websites will be suggested for general information requests and detailed information sheets will be available for concerns related to a specific cancer. The CAREpath Cancer Information Line can be reached by calling 1-800-290-5106 or by emailing info@carepath.ca. No contract number required.


http://www.feelingbetternow.com/otip :

Within 20 minutes of entering the website, you will have a preliminary assessment of your emotional and mental health. In the event that you are at high risk for a clinical disorder, you will be provided with a set of online tools to help you and your physician identify and treat emotional and mental health problems using Medical Best Practices.


Note regarding Login: To enter the FeelingBetterNow® Web site, please start to type in the FULL name of your Employer. When your Employer name pops up, press ENTER to proceed. Your Access ID will be displayed below AFTER you press enter. (access ID : OTIPRAEO)


OTIP is owned by the four teaching affiliates and also provides home and car insurance. For more information see http://www.otip.com/OSSTF13.



Paid Leave Days:

 To apply for any leave days, you must apply on the Staff Portal.

 Apply on the Portal under Quick Links→ Employee Self Serve → HRP Link (Forms Online)  → Forms Online  → Leave of Absence

Paid leaves with a combined maximum of 5 days per school year:

  • Leave for special events or for compassionate reasons (combined total of up to 3 days)
  • Moving to a new residence on the day of the move
  • Personal legal transactions related to the purchase of your primary residence
  • Snow day (this is only done through an appeal. Contact the District office for more information)
  • Religious Days (3 days)


Paid leaves which do not count within the maximum:

  • Quarantine by the Medical Officer of Health
  • Jury duty
  • Writing examinations or attending one's own graduation (one day)
  • Attending graduation of spouse or child from secondary or post-secondary institution (one day)
  • Attending birth of child (one day)
  • Homecoming of child (one day)
  • Bereavement leave (up to 5 days for an immediate family member)
  • Bereavement leave (1 day for an aunt, uncle or close personal friend)

Unpaid Leave Days:

You can also apply for an unpaid day if it does not fit into any of the categories listed above.  


Leaves longer than a few days:

A similar application process through the portal covers longer leave times but there are different aspects to be aware of that are better outlined in the attachment below:


Contact the District Office BEFORE applying for a leave. We are often able to advise our members on the best way to submit an application.

Related Attachments