President’s Message

Janet Bigham – President


The 2017-2018 school year is well under­way and I would like to congratulate each and every SCETF Member for their on-going professionalism as they provide the best educational experience possible each and every day for the students in their care.

            To ensure the improvements to our working conditions gained through the last few rounds of bargaining become a reality, it is necessary to hold the SCDSB accountable for following the terms of our Collective Agreement. All SCETF Members are the eyes and ears of the Federation in the schools and together, we can ensure our working conditions as defined in our Collective Agreement are upheld. If at any time you believe there has been a potential violation of the Collective Agreement, please contact a released officer at the SCETF Office.

            As part of the 2017-2019 Contraction Extension Agreement, the following is now in place:

  • Updates to the 2017-2018 IEPs will occur at the end of Term 1 and 2. If you have been asked to update this year’s IEPs after progress reports were issued, please contact the SCETF Office.
  •  FDK Class Sizes are to be at 30 or under. If your school has a FDK class greater than 30 students, please contact the SCETF Office.

            As part of the 2014-2017 Central Table Agreement, the following is in place:

  • Professional Judgement will be used by SCETF Members to determine which diagnostic assessment and/or evaluation tool from the Board Pre-Approved List is applicable, for which student(s), as well as the frequency and timing of the tool. In order to inform their instruction, teachers must utilize diag­nostic assessment during the school year. If your professional judgment is not being respected in relation to the completion of diagnostic assessment, please contact the SCETF Office.

            It is recommended that you regularly monitor your pay stub to ensure that you are being paid properly. Double check that you are being paid at the correct location on the salary grid according to category and years of teaching experience. As well, be sure to monitor your Absence Profile on the Payroll Portal to ensure you received your 2017-2018 Refresh of Sick Leave and that any deductions to this allocation is correct.

            Did you receive your 2017-2018 Refresh of Sick Leave? On September 5, 2017, a 1.0 FTE teacher should have received 11 sick days which are paid at 100% pay, 120 short term disability days which are paid at 90% pay and 5 supplemental absence credits.  If you had unused sick leave from 2016-2017, these days become top-up days for 2017-2018. Top-up days are used to top up pay from 90% to 100% pay. The only reason you would not have received a 100% Refresh of Sick Leave on September 5, 2017, is if you were off work due to medical reasons, either full-time or part-time, at the end of June 2017, and were unable to resume full-time duties in September 2017 due to the same medical reasons. If this applies to you, please contact the SCETF Office.

            Bill 115 Remedy: In June 2017, it was announced that ETFO would return to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to seek a fair remedy from the Bill 115 Charter Challenge. In July 2017, ETFO legal counsel was involved in discussions with the lawyer representing the Ontario government, as well as with Justice Thomas Lederer. Justice Lederer proposed that ETFO and the Ontario government consider using the services of a mediator to determine if an appropriate remedy can be achieved without the intervention of the Court at this point in time.

            ETFO’s Provincial Executive considered Justice Lederer’s proposal and has agreed to participate in mediation. The Ontario government has also agreed to mediation.

            ETFO and the Ontario government have jointly proposed to Justice Lederer that the Honourable George W. Adams, Q.C., be appointed to mediate. Mr. Adams is one of Canada’s most experienced mediators and facilitators. He is an award-winning author, lawyer and law professor. He is also a former judge who resigned from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 1997 to establish a neutral dispute resolution practice. Since then, Mr. Adams has been called upon to mediate a vast range of complex disputes and public policy issues.   Updates on mediation dates will be provided by ETFO through the ETFO CB eNewsletter.

            The SCETF Ad-Hoc Benefits Committee   established at the 2017 SCETF Annual Meeting is now in place. As per the Terms of Reference for this committee, Janet Bigham, Mark Butt, Monica Goodfellow, Nathan Klaassen and Donnie Mills are the five members of this committee. This Ad-Hoc Benefits Committee makes recommendations to the SCETF Executive on the use of the SCETF Surplus Benefit Funds. Health Care Spending Accounts is one avenue the committee is exploring. A health care spending account is a pre-determined amount of money provided at the beginning of each benefit year for medical and dental expenses. Claims are submitted by employees and reimbursed in a similar fashion to a conventional benefits plan. Please stay tuned for updates from the SCETF President on the work of the SCETF Ad-Hoc Benefits Committee.

            I look forward to working with SCETF Members to improve their working conditions as our working conditions are students’ learning conditions.





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