Last Update: September 2023

If you have a question, concern, need clarification, want to double-check, or wish to run a scenario by the Bluewater Occasional Teacher Local, please contact our local president.


How do I remain on the Elementary OT Roster?

Complete Minimum Assignments each School Year

The minimum number of occasional teaching assignments at Bluewater Elementary that must be completed in the school year to remain on the OT Roster for the following year is 15, as per Collective Agreement Clause 9.04.02. Please note that this refers to 15 Elementary assignments, not full days worked. Assignments in secondary, permanent, summer school, and home instruction do not count toward this threshold. To meet the requirement of 15 assignments, each assignment, whether it's a full day or 30 minutes long, counts as one (1). Each day within an Elementary LTO also counts as one toward the threshold of 15. If you are available for only part of the year, the number of assignments will be pro-rated based on an approved Leave of Absence through the Employee Information & Leaves System (not simply by marking yourself unavailable on Smartfind Express). For example, if you are available from September to December and then on approved leave from January to June, you would be available for 4 out of 10 months (40%) and would need to complete 6 assignments (40% of the minimum 15).

Complete Annual Offence Declaration in May

Every employee of the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) must complete an annual offence declaration. This is a legislated requirement that the Board must adhere to. The offence declaration can be found in the Employee Self-Service Portal where you access your pay stubs. The offence declaration will be available starting May 1st. If it is not completed, you will be ineligible to work for the BWDSB after September 1st. If not completed by October 1st, you will no longer be employed by the BWDSB.

Continue Good Standing with the Ontario College of Teachers Annual Membership Fee in December

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

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 completed a pro-rated number of our minimum 15 assignments for the time you were listed as available, in order to remain on the OT Roster. For example, if you accept a full-year position with another school board and apply for your leave in late October, you will still need to have completed 3 assignments with Bluewater to remain on the OT Roster for the following school year. If you want to shorten or extend your leave after it has started, you can do so. However, you must keep the Board updated on any changes.

To apply for a Leave of Absence, go to the Employee Information & Leaves (EIL) system, which can be found on the BWDSB Staff Portal.

When specifying your supervisor on the application, elementary occasional teachers should use the name of the current Elementary Human Resources Executive Assistant. For this name, please contact the Local President.

Occasional teachers may request a leave of absence in writing for up to 10 consecutive teaching months. They may also request up to 20 teaching months of leave in any 50-teaching-month period. Eligibility for such leave starts 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?

Check out this page.

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 mandates that all staff, including occasional teachers, must be able to lock their classroom doors during a lockdown or a lockdown drill (CA Letter of Agreement #5, page 22). Although you may be asked to sign out the key so the office can track its whereabouts, you are entitled to receive a classroom key without surrendering any personal property (e.g., car keys) in exchange. The school is legally obligated to provide you with a key. If you find yourself having to insist on receiving a classroom key, it could create a stressful start to your school day. Please inform the Local President if you are not provided with a key for your OT assignment.

You will receive an Occasional Teacher Folder Checklist

Our collective agreement states that the Board will endeavour to provide an occasional teacher folder, along with other support and orientation as necessary (CA Clause 13.01). In 2016, the Board implemented checklists for all occasional staff, including teachers, educational support personnel, and early childhood educators. Therefore, we are now using the term "Occasional Folder Checklists" to describe these. The following is a list of items identified as 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 align with the same prep schedule and supervision time as the teacher you are replacing, as outlined in CA Clause 13.02. However, an exception exists: A Daily OT should not be expected to perform supervisory duties before the teaching assignment begins on the first day, according to CA Clause 13.03. This exception exists to give you time to prepare for your day. Under the Education Act, we are required to arrive at our assignment 15 minutes before the start of class and 5 minutes before an afternoon assignment.

If you pick up a multi-day assignment and the regular teacher has morning duties on subsequent days, as specified in their day plans, you are expected to cover these duties. This expectation exists because you would have advance notice to prepare for the 2nd, 3rd, etc., days. Duties during lunch, recess, nutrition breaks, and end-of-day bus supervision are also expected if they are part of the regular teacher's schedule. These responsibilities should be reflected in your SmartFind Express text instructions, along with the grade(s) you'll be teaching and any special information, including communicable diseases, as stated in CA Clause 21.01.

If you arrive at an assignment and morning duty is included, make your best effort to contact the Administrator. Please inform the Local President about the outcome.

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

ETFO Daily OT members are required to report any violent incident, whether it involves actual, attempted, or threatened physical force by a student, an employee, or an outsider, to the Board. In such situations, verbally report to your Administrator at the earliest and safest opportunity. Following that, submit a Safe Schools/Workplace Violence Incident report, which can be accessed through the BWDSB Staff Portal. After you submit the report, the Administrator will receive an email prompting them to complete their section of the report. Once the Administrator submits the completed form, both the employee and the Local President will receive an email notification confirming its completion. If you suffer an injury or illness due to workplace violence, complete and submit Form AF 7850 for the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) Injury/Disease & Investigation. Do not forget to seek medical attention if needed.

What does Prep Time look like for a Daily OT?

Preparation time is paid time designated for professional activities, as determined by your professional judgement. The day plan from the absent teacher may include suggested tasks such as marking, photocopying, or gathering materials. As a Daily OT, you may be able to address some of these tasks during your prep time. However, unforeseen circumstances may arise, and you might not be able to complete them as you utilize your self-directed prep time according to your own judgement. A note updating the absent teacher on the outcome of your decisions is generally well-received.

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

According to your Collective Agreement, "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 responsibility to uphold the collectively bargained rights for both yourself and your fellow OTs. Your prep time is your own and should be respected as such.

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 the Daily OT rate?

Check out this page.

When should I be paid the 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 the grid rate retroactively 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). Also, 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.

Check out this page.