Strikes of any length are a burden to the workers. The brunt of the “economic” damage is felt by us, the strikers. The point of a strike is to inconvenience other people. This inconvenience helps remind the government why we are important. The inconvenience also reminds the employer of our power as workers.
The exercising of our power does not come without a financial cost. RTU staffers recognize this, and share it. The RTU president and executive assistants are not paid for strike days. We are part of the negotiating block and stand in solidarity with you, for the good and the bad.
RTU members (teachers) may need to have replacement income during longer strike actions. This is completely understandable. It is also common during prolonged strikes throughout unionism. Many workers in other industries understand and commiserate with the hardships we are facing. They have lived these experiences and support us.
There is no shame or recriminations for requiring another job during a strike. We ask that it not be in education as that is strike breaking. This includes private tutoring, homework assistance and anything else being recommended to parents to “ameliorate” the strike effects.
Regardless of what other work an RTU member chooses to do during the strike actions, we ask that members continue to come to the demonstrations that they can attend. The demonstrations will be at scheduled times. Generally they will last a maximum of 3 - 4 hours a day. We focus on commute times for maximum visibility. We also coordinate with the other locals working for RSB in the Commun Front. Attending these events even for only part of the time helps our negotiators. If we lose people on the lines, the government takes it as a sign that we are weakening and that they can continue to insist on bad deals for us.
RTU hopes that these reasons have convinced you to attend the strike actions we organize and to find work outside the educational field. That is the extent of our power over you. There are no mechanisms for RTU to punish or coerce anyone. We trust you to make the best possible decisions when you have been given all of the facts. We trust you to support the office agents, custodians, technicians and attendants that help us in our classrooms and schools. We trust you to show the government our strength.
See you on the lines.
The three confusing categories of work that aren’t teaching….
OPD or Other professional duties (workload described in provincial and local ententes)
Comp time or compensated time (from local entente)
Value added (from provincial entente)
So you are on a committee or running a student musical or another non-teaching activity, where does it fit?
The first question to ask is approval from your administrator. Do this before embarking on any activity. Activities outside of the classroom that involve students require administration and governing board approval well in advance. Personal projects, PD and Committees have various manners of being selected, assigned or elected to. What they all have in common though is that your administrator is aware of your involvement before it occurs.
Once that’s settled comes the question of which of 3 possible categories does the activity fit in?
There are some hard rules.
Any activity that does not involve students can be OPD or Comp Time. The decision of where certain activities fall should have been discussed at the school council. Generally, most schools have a culture of which committees and activities are workload and which ones are not.
Workload or not?
If an activity is OPD it is part of your yearly workload or what you are doing to earn your salary. If it is comp time it is extra for which you receive time off, up to three pedagogical days. If the activity is value-added it is also not part of your workload and you will receive a modest monetary remuneration at the end of the school year.
How much money for value added?
A whole other article worth of explanation.
How much time off?
20 to 39 hours of activity = 1 pedagogical day
40 to 59 hours of activity = 2 pedagogical days
60 + hours of activity = 3 pedagogical days
Can I take them whenever I want?
No, your admin gets final say. They cannot block you from taking them, but can decide the when and how of it. They can require that you take two half days instead of one whole day. The days are usually the last pedagogical days at the end of the school year.
Does that mean someone else will do my report cards/marking/close my classroom/tidy my desk?
No, you must complete all your workload duties before taking the comp time.
Teachers are accustomed to an increase in Salary Steps at the start of every school year.
Exceptionally in our last Provincial Collective, under clause 6-2.01 d) it states, “experience acquired in 2022-2023 shall not allow for an advancement in step.” This is a direct effect of the plan to remove a step off the entire table, ensuring that teachers get to the highest paid level at Step 16 instead.
As a result, the expected increase was delivered on the 139th school day of the 2022-2023 year instead.
What that means for teachers at RSB is that while your seniority and experience will increase as of August 2023, your pay scale step will remain the same as the 2022-2023 year, according to the following table which went into effect on March 30th 2023.
(Future raises are currently under negotiation with the Commun Front, as our Collective agreement expired on March 31, 2023.)
Our thanks to both candidates running in the 2023 RTU Treasurer election.
Terri Ann Pine has been elected.
The following brochure helps detail the demands being made in the Intersectorial Commun Front Negotiations.
A message from QPAT President Heidi Yetman:
“I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work that you do every day to support your students towards success and give them tools that will help them throughout their lives.”
Today QPAT President Heidi Yetman and FSE-CSQ President Josee Scalabrini delivered a special advent calendar to the office of the Minister of Education.