Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

Women's Advocate Program

District 13 is excited to introduce the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) Women’s Advocate program. This program was created to support members of OSSTF/FEESO by promoting awareness of domestic violence, and by connecting members, who are experiencing domestic violence or who know someone experiencing domestic violence, to community services that can help.

Women’s Advocates provide:

  • confidential support to members to find help when a member or someone in their family is experiencing domestic violence
  • information on how to reach a supportive counsellor or a domestic violence worker in their community
  • help and contacts to locate legal advice, shelters, or other community resources
  • information on types of leaves or assistance available from employer and union
  • assistance when dealing with union representatives and/or employer

There are four Women’s Advocates in District 13. They are members of OSSTF who volunteer outside of their regular workday to respond to calls for assistance. Advocates have been jointly trained by OSSTF/FEESO and the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women.

To contact a Women’s Advocate:

*Call into the district office at 905 668 7100 and our staff can connect you with one of our Women's Advocates OR
*Email Garrett in the office at:  garrett.metcalfe@d13.osstf.ca

Community Resource List
A document describing available community resources for members addressing violence against women can be found as an attachment at the bottom of this page. 

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 OTIP programs, contact the District Office or your Branch President for the LTD plan contract number.


LifeWorks Program

OTIP is pleased to introduce you to the LifeWorks program provided by Morneau Shepell.

LifeWorks is available to eligible members and their eligible family members.
Members have up to 12 hours of counselling for the school year (September 1 – August 31). This program is in addition to what may be offered by the school board/employer. Some boards may also have partnered with Morneau Shepell for their Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This program is separate from the school board/employer’s plan.

Phone number: EN: 1-800-668-0193/FR: 1-800-361-9669

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 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 login and password information to log in to LifeWorks. This information can be found in the attached poster.

Attachment: LifeWorks OTIP Poster

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.

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. Members are encouraged to contact the District Office when applying for a leave. We are often able to advise our members on the best way to submit an application.

Durham Children's Aid Society

1320 Airport Blvd. Oshawa, Ontario L1J 0C6

Phone: 905-433-1551

Hours: 24/7


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