Around OECTA

April 2022

Teacher Transfer Process

On Monday, May 2 all teachers must be given their preliminary assignment for next year. This notification is required by our contract. The exception would be any new teachers hired since the last transfer policy. All new teachers are notified at the time of hire, that they will be declared surplus at the end of their first year. This allows all teachers to have the opportunity to apply for new positions that became available at a school, through the transfer policy. 

A teacher who is declared surplus remains employed by the board. Surplus means that a school has more teachers than positions for the following year. This can occur due to declining enrollment, cancellation of a program, opening or closing of a school, change in catchment area, school reorganization or placement of a principal intern or assistant.

Who gets declared surplus? It is determined by seniority which is determined by your date of permanent hire. If two teachers have the same hire date, date of OT hire is used. If this is the same then days worked as an OT is the tie breaker. When a school loses teachers for the following year, the least senior teacher(s) on staff is(are) declared surplus. Often if a division loses a class, the teacher with least seniority in the division determines who gets reassigned to a new division.

A surplus teacher finds a new position for the following year by applying for positions in the transfer policy. If the school ends up gaining another teaching position back before August 31, the surplus teacher must be offered the position and be allowed to return. The teacher can decline. This “first right of recall” does not apply to newly hired teachers. 

As you know, there were 61 new hires in the summer, and more occurred throughout the year. However, with the return to regular class sizes for 2022-2023, there will be close to 50 positions that will be surplus. This means they won’t be available in the transfer policy.

How will this impact newly hired teachers? If they do not find a position through the transfer policy, they will be placed based on seniority in any remaining positions not filled in the transfer policy. All known vacant positions will be emailed to all teachers without an assigned position for next year and they select their position, based on seniority, from what is available. If there are no permanent teaching positions left to choose from, teachers are placed into LTOs. 

At this point, a teacher would be considered supernumerary. This means you are still an employee but the board has more teachers than positions. The board then creates a list of all supernumerary teachers, based on seniority. They have until June 17th to notify teachers that they are supernumerary. As permanent positions become available, teachers on the supernumerary list are contacted (in order of seniority, based on qualifications) and placed into these positions. The board cannot hire new teachers while it has supernumerary teachers. 

A teacher could be declared redundant from the board if there are no other positions available. If this were to occur and new positions became available, the board must offer the position to those teachers who have been declared redundant, based on seniority and qualifications. The board will offer daily occasional teaching to teachers who have been declared redundant.

If all permanent teachers are placed and positions still remain after the transfer policy, this is when the board will increase teachers currently not at 1.0 FTE. This is offered to teachers based on seniority (and qualifications).

Any postings in the transfer policy for positions of responsibility (Special Education – In-School Resource, Central Resource, System Program, Teacher Librarian, Assistant, Consultant) are filled using the established roster. Only teachers currently assigned to such a position are eligible to apply for it in transfers. During transfers, the position is filled based on seniority. When SERT positions (including SERT In-School, Central, System Program) and Teacher Librarian positions become available after Phase 3. There are 2 rounds of transfers in August.  Any remaining unfilled positions after the 2 rounds are filled using the roster. E

LRT, Reading Recovery and ESL vacancies are filled through the transfer policy and can be applied to by teachers currently assigned to the position. If a vacancy occurs outside of the transfer policy, or is unfilled after the transfer policy, the board shall post an interest posting for the position. Any new vacancy filled outside of the transfer policy must go into the transfer policy the following year as well. 

In a regular year, this is a challenging time. With everything else going on it is an added stress on teachers that we wish could be avoided. If you have any questions about school organization or surplus declaration and how it is being done, please reach out to the office for support.

OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth Unit Elections

Interested in Running for a Position?

Serving your colleagues in a position on the unit executive is an exciting and rewarding experience. In addition to providing your perspective to inform the direction of the local unit, being on the executive is an excellent way to meet new people and broaden your networking across the system, and even the province.

To put your name forth as a candidate, please e-mail Horst Schweinbenz at indicating which position you will be running for. Though the window to declare your candidacy in the second callout has closed, there will be a third call out leading up to the election. 

Call for Nominations

In accordance with Unit By-Law 4.2, the Nominations Committee, comprised of Horst Schweinbenz and Lynda Cifani, published its second call-out for interested candidates for the following open positions. Included below are the names of those nominated.

*Must be fully certified in Health & Safety.

*Note: This position will carry a 2 year term length beginning in 2023-2024.

*Note: This position will carry a 2 year term length beginning in 2023-2024.

*Four positions available.

*Must be an elementary Occasional Teacher. Only an elementary Occasional Teacher will be able to vote for this position.

OECTA Hamilton-Wentworth Family Festival

A Time to Honour and Celebrate

In our March newsletter, plans to host a celebratory event on June 3 were announced. Envisioned as part of that event were ceremonies to honour our retirees and 25 Year Award recipients of the past few years. Through the excellent work of the Retirement Celebration Committee, plans with a grander vision have come into being for marking the significance of these occasions in one's career. Details will be released by the committee in the coming weeks.

A Time to Reconnect, Renew, and Revitalize

Preparations are well underway for our OECTA Family Festival at Camp Marydale on Friday June 3. All members and their families are invited and encouraged to attend this event. Please save the date. It will provide a perfect opportunity to enjoy some (COVID friendly) outdoor activities such as swimming, canoeing, archery, and more while reconnecting with colleagues to renew our friendships and revitalize our spirits.

As plans are solidified, additional information on the specifics of the event will be released. What is known now is that volunteers will be needed to help make the day successful. Assistance will be appreciated with a number of roles such as cooking on the BBQs, marshalling of events/stations, set-up and take down, clean-up, and more. Members may indicate their interest in volunteering on the event registration form which will be sent out shortly, or by emailing the office to indicate a willingness to help out. Please consider giving some of your time toward this worthy event to help make it a success for all.

Harry Somerville and Sal Longley Award

Each year, our local unit office presents a graduation award to a deserving grade 8 student at each school in the system. Presented in memory of Harry Sommerville and Sal Longley, two former educators within the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board, the award is given to a student who demonstrates the qualities of Harry and Sal who exemplified the light of Christ through their service to those in need.

Grade 8 teachers are reminded to submit their school's nominee for the award to Len Moccia before the May long weekend. Awards will be mailed to schools in advance of graduation ceremonies. Please note that the award does not come with a piece of hardware such as a plaque. Schools that wish to include a plaque or trophy with the award are advised to make the needed arrangements when placing their order for grad awards.

COVID Updates

Caught COVID at Work?  

Since the lifting of mask mandates following the March Break, there has been an explosion of COVID cases among our members. If it is believed that COVID was contracted in the workplace, members are advised to pursue a claim with the WSIB. An approved claim would see the reimbursement of sick days used, and, should it be required, there are health benefits available for treatments needed in recovery. Additionally, should any longer term implications present down the road, an established claim today could potentially be re-opened to access benefits in the future. Please reach out to the Health and Safety Advisor for support with the WSIB claim process.

Quarantine Code

On February 1, the Board issued Memorandum 280 explaining the scenarios in which teachers might use the Quarantine Code in lieu of Personal Illness days while being made to isolate. Since that time, there have been several instances of confusion surrounding use of this code. To provide additional clarity to the governance of the code's use, Memorandum 377 was issued recently. Members are encouraged to review its contents before using the Quarantine Code in SmartFind. 

In the event that the criteria outlined in the memo is satisfied but access to the  Quarantine Code is denied, members are encouraged to call the OECTA office for guidance on the matter.

Preparing for the Election

Becoming Involved

Following four grueling years for educators, the Ontario General Election is just around the corner. Finally, our time has come to rally together and have our voices heard. Doug Ford has got to go! On June 2, we have the responsibility to select the next Ontario government - a government truly for the people.

With contract negotiations looming, much is at play for teachers in this election. An education-friendly government will vastly improve our prospects in negotiations and will result in more favourable learning conditions for students. With Ford, we already know that the plans for education include a projected shortfall of $12.3 billion over the next decade. For an already inimically underfunded system, further financial pressures on the education sector are nothing short of unconscionable. Student learning will be impacted, and your livelihood will be further diminished. 

You can help to prevent such an outcome through your participation in the democratic process. First and foremost, members are asked to commit themselves to voting. Your vote, though one among many, is an important contribution to our collective voice. But, there are many more levels of engagement in the political process. Over the next few weeks, we will be seeking the assistance of our members to help Ontario elect an education-friendly government. The time is now. Your help is needed. Stay tuned for opportunities where you can more directly make a difference in this campaign. Together, we can make a change. Together, the people can take their government back.

Provincial Budget 2022

A mere few days ago, the government tabled its budget containing all sorts of goodies aimed at buying votes from Ontarians. For educators, however, the writing is on the wall - the attacks on education will continue unabated from our experiences these past four years. Hidden among the shiny new highway funding and licence plate sticker rebates is a $1.3 billion salvo designed to further destabilize publicly funded education. It is imperative that we elect an education friendly government.

Political Donations

Election campaigns are very expensive to run. One way that members can help is through making a donation to the political party of their choice. In Ontario, political donations are met with robust tax rebates which offset the actual cost of your donation. 

With your contribution, not only will you be helping to elect an education friendly government, but you will also receive a tax-credit.  In comparison to what you lost in 2020 (4 strike days = approx. $2,000), it will cost you less if you donate and negotiations are undertaken with a more receptive government

From Your Provincial Association

Education Unions Call on the Ford Government to Invest in Schools

Ahead of the release of the 2022 provincial budget, OECTA President Barb Dobrowolski, joined by the presidents of the affiliate education unions representing teachers and education workers, held a joint press conference calling attention to the Ford government’s inadequate investment in publicly funded education and demanding real, immediate action to support students, teachers, and education workers.

Read the press release here.

For Your Career


To assist members develop professionally, the Association has developed WebExperiences covering a wide range of topics and issues. A WebExperience is a an engaging approach to professional development which are delivered using live and interactive online sessions designed by teachers for teachers

Upcoming WebExperiences

Click on a Date to Register

Making the Grade With Awesome Assessment

Primary, Junior & Intermediate

Pedagogical Documentation; Uncovering the Kindergarten Program

Kindergarten Teachers

Writing Communication of Learning Comments: Sharing Evidence of Learning Using Pedagogical Documentation


April Issue of Catholic Teacher is Now Available

Additional Qualification Coursees

Upgrade Yourself - Register For an AQ Course

Registration for our summer AQ courses is now open! Courses begin on July 4th and end on August 5th.

General Course Fees

Religious Education Part 1 - $550

All other AQ courses - $600

Professional Advice

The Association helps members manage a range of career-related events and issues, including performance appraisals, general and career counselling, professional ethics, interpersonal disputes, and personal crises. 

A variety of resources have been created to assist you in navigating some of the issues that you may encounter in your professional career.

If you’re experiencing difficulty in your professional life, or if personal problems are affecting your work, you can contact staff in the Counselling and Member Services department at the OECTA Provincial Office for advice or guidance.  

All calls are kept confidential.

Contact our Counselling and Member Services department or the daily duty officer for assistance, at 

1-800-268-7230 or 416-925-2493

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