You’ve heard the rumours, after so many days of supply work you suppose to get a contract. How exactly does it work though?
It matters which sector you are in. There is one set of criteria for youth sector and a separate set for adult sectors.
Getting a Replacement Contract
There are 2 ways to get a replacement contract
No current contract:
If you as the supply teacher have no other contract:
A teacher has a planned absence of longer than 216 teaching hours. This includes parental leaves, leaves of absence, sick leaves due to planned surgeries, etc.
Current part time contract:
If you as the supply teacher have a part-time contract with the centre
If there will be a known absence of 25 teaching hours or longer the time will be added to your percentage.
Replacement contracts are paid at a teachers scale as opposed to hourly or substitution rates.
What does this contract count towards?
Experience for pay scale: Yes
Hours/position on recall lists: Yes
Gaining permanence/tenure: No
Board designation: E8
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.
Teaching is an odd profession. Most if not all “promotions” require a person to stop being a teacher. This reality makes these changes more daunting than for many other professions. There are many people who are livelong teachers and will never consider a “promotion”. That’s a valid choice, teach on! If you’re wondering about the options inside the board, read on!
There are two main types of promotions that are seen as a natural progression from teaching within a board. They entail different job duties and should be considered if you enjoy the respective types of work.
Administration: The main role of a principal is to be a manager. We call them educational leaders and describe the vision we want them to have of schools and education, but at the end of the day can they manage people? Do you like people? Can you give clear direct feedback in a sensitive and respectful way? Can you advocate for your staff at the school board? Are you comfortable with uncertainty? Can you let go of control and give others autonomy? Are you comfortable with conflict? Can you meet deadlines and organize your time?
Consultant: There are several types of consultant positions. In general, what they have in common is supporting teachers. These positions involve developing materials and tools to help teachers in their classrooms. These roles are non managerial. That means you can’t actually tell anyone what to do. Your job is to listen to the needs of specific teachers or groups of teachers and find ways to help them. Either with suggestions of methods, strategies or other implementable options. This a good choice for people that like people and research. Consultants should also have a thick enough skin that they don’t take things too personally. A rejection of a method/philosophy/idea should be water off a duck’s back to them.
Once you’ve considered your career path, you still don’t know if you’ll enjoy the new position. Often, we like the idea of something more than the reality. There is an agreement in the RTU local that gives you some grace time to try out a non-teaching position.
Temporary positions can be tried out for up to 2 years without losing tenure. Permanent positions can be tried out for 1 year without losing tenure. This means that you retain your fulltime permanent position, and your post at your school.
In either case you have one further year where you retain your permanency, but not your school post. After that year you lose your permanent position, but come back at top of the recall list. After 3 years, you start back at the bottom.
These grace years are not part of the provincial agreement. They are part of the RTU-RSB locally negotiated agreement. The RTU has accepted these clauses as membership has shown a desire for them. The hope is that it will allow for a higher quality of administrator and consultant. In general, RTU and QPAT do not like permanent positions being held by people who are not teaching. No one wants half the permanent positions in a board being held by the administrators and consultants indefinitely. That would mean around 60 permanent positions would be held until retirement by non-teachers, that RTU and QPAT do not represent. Remember, once you leave teaching RTU and QPAT no longer represent you. RTU and QPAT membership is based on professionally teaching, not teaching as an identity.