Frequently Asked Questions:
This page is intended to provide the answers to the questions most frequently asked with regard to the NTU/SD No. 91 Collective Agreement.
You can also ask your questions here by emailing the NTU President at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. I'm expecting to receive a lay-off notice and am thinking about applying for severance pay. What do I need to know?
A. First, severance pay is only available to teachers with one or more years of continuing employment with the district. Secondly, you do not need to decide immediately. You can apply for severance during the 180 days following termination.
Severance pay is calculated at a rate of 5% of one year's salary to a maximum of one year's salary. You should know that severance pay is not a given - you cannot simply apply and get it. You become ineligible for severance pay, if once on the recall list, you refuse to accept two positions for which you possess the necessary qualifications. The essence of this is that the board recognizes an obligation to provide employment to those who have worked for them for a while, and provides severance when they can not fulfill that obligation. If they can keep you working, severance pay is not available.
Because this is true, you should not expect "instant response" in an application for severance pay. The Board will need to have a reasonable amount of time to see if there will be positions available, and is unlikely to provide severance pay before that point. In terms of year-end layoffs, this probably means that you may not know about severance until sometime into September, as hiring frequently occurs in the New Year, once student numbers firm up.
If interested in Severance pay, ensure that you check your collective agreement (C.2.15) for the fine details.
Q. I'd like to take time off for personal reasons that are not covered by other specific leave provisions in our contract. What are my options?
A. If you are just thinking of one or two days, you should plan to use discretionary leave. For time periods with significant length, consider personal leave.
Q. I will need to take time off of work for reason X. What leave provisions are available?
A. The leave provisions of the collective agreement are found in Section G. You should look through these to see if one of the situations defined applies. Your school staff representative may also be able to help. If no provisions seem to apply, discuss your needs with your administrator, who may be able to provide some options.
Q. I'm going to need to access maternity leave. What should I know?
A. Most of the information you need can be found on our Benefits page, under Maternity Leave.
Q. I have a medical condition that will require me to be off of work for a significant amount of time. I'm afraid that I will run out of sick days.
A. You may use up to 120 sick days in a year, if you have accumulated that many. When you have used 120 sick days, or have used up the sick days that you had accumulated, you may access the BCTF's long term disability plan, which is called the Salary Indemnity Plan. The Salary Indemnity Plan provides for both short and long term coverage that will provide about 55% of your current salary while your medical condition continues. More information is available on our SIP page, or via the BCTF portal.
Q. What can you tell me about teacher evaluation?
A. Evaluation of teachers may (or should) occur in 4 situations
1. Teachers in their first year with the District but with prior teaching experience
2. New teachers who are in their second year of teaching within the District
3. When a teacher makes a written request for evaluation to their administrator or the Superintendent
4. When an evaluation is deemed necessary by the principal, superintendent or assistant superintendent. The determination of "necessity" is to be based upon 3 classroom observations.
The areas that are to be evaluated are defined in Article E.25 of our collective agreement, so teachers expecting evaluation should check that evaluation policy in preparation.
Q. I'd like to arrange for my own substitute teacher while I'm away. Why can't I do so?
A. The local and SD No. 91 have agreed that substitute teachers will be called according to a protocol that ensures as much fairness in employment opportunity as possible. Accordingly, a school in arranging for a substitute teacher, will first attempt to call, in rotation, all certified substitute teachers. The first available is called in. If no certified substitutes are available, then the school will then call, in rotation, those on the list of non-certified substitutes.
Q. I'm nearing retirement and would like to get more pensions information.
A. Teacher pensions are administered by the Pensions Corporation, and they are the only authoritative source of information. The BCTF also has a very knowledgeable helpful pensions division which has a great deal of useful information available online. The BCTF also arranges regular Pension seminars each year that you should plan to attend.
Q. I'm thinking of early retirement, and am interested in the local Early Retirement Incentive.
A. Details of the NTU/SD No. 91 Early Retirement Incentive Plan are found in Article C.26 of the collective agreement. To be eligible you must be 55 at the time of retirement. Two teachers, of those who apply, will receive the early retirement incentive, and selection will be on the basis of seniority. The deadline for application is February 1st. Note also that the plan is based upon the calendar year, and not the school year. Thus if you are planning a fall retirement, you must apply by February 1st of the calendar year in which you plan to retire - plan ahead! If you plan to retire at the start of a new calendar year, note that January retirements are a problem as the deadline for application is February 1st of the calendar year, and the Board cannot make ERIP decisions before that point. If this is your situation, contact the NTU president for advice.