If you are a new member to the Teachers' Bargaining Unit, see below for a list of five important tasks that new members should complete as soon as possible once hired to get off to a good start.
1 - Obtain the Collective Agreement
The Collective Agreement is negotiated by your bargaining unit with your employer, the Limestone District School Board, and defines your working relationship with your employer. It contains vital information regarding your pay, seniority, job posting procedures, working conditions, and other matters that affect your day-to-day working life. Find the Collective Agreement on this website and consider downloading it. Read through the Collective Agreement and file it in a convenient location. You will likely need to refer to this document from time to time.
2 - Complete Your Group Benefits Enrolment
As an LDSB teacher you have access to Group Benefits. (Occasional Teachers do not currently have access to these.) Some of these benefits may be mandatory conditions of your employment, others will be optional. You should review the material, complete and return any required forms and contact the Ontario Teachers' Insurance Plan (OTIP) to arrange your enrolment at the earliest possible moment to avoid any unpleasant complications. Questions regarding benefits should be directed to John Vince at the District Office.
3 - Obtain a Certification Rating Statement
Your placement on the salary grid is, in part, determined by the category you have achieved, as determined by the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario (QECO). Salary grid placement is important for all new teachers, including Occasional Teachers. Occasional Teachers who get a Long Term Occasional position (10 days or more in one job) will be paid according to the salary grid - usually a pay rise.
If you have never applied for a Certification Rating Statement before, you should start the process immediately. Application forms can be found on the QECO website, and should be accompanied by official transcripts from the institution(s) where you have obtained degrees and taken additional courses, proof of your OSSTF membership (such as a copy of your OSSTF Edvantage card, or a pay stub demonstrating fees paid), as well as a copy of your Certification of Qualifications from the Ontario College of Teachers (printed from your member account, not from the public registry). You may also visit OSSTF's Certification page for more information.
4 - Apply for Additional Teaching Experience and Related Work Experience
If you have previous teaching experience or experience gained through active employment that relates to the area in which you were hired to teach, then you may be eligible for recognition on the salary grid. You have up to six months from the first day worked after being hired by LDSB in which to apply for this recognition. Ask the HR Department about it when you are hired, and contact the District Office to assist you if needed. To support your application, you will be required to provide appropriate documentation. See Article L.44 in the Collective Agreement for more information regarding the process and the conditions for the granting of Related Work Experience.
5 - Meet the Union Rep
Find out who the OSSTF Branch President is at your work site and introduce yourself. They can be a tremendous resource and support for you on a wide range of issues. Find out where the OSSTF bulletin board is located and read the information that gets posted there from time to time. You will also receive newsletters and bulletins from OSSTF that you should make time to read. Attend OSSTF meetings and stay informed. If you are not on our mailing list yet, please fill out the form below or just get it touch.