Last Update: March 2023


How do I remain on the Elementary OT Roster?

Complete Minimum Assignments each School Year

The minimum number of Bluewater elementary occasional teaching assignments that need to be completed in the school year to remain on the OT Roster the following school year is 15 (Collective Agreement Clause 9.04.02). Please note this is 15 Elementary assignments, not full days worked. Secondary, permanent, summer school and home instruction does not count toward this threshold. To ensure that you have 15 assignments, each assignment counts as 1 whether it is a full day or 30 minutes long. Each day within an Elementary LTO counts as 1 towards the threshold of 15. If you are only available part of the year, the number of assignments will be pro-rated on an approved Leave of Absence using the Employee Information & Leaves System (not just marking yourself unavailable on SFX). For example: if you are available September-December and then on approved leave from January to June, you would be available 4/10 months (40%) and need to complete 6 assignments (40% of the minimum 15).

Complete Annual Offence Declaration in May

Every employee of the BWDSB must complete an annual offence declaration. This is a legislated requirement that the Board must follow. The offence declaration can be found in the Employee Self Service Portal where you find your pay stubs. The offence declaration will be available on May 1st. If it is not completed, you will not be able to work for the BWDSB after September 1st. If it is not completed by October 1st, you will no longer be an employee of the BWDSB.

Continue Good Standing with OCT Annual Membership Fee in December

Your annual membership fee is due January 1st of each year. The Ontario College of Teachers must receive payment before April 15th to maintain your good standing status. If you are a Daily OT you will need to pay OCT directly. Log into your OCT account for details where you can also view your tax receipt for the annual membership fee. If you are in an LTO, your OCT payment will be deducted from your paycheque and you will see this deduction on a January paystub.

How do I take an approved leave of absence from the OT Roster?

Taking a Leave of Absence is not retroactive. If you apply part-way through the year, you will be expected to have worked a pro-rated amount of our minimum 15 assignments for any time you were listed as available to remain on the OT Roster. For example, if you accept a full-year position with another school board but apply for your leave in late October you will still be expected to have completed 3 assignments with Bluewater to remain on the OT Roster for the following school year. If you request a leave and want to shorten it afterwards to come back to work, you can do that. If you want to start it small and then extend it up to 10 months, you can do that too. You just need to keep the Board up to date.

To take a Leave of Absence, navigate to the Employee Information & Leaves (EIL) system found on the BWDSB Staff Portal. 

When filling out your supervisor, as an elementary occasional teacher, please use the current Elementary Human Resources Executive Assistant. Contact the Local President for this name.

Occasional teachers may request in writing a leave of absence for a period of up to ten consecutive teaching months. Occasional teachers may request up to 20 teaching months leave in any 50-teaching month period. An occasional teacher shall become eligible for this leave 2 years after being added to the Occasional Teacher Roster.

How do I resign from the OT Roster?

If you get a notice during the summer that you have been removed from the OT Roster, but you feel that you have completed the minimum 15 assignments or were on an approved Leave of Absence during the school year, please let the Local President know as soon as possible, to follow up with the Board to see if a mistake has been made.

If you simply wish to resign, use the EIL system at any time, and inform the Local President.

How do I let the Board know I am retired but will remain on the OT Roster?

Navigate to the Employee Information & Leaves (EIL) system found on the BWDSB Staff Portal.

How do I change my name, address, or telephone number?

With the Board

To update your information with the BWDSB, navigate to the EIL System.

With ETFO (Provincial)

To update your information with ETFO, navigate to the Update Member Information Form.

With Bluewater Occasional Teacher Local

To update your home email with our OT Local, send an email to the Local President.

With the Ontario College of Teachers

To update your information with the OCT, navigate to “Contact Information” found inside your logged-in account.

College bylaws require that you notify the College - within 30 days - of any change of information, such as an address, phone or name change. The name you are practicing under must be the same name that appears on the College's register under Find a Teacher.

With Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

To update your information with OTPP, navigate to your profile found inside your logged in account.

How do I receive Daily OT Assignment offers?

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What do I need to do if I cancel my Daily OT assignment or the Administrator cancels my assignment?

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What should I expect when I arrive for a Daily OT Assignment?

You will be given a key to have the ability to lock the classroom door for every assignment, not just homeroom.

The Ministry’s Provincial Model for a Local Police/School Board Protocol requires that all staff, including occasional teachers, have the ability to lock their classroom doors during a lockdown or a lockdown drill (CA Letter of Agreement #5, page 22). While you may be asked to sign it out so the office can track who has keys in the event one accidentally goes home with someone, you are entitled to a key without giving up a piece of your property (e.g. car keys) in exchange for it. The school is legally required to provide you with a classroom key. An OT who must insist that a classroom key be provided may face a stressful situation before the school day has even started. Please let the Local President know if you are not receiving a key for your OT assignment.

You will receive an Occasional Teacher Folder Checklist

Our collective agreement says that the Board will endeavour to provide an occasional teacher folder and other support and orientation, as necessary (CA Clause 13.01). In 2016 the Board implemented Occasional Staff checklists for all occasional staff including teachers, educational support personnel, and early childhood educators. So, we are now blending the terms and referring to them as "Occasional Folder Checklists". The following is a list of items that have been identified as being essential in an OT Folder Checklist:

  • Teacher’s Name
  • Teacher and classroom schedule including Grade and Subject Assignments
  • Classroom location(s)
  • Note that key to lock/unlock classroom is to be signed out at the office
  • Plans for day(s) including school schedule
  • Seating Plans (best practice with pictures)
  • Attendance Procedures (including safe arrival, departure procedure as required)
  • Supervision Duties
  • Children with medical problems (including pictures or location of pictures)
  • Children with behaviour challenges (including pictures, location of pictures, Positive Behaviour Support Plan and/or Strategies for a Successful Day)
  • Classroom Fire Plan
  • School Lockdown Plan
  • Class Routines
  • Class Management
  • Name of staff member(s) who may provide support as required

Your timetable (day plans) will be the same as the teacher you are replacing, except for duty before your assignment begins on the first day.

When you pick up a daily assignment, your day should have the same prep schedule and supervision time as the teacher you are replacing (CA Clause 13.02). However, an exception to this rule is a Daily OT shall not be expected to do supervisory duties before their teaching assignment begins on the first day of the assignment (CA Clause 13.03). The reason being is that it gives you time to prepare for your day! We are required under the Education Act to arrive at our assignment 15 minutes before the commencement of class, and 5 minutes before an afternoon assignment. If you pick up a multiple-day assignment, and the regular teacher has morning duty on the subsequent days as outlined in their day plans, you are expected to cover these duties. The reasoning is you would have had advanced notice for the 2nd, 3rd, etc. days to prepare. Lunch or recess at nutrition breaks and end-of-day bus duty are always part of our deal if they are part of the regular teacher's schedule and should be reflected in your SmartFind Express text instructions, along with the grade(s) you will be teaching and any special information including communicable diseases (CA Clause 21.01). If you arrive at an assignment and morning duty is included, try your best to contact the Administrator. Let the Local President know the outcome.

What happens if there is a violent incident and/or I am injured?

ETFO Daily OT members are required to report a violent incident, whether the physical force is actual, attempted or threatened by a student, an employee, or an outsider to the Board. In these situations, verbally report to your Administrator at the earliest and safest opportunity and then submit a Safe Schools/Workplace Violence Incident report that can be accessed through the BWDSB Staff Portal. Once an employee submits a report, the Administrator will receive an email to complete their section of the report. Once the Administrator submits the report, the employee and the Local President will receive an email notification that the form is complete. If you become injured or ill due to workplace violence, complete and submit form AF 7850 Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) Injury/Disease & Investigation and don’t forget to get medical attention if it’s needed.

What does Prep Time look like for a Daily OT?

Preparation time is paid time used for professional activities as determined by your professional judgment. The day plan may suggest considerations from the absent teacher such as marking, photocopying or gathering materials, etc. As a Daily OT, you may be able to cover some of these items during your prep, but things can arise, and you might not get to them as you use your self-directed prep time as you have seen fit. A note on the outcome of your decision is well-received by the absent teacher.

My day plan says to report to the Principal to be assigned to a class during my prep. What do I do?

Your Collective Agreement states that "13.02 The timetable for an occasional teacher shall be the same as the timetable of the teacher who is being replaced." It is your duty to uphold your Collectively Bargained rights for you and your fellow OTs. Your Prep Time is your Prep Time.

What if there is a shortage of staff, or if the Principal insists that I cover an extra class?

The Principal is responsible for the safety of everyone in the school. If you are told -- not asked -- to cover an extra class, you should do so, and notify your Local President as soon as possible thereafter.

Can I leave the school during my prep time?

No, you may not leave the school during your prep time. This is paid time and you are expected to be at the school.

What if I find my scheduled prep time has been switched or filled with an extra class?

If you find upon your arrival or realize at any point in the day, that your prep time has been switched, speak with the Principal. If after this discussion you are not satisfied or are unsure about the outcome of the situation, contact your Local President as soon as possible thereafter.

What if my prep time is at the beginning or end of my assignment and cut off in the SFX time?  

There is no choice to choose to not pay a Daily OT if there is a mid-assignment prep, and there should also be no choice to choose to cut a prep off at the beginning or end of an assignment either. If you find upon your arrival or realize at any point in the day, that your prep time has been cut off from your assignment, speak with the Principal. If after this discussion you are not satisfied or are unsure about the outcome of the situation, contact your Local President as soon as possible thereafter. If you are not comfortable approaching and questioning about your prep time, send your Local President an email with the details to discuss.

What should I be paid for at Daily OT rate?

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When should I be paid grid rate?

LTO Assignments / Permanent Positions = grid payment.

As well, 10 consecutive days of teaching in the same “Daily OT” assignment = grid payment.

If you ever pick up an assignment in SmartFind and then find yourself teaching for the same regular classroom teacher for 10 consecutive days (Principal asks you to remain as the position is unfilled), you are entitled to be paid grid rate retroactive to the first day of the assignment. On the 10th day, touch base with your administrator who needs to complete an electronic form in the EIL system so that you will be paid as an LTO Teacher (CA Clauses 3.03/12.01.02).

If you haven’t already done so, get your QECO rating done ( QECO’s processing time can take months. Note: a rating from OSSTF does not work in the elementary panel.

Without a QECO rating on file at the Board Office, you will not be paid your proper rate. It is the responsibility of the OT to provide the Board with a QECO Rating Statement prior to the first day of employment. If the OT fails to provide the Board with the QECO Rating Statement prior to the first day of employment, the OT will be paid the Short Term Occasional Rate (Daily Rate which is currently $253.00 that includes vacation and statutory holiday pay) until the QECO Rating Statement is provided at which time your pay will be adjusted retroactively to the first day of the first LTO. If this is your second, third, fourth, etc. LTO, your pay will only be adjusted to the first of the month (CA Clause 12.05). As well, if you have teaching experience to claim, for instance, LTOs and Permanent experience from another Board, get this in ASAP. Your years of experience pay will only be adjusted to the first of the month once received (CA Clause 12.06).

Submit these documents to Payroll immediately and ask for confirmation they are received.

How do I apply for LTOs and Permanent positions?

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Can I receive Regular Employment Insurance?

Occasional teachers may be paid regular benefits during non-teaching periods: summer 2-months July/August break, 2-week December/January break and 1-week March break.

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