Welcome back! RTU hopes you had a lovely summer. The RTU staff is back and looking forward to helping you this school year.
Some points to remember:
Here's to a good year!
How to get on the priority/recall list
The list is updated once a year. For all sectors it is updated on July 1. In the youth sector a provisional list is created on June 1 that is sent to RTU. For AGE and VT there is no provisional list. The school board has until July 5 to provide the lists to RTU.
You must be a legally qualified teacher. (You have a brevet.)
In the youth sector you need to have had 2 contracts in three years and the board has to have successful written evaluations in your file. If they have failed to evaluate you in the two years, they have one more contract to evaluate you for the priority list.
In VT a teacher needs to have taught 300 hours in a year and cannot have more than 720 hours added a year, in any combination of categories.There are 2 lists for VT, one for qualified teachers(has a brevet) who get preference, and one for unqualified teachers. In AGE a teacher needs to teach 180 hours in a year to a max of 800, in any combination of categories.
How to be removed from the priority list
These are the same for all sectors.
How does recall/priority affect rehire and contracts
Contracts have to be offered by percentage size starting at the top of the list. Generally this means the board works out how many contracts that lead to permanency they have. They then start with the most senior person on the recall list in the appropriate category and offer them the position. If that person refuses, then they offer it to the next person, so on and so forth.
The general* order of offers goes:
*there can be exceptions
There are positions in the school board for regional programs that do not go to the recall list. The positions for these programs are posted and must be specially applied for. They can lead to permanent positions more quickly, if you are interested in working with these populations.
What does refusing a position do?
Contributes towards your 2 refusals and you’re off the list total.
Drops you to the bottom of the list for subsequent offers.
How do recall/priority affect getting a permanent position
Contracts are offered from the top (most senior) to the bottom. The higher up on the recall list you are, the more likely you are to be offered a full time position in your category. You can receive a full time position even if you’re lower on the list when the people above you refuse the position.
The lists and preference form
In May youth sector teachers fill out a preference form. They have a minimum of 5 days to fill it out. This form needs to be completed and returned by May 23.
The most important part of this form is the schools you do not want to go to. You will not be offered these positions, but that means you won’t be refusing them and going to the bottom of the list for more desirable positions.
The board attempts to place people at their preferred schools, but that is much more difficult due to staffing requirements. The board does not have an obligation to offer you your preferred schools.
You will receive a call from the school board with an initial offer. In 2021 the calls will be completed by June 29th. Phone calls can be made prior to the “official” date. If you refuse the initial offer, you go to the bottom of the list, and may have to wait for a second call later on. There are no guarantees of percentages or schools once you refuse an offer. Additional calls can occur in the fall if new classes or funding are added. If you have accepted a job you will not be considered for positions in September.
For AGE and VT the process is similar, but is done in the 3 or 4 days prior to a semester or cohort starting.
Beyond the priority list
Once you are permanent you will no longer be on the priority/recall list. A teaching position is guaranteed the subsequent year.
What are these positions?
These positions guarantee rehire in September. The board has an obligation to employ these teachers every year. If there is no teaching load for these teachers they are placed on availability where they are still paid and considered employees of the board. In these situations the teachers can be asked to do supply work or any other reasonable work that the board needs completed. There have been very few cases of teachers on availability since the 70’s.
These positions are not guarantees of the following
Permanency does not affect your pension, benefits or union representation vs being a contract teacher.
Yes, Teachers can be fired.
The procedures for being fired are the same for regular teachers and teachers that are on the recall list, or even teachers not on the recall list. There are certain actions that allow the board to summarily dismiss a teacher. There are other patterns of behaviour that, if documented, will allow the board to dismiss a teacher. Your status doesn’t change these.
Non-rehiring, what does that mean?
To be removed from the recall list also has a set of criteria. HR or Administration cannot summarily decide to remove someone from the recall list without justification. Any of the reasons that would allow the board to fire a teacher can be used to justify a non-rehire and removal of a teacher from the recall list.
In addition, failing 2 evaluations will result in a teacher being removed from the recall list.
Requirements for permanent positions
The successful evaluations are actually the more straightforward requirement. Teachers should be evaluated every year, until they have two satisfactory evals in their file. After that evaluation usually occurs sporadically throughout a teacher's career. As often as every 5 years, even if there are no specific concerns.
The contract part is more tricky. There are several ways to have a 100% contract that do not count towards permanency.
It’s a replacement contract
These contracts can vary in percentage and several can be stitched together to create a post.
For instance, my first 100% contract was 40% in my name, and 20% in the name of another math teacher, another 20% in yet another teacher’s name, and 20% in a third teacher’s name. One of these other teachers was on progressive retirement and the other two had part time leaves.This contract did not contribute towards permanency.
It’s a contract that relies on Mesure money
Mesure monies are special budgets that are not guaranteed to be renewed from year to year. The unreliability of the budget means that they do not contribute to the permanent positions in a school board. Often the school Board will “top up” contracts with mesure money to make them more attractive posts. They might use mesure money to increase a 60% position to a 100% position. This means a teacher will get paid at 100%, but the contract does not count towards being permanent. This should be disclosed to the teacher when the position is being offered. Though it never hurts to ask!
No matter what kind of contract you have, your work experience will be counted towards your seniority once you become a permanent (tenure) teacher.
2 Prior Consecutive Contracts
It’s on your 3rd consecutive 100% contract in your name that you will become permanent. There can be no breaks in between these contracts. Certain events like sick leaves or Parental leaves do not interrupt this process.
Never attended a really formal meeting before? Don’t worry! There’s a book we all use called Robert’s rules of Order, but we’ve got a cheat sheet for you.
In short, we try to run meetings fairly, so that everyone can have a chance to be heard and that actions(motions) are voted on in an informed and fair way.
The main points to remember are:
Please remember that while others are talking, you should be listening. Even if you don’t like or agree with what they are saying, they are allowed to talk. Final opinions are given with the vote.
If you want more details download the cheat sheet or buy the full book and read away!
The government and school boards hold most of the cards when it comes to preventing a strike. A supportive workspace does not push it’s employees to work past their breaking points and minimize their concerns. An employer who doesn’t want strikes does not say a burnt out teacher is a teacher to be admired. An employer who wishes to avoid a strike listens.
Kind words at the eleventh hour are not enough. Kind words that are backed by signatures on an injunction against our legal strikes. Kind words that are backed by using a pandemic response measure to make their own lives easier. Kind words backed by an endorsement of work harder and longer with barely cost of living salary increases. Kind words backed by “we need only meet the minimum of the agreement not be better than it.”
We are striking because kind words are not enough anymore. Our kind words have fallen on deaf ears. We must return the favour and show that we too can turn a deaf ear to pleasantries and act.
See you on the picket lines.