Welcome to the place to find all the information you need as an occasional teacher in District 7 Bluewater. Click on the topics below. Don't forget to check out our News page as well for updates and bargaining information.
SMART FIND PROCEDURE
Log in to SF (instructions for accessing SF are found here)
Check your SmartFind information to ensure that it is accurate. You will get calls after 6am for work that day. New callouts start again at 4pm and the SmartFind webpage gets new postings starting at 10:30 am and continually updates as VPs post new jobs throughout the day.
It is important to customize SmartFind around your schedule and indicate your unavailable dates. Schedule tab --> Unavail dates
You can customize the times you are unavailable. For example, you have a dentist appointment Tuesday at 8:30 am but think you can still work period 2 onward. Put in unavailable from 08:30 am to 10:00 am and indicate "call for future assignments". If there is a job for period 2 onwards, SF considers you available for that job. You will still be able to get it.
This works for many possibilities. Just make sure your unavailable times do not overlap with class start and end times.
There is absolutely NO penalty for doing this. Remember, we only need to work one assignment each year to stay on the Roster. However, by not doing this, the callout system bogs down making unnecessary calls and the Board starts using emergency fill-ins. These are jobs that are lost to our members. The Board also responds by hiring even more teachers to our Roster, thereby diluting the pool and making work even more scarce.
If you don't wish to work, just put yourself out of SF for that period of time.
If you are on LTO or part contract, you have to let the Board know that you are unavailable for a certain period of time. Contact Josie Becker in HR. email@example.com
See the Leave of Absence section below.
HOW TO REMAIN ON THE OT ROSTER
To remain on the OT Roster you must:
1. Work at least one assignment each year*. This indicates to the Board that you are active and you pay dues to OSSTF ensuring you remain a member.
2. Pay your OCT dues.
3. Submit your Offence Declaration. This is done at the beginning of May each year.
*Note: As per the current collective agreement
It is important for all OTs to get your certification rating from OSSTF as soon as possible, after you have worked one day for the Board so that union dues will have been paid making you an official OSSTF member. It only affects your earnings while on an LTO or a permanent position but you never know when that daily occasional position can get stretched into an 11th day for which you would then get paid at your grid rate for each day from the start. Open the "Time is Money" pamphlet from OSSTF which outlines the process to get your rating. Contact OSSTF directly if you have any problems with your membership number or login to the OSSTF website www.osstf.on.ca
If you haven't already done this, do it today!
***Please click here for new information regarding the move to QECO certification***
Of particular note to teachers with previous work experience, either with another Board, from summer/night school, or employment in another sector as an educator, you must provide the BWDSB with official documentation from another employer to ensure your years of teaching experience can be added to your grid placement. This is separate from your CRS and you should do this immediately upon being hired.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
You must fill out an official Leave of Absence form for any absences of more than 10 days. Failure to do so can result in your removal from the OT Roster/LTO List. The Board allows you to take a one-year leave from the Roster as long as you work the following year. If you don't work in the second year, you will be removed from the Roster. This applies to daily OTs as well as those on an LTO. If you have a partial contract, you must fill out 2 LoA forms: one for OT and one for TBU. Note: Maternity leave (18 month) is a special exemption.
Pre-populated LoA forms can be found on First Class (BEAM) under the penguin icon. Or you may contact the HR Department.
HOW TO ACCESS JOB POSTINGS
Go to Office 365, your Board email site in Outlook. Click on the Sharepoint app --> BWDSD Internal Home Site --> Staff Resources (drop down) --> job postings
You are looking for Secondary postings open to members of the Occasional Teachers
If you are on the LTO List, you are eligible for Round 1 and Round 2 LTO postings.
If not, you are only eligible for Round 3 postings.
If a contract position is available to OTs, it is open only to those on the LTO List at first before going external to the Board. At that time, it will be offered to those on the OT Roster in priority over external candidates.
Please read the eligibility rules in each posting carefully.
On-Calls and Supervision
OTs are required to cover previously scheduled on-calls as well as any supervision the teacher has. The on-call or supervision must be adjacent to a period taught. If this is full day work, you will have to do it. If you only worked period A & B and the teacher had an on-call period C, or a supervision 2nd half of lunch, you wouldn't have to do it, but you would have to cover 1st half of lunch. Talk to the VP about it ahead of time. Double on-calls are NOT our requirement nor are the ones given out that day (emergency on-call)
If you know that the teacher has a prep period A, you still need to go to the school for 8:30 since you may not know if they have an on-call scheduled, particularly if the posting was made that morning. I continue to impress upon the VPs that this information is essential in SmartFind postings since your ability to cover the job may rest upon being able to fit an appointment during a teacher’s prep period. Also, check with the VP with regards to last period prep because an emergency might have popped up during the day and they could need you to to cover the last period, and get paid extra! This applies to the period A prep as well. If you are there and they have an emergency need to cover period A, you would get paid for that extra. In any case, you need to confirm with the office that you are leaving the school, whether for the day, or for lunch/prep. They need to know who is in the building in case of emergency.
While on an LTO, you will be assigned on-calls pro-rated to the duration and extent of your LTO. You’ll have to do the math! Full 1.0 LTO full semester will be 50% of what the teachers are assigned for the year. A 3-month 0.67 LTO will be: 30% of that number times 67%.
Document and leave good notes for the teacher. Think of what you would want to know about if this was your class. Stick to the facts, not opinions.
Don’t be afraid to remove a student from class. Call down to the office to let them know the student has been sent. Follow up with the VP after class, at lunch, or after school. You can gain insights that will help you with this student in the future.
Remember: You and the VP form part of the disciplinary team. It is NOT career suicide to remove a student from class. Failure to do so could result in an escalation of behaviours or actions and any resulting negative incident can be held against you.
Get to know the VPs. They are your information source about students and they are also your reference source when you want to progress to the LTO List.
Do not criticize the regular teacher to the students or to other teachers. We are all OSSTF members and a complaint could be raised against you. We are all colleagues working together for the benefit of student learning.
If you are called in to a meeting with the administrators, it is informal if it is just a conversation and possibly just a need for clarification. If someone is taking notes, or if you feel that is potentially disciplinary, pause the interview and get another teacher (OSSTF member) to act as witness. You can seek out the TBU branch president in each school. That info should be posted in the staff room. Familiarize yourself ahead of time. If the meeting is disciplinary, they should suggest that you call me, but if they don’t, ask for a meeting to be set up with me at another time. If in doubt, call me.
Inform the office if you leave school during lunch or during prep time, or if your assignment is finished before the end of the school day.
If you are called in by SmartFind in the morning and will be late due to notification time and distance, inform the VP or someone in the office. Leave a message on the VPs extension as well. They will catch this on their cellphones. Most VPs are reached at ext 526 on the school phone number.
WHERE TO FIND HELP
BWDSB is your employer, your supervisor is the VP if you are on daily OT work, your principal is your supervisor if you are on LTO or contract work.
1-800-661-7509 BWDSB main number
The IT department deals with Office 365 and login issues 1-866-538-0575
Payroll deals with pay issues – contact the VP if your OT pay is incorrect or something was missed. The VP needs to correct this in SmartFind before Payroll can do anything about it. Refer to the “Certification” info above so you are not getting the wrong pay for LTO work. The onus is on you.
SmartFind issues – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Address any concerns with your supervisor as they arise. Details get lost with time. My job is to advocate on your behalf if the supervisor/employer does not comply or act within the terms of the collective agreement. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
If you are on contract work, you need to contact the TBU president – Betty Jo Raddin.
The OT Roster and the LTO List are properties of the BWDSB. OSSTF does not control this.
PAY SCHEDULE AND PAY GRIDS
Go to osstf.on.ca
Login tab, then Member Login, then register for an OSSTF account.
This will allow you to access the Members Only portion of the website. There is lots of information on the website and this is also how we will conduct any voting on contract negotiations in the future. There are free curriculum resources in the Resource Centre such as those I’ve indicated on our OT News page.
Job cancellations and Snow days
The Board must give you 2 hrs prior notice before the start of the school day or period to cancel your assignment. If they don't, you are entitled to half a day's pay.
The major exception to this is snow days or inclement weather.
Your responsibilities in the event of a snow day, or bus cancellations, are as follows:
If you are scheduled to work that day as an OT, you need to listen to bus and school closure information on the radio or internet. I find it useful to receive this notification directly as an email from the bus consortium as they are the ones who make the call to cancel buses (see below). While this does not "close" the schools, except where a closure has actually been made by the Board, no high school students attend classes. We, as daily supply teachers, are deemed to be cancelled for that day. Eventually, this cancellation notice will be logged into SmartFind, but you might not get that cancellation within the 2 hour window prior to the start of school. We do not get paid the half day you would have gotten in the event of a short-notice cancellation for other reasons. While this is not stated in the policy documents, it is the current practice in place with the Board and OTs. The Board's annual memo refers to a bus cancellation not being a reason to stay home, but this is primarily directed at permanent, regular employees and those on LTO assignments.
If you are on an LTO, you are required to attend at school just like the regular teachers according to Board Inclement Weather policy AP-2807D. . This could mean that you attend at an alternate nearby school or that you stay home due to road closures. In all circumstances, you need to inform the principal or VP of your choice.
You can sign up for your local school bus alert or choose as many, or all, bus routes going to your chosen schools across Grey-Bruce.
Remember, your personal safety is more important than money. Drive with care - always.
Once you have been an employee of BWDSB as an OT for 10 months and have worked 20 days, you may apply for the interview for the LTO List. These interviews are currently held in April each year. You should be getting to know vice-principals and principals during this time in order to have useful references.
Here is a Powerpoint presentation from the Board to assist you in preparing for the interview. It is not to be taken lightly. Many people are unsuccessful due to lack of preparation. The Board takes this interview very seriously and considers this the final assessment of those they wish to hire into contract positions in the future. I have also prepared supplementary notes to the PPT.
If you are in an LTO assignment of 4 months or longer,regardless of whether it is o.33, 0.67 or 1.0 FTE, you are entitled to an evaluation by the principal. It should be done automatically, but I suggest you initiate this with the principal early in the 4th month to make sure it happens.
Please note: the LTO evaluation is different from the TPA of contract teachers. The Board does not allow exemption from the LTO evaluation.
The following is provided to assist you:
LTO evalution checklist
BWDSB OT performance appraisal manual
The annual membership fee is $150. OCT members who are receiving regular payroll will have this amount deducted from their pay in January. This applies only to those on contract or on an LTO.
Those who work daily OT assignments, or are on maternity, self-funded or long-term leaves are responsible for paying their annual membership fee directly to the Ontario College of Teachers.
The College only sends out email reminders. Regardless of a reminder or not, you need to pay this by April 15 each year in order to be employed by the BWDSB.
SICK LEAVE for LTO only
Part-time employees (including term assignments of less than a full year) will be allocated 11 days pro-rated to FTE and the length of the work year.
All sick days will be allocated at the beginning of the year or assignment regardless of start date.
For example, a 1.0 LTO starting on the first day of the semester would be allocated 5.5 sick days. If the assignment is only 2 months in duration, you would get 40% of that, or 2.2 sick days.
NO MEDICAL BENEFITS
Note: there are NO medical benefits available to OTs, either daily or long-term, with BWDSB