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Frequently Asked Questions

Awards & Scholarships

NLTA has a number of awards and scholarships.

The Allan Bishop Award recognizes outstanding service to NLTA at the provincial level. A maximum of one award may be presented each year and awards are open to any active or life member of the Association except that current members of the Provincial Executive are ineligible and a provincial Past-President of the Association is ineligible within three years of his/her presidency. The Deadline for submissions is January 15. For more information and a nomination form visit the NLTA website www.nlta.nl.ca click on FORMS, and go to A in the alphabetized list and scroll to Allan Bishop Award.

The Bancroft Award recognizes outstanding service at the branch level. A maximum of three awards may be presented each year and awards are open to any active member of the Association. The Deadline for nominations is January 15. For more information and a nomination form visit the NLTA website www.nlta.nl.ca click on FORMS, and go to B in the alphabetized list and scroll to Bancroft Award.

The Barnes Award recognizes outstanding contribution to the Association through work in a Special Interest Council. The deadline for nominations is January 31. For further information and a nomination form visit the NLTA website www.nlta.nl.ca click on FORMS, and go to B in the alphabetized list and scroll to Barnes Award.

The Centennial Fund Study Award is available to students pursuing FULL-TIME study. It is valued at $2,500. The deadline for application is March 31. For further information and an application form visit the NLTA website www.nlta.nl.ca click on FORMS, and go to C in the alphabetized list to Centennial Fund Awards and choose Study Award.

The Johnson Incorporated Bursary is available to students pursuing FULL-TIME study. Its value varies depending on the number of awards given but may be from $500 to $2,000. The deadline for application is April 1. For further information and an application form visit the NLTA website www.nlta.nl.ca click on FORMS, and go to J in the alphabetized list and scroll to Johnson Incorporated Bursary Application.

The Patricia Cowan Award recognizes individuals or groups outside the K-12 school system for their outstanding contribution to teachers and the profession. Potential candidates for this award are generated by Provincial Executive and provided to the President for selection.

The President’s Award is presented by the President, once during a two year term, and approved by Provincial Executive, to a current or past teacher who has served at either the provincial or branch level or within the special interest council structure and recognized for their service to the Association.

The Special Recognition Award will be presented annually to an active or life member of NLTA who, while a teacher in the province, made a major contribution to the cultural, social and/or the community life of Newfoundland and Labrador. Deadline for applications is January 15. For more information and a nomination form visit the NLTA website www.nlta.nl.ca click on FORMS, and go to S in the alphabetized list and scroll to Special Recognition Award.

Further information on any of the NLTA awards and scholarships can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Curriculum

Following established protocol regarding channels of authority is highly recommended. Consequently, discuss your recommendation for getting a teaching resource on the list of required or suggested course materials with your school administrators. In turn, he/she can direct you to the appropriate personnel at the School District or the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD). In the end, the final decision will be made by the Director of the Program Development Division at the EECD. For contact information go to: http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/department/branches/pes/pdd.html. Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Deferred Salary

Interested teachers must apply to their school district Director prior to April 30 of the calendar year in which they intend to commence participation in the Deferred Salary Leave Plan (DSLP). In turn, the school board must notify the teachers by June 15 of acceptance or denial of their request. Approval of DSLP applications is at the discretion of the school board. However, as the collective agreements point out, an explanation must be provided if a teacher’s application is denied.

The plan options and payment formula are as set out in Article 51 of the Provincial Collective Agreement (Article 57 of the Labrador West Collective Agreement). There are three leave options: a two over three, three over four, and four over five program. This means, in essence, that depending on the option chosen, a teacher would work on reduced salary for two, three or four years and then be entitled to a leave of absence with accrued monies being paid during the period of leave. In this regard, all income deferred during the initial working years of the plan are held in trust for the teacher and, during the year of leave, the teacher is paid the accumulated funds plus compounded interest divided equally over twenty-six pay periods.

For more information and to access the DSLP application form consult the NLTA infosheet titled Deferred Salary Leave Plan.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Federal taxation legislation prohibits individuals from receiving salary from their employer during the leave year. For example, this means that a teacher employed by the NL English School District who is off on his/her deferred leave year cannot work for or receive remuneration from the NL English School District in any capacity, including as a substitute teacher, during the leave period. He/she can, however, work as a substitute for the Conseil Scolaire Francophone Provincial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador (Francophone School Board), teach at a private school or at a post-secondary institution, or accept employment outside of education.

For more information please consult the NLTA Infosheet titled “Deferred Salary Leave Plan“.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Educational Leave

How do I apply and how does the process for selecting candidates work?] Application for Educational Leave is made to the school district. The deadline for applications to be received for leave in the 2016-17 year is January 15, 2016. Applications are available in mid-late October. Check the FORMS section at that time to obtain an application.

Once all applications are received they are ranked according to the district’s priority. The district forwards all the leave requests, along with its priorities to the Provincial Selection Committee consisting of representatives from the Department of Education, NLTA and the School Boards Association. The selection committee meets in late February or early March to make selection for leaves occurring during the following school year.

The selection process is detailed on the application. While no one factor determines whether a person is granted leave, district rankings are strongly considered. Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Employment Insurance

Substitute Teachers and Employment Insurance (EI)

Two documents are required to apply for regular EI benefits: an application form (available from any EI office or on-line) and a Record of Employment (ROE-sometimes called a Separation Certificate) which must be provided by employers when employment ends. The NL English School District (NLESD) uploads ROEs electronically to Service Canada. If you are working at more than one job, obtain a Record of Employment from each employer. Teachers who have not received their ROEs can, and should, file their application anyway so that their claims can start as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may lose benefits to which they are entitled. Additional documents may be required for special benefits. Online information is available at http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/ei/regular_benefit/eligibility.page

Employment Insurance claimants have a responsibility to seek employment and to accept offers of suitable employment. The expectations for the scope of a claimant’s job search will depend upon their contribution and claim history. Any assessment of a claimant’s job search will include consideration of available employment opportunities and commute time. When completing your application for regular benefits, make sure you provide examples of non-teaching positions as part of your job search. During the non-teaching period (July and August) you must look for non-teaching positions in order to remain eligible for regular benefits. DO NOT mention education or teaching as part of your potential job search on the application form. Make sure that your salary expectations are consistent with the examples of non-teaching positions noted on your application form. Should you not know the salary levels of those positions, ask your EI agent.

If you finish a term contract at the end of June but obtain another contract (term or permanent) for September during July or August, you must notify your EI agent as soon as possible of the date of acceptance of a contract. You may be dis-entitled to benefits as of this date.

For further information, please see the Teacher’s Guide to Employment Insurance.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Family Leave

Yes, all teachers are entitled to three family leave days as per clause clause 18.03 of the Provincial Collective Agreement (Clause 29.03 of the Labrador West Collective Agreement) which states:

A teacher shall be granted leave with pay, not exceeding three (3) days in the aggregate in a school year to attend to the temporary care of a sick family member; needs related to the birth of the employee’s child; medical or dental appointments for dependent family members; meetings with school authorities or adoption agencies; needs related to the adoption of a child; or home or family emergencies.

Teachers are not required to apply for family leave as it is considered non-discretionary leave. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District does have a leave tracking form for non-discretionary leave which teachers are required to complete. The form does not and should not require an explanation of the reason for the leave. Teachers can complete the form upon return to school if the leave was of an emergency nature. Please refer to the above clause for the criteria for family leave eligibility. Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Grievances / Legal

Grievances are dealt with in Article 31 of the Provincial Collective Agreement (Article 50 of the Labrador West Collective Agreement) and is defined in the Agreements as a dispute over the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of the Collective Agreement(s).

Administrative officers in NLTA Programs and Services are trained to assist teachers with questions about the interpretation, application and administration of the Agreement(s). If a teacher believes that he/she is aware of a possible violation of the Agreement(s) he/she is encouraged to contact an administrative officer in Programs and Services. It is important that teachers be aware that there exists timelines on the filing of grievances. Under our Agreements, grievances must be filed within 15 calendar days of the occurrence or discovery of an incident giving rise to the grievance. Grievances filed outside of this time frame can be ruled as abandoned.

The ultimate decision to file a grievance rests with the teacher. NLTA Programs and Services staff will advise on the merits of the grievance and will assist in the writing of a grievance letter. An administrative officer will also accompany and represent the teacher at the required meetings.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail: mail@nlta.nl.ca.

The NLTA offers a program of legal assistance to Association members. All requests for legal assistance must be initiated through the NLTA Programs and Services staff. The Association does not cover legal expenses for teachers who, of their own volition, retain the services of a lawyer and then request to have the expenses charged to, or reimbursed by, the NLTA.

When a teacher makes a request for legal assistance, an appropriate investigation of the facts of each case is conducted by administrative staff in Programs and Services who, through the Assistant Executive Director, are authorized to grant or deny a request for legal assistance. In general, the Association may grant permission for legal assistance to teachers who are involved in: arbitration cases; Teacher Certification reviews and appeals; Workers’ Compensation, Employment Insurance, TPP Disability, Long Term Disability insurance and CPP Disability appeals; and, other cases arising as a result of the individual’s role as a teacher. The Association’s Legal Assistance Policy covers procedure, policies, and appeals. For further information and to review the policy, teachers can read the infosheet titled “Legal Assistance for Teachers“.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail: mail@nlta.nl.ca.

 Group Insurance

If a teacher has opted out of an NLTA plan option to be covered by their spouse/partner’s plan, and the teacher is subsequently losing coverage under the spouse/partner’s plan. Then the teacher MUST contact the Plan Administrator, Johnson Inc. within 31 days of having their coverage terminated under their spouse/partner’s policy in order to apply to be automatically enrolled in the NLTA Group Insurance Program. Proof of termination of coverage and date of termination will be required. If a teacher who loses coverage notifies the Plan Administrator after the 31 days have expired, he/she will have to apply for coverage, and then eligibility and coverage will be dependent on the particular policy and for example, in the case of health and life insurance, may be subject to proof of medical insurability (good health), and coverage will become effective on the date the underwriter approves such evidence. Please contact the plan administrator, Johnson Inc. at 1-800-563-1528 or locally at 737-1528 to receive further information or to apply or receive applications.

There are some changes to policies upon retirement, but in general, yes, most coverages continue and applicable premiums are collected automatically through Pensions Payroll rather than Teachers Payroll. The transition is seamless and unseen by teachers when retiring. The exceptions are as follows – Long Term Disability and Basic Critical Illness policy coverage terminates upon retirement, and Basic Life insurance coverage changes from twice salary to twice pension and/or to $15, 000 at age 65. Every retiring teacher should check with the plan administrator, Johnson Inc. at 1-800-563-1528 or locally at 737-1528 to confirm their desired coverages at retirement, to make any desired changes, or to receive further information.

Leaves

Deferred Salary Leave

Interested teachers must apply to their school district Director prior to April 30 of the calendar year in which they intend to commence participation in the Deferred Salary Leave Plan (DSLP). In turn, the school board must notify the teachers by June 15 of acceptance or denial of their request. Approval of DSLP applications is at the discretion of the school board. However, as the collective agreements point out, an explanation must be provided if a teacher’s application is denied.

The plan options and payment formula are as set out in Article 51 of the Provincial Collective Agreement (Article 57 of the Labrador West Collective Agreement). There are three leave options: a two over three, three over four, and four over five program. This means, in essence, that depending on the option chosen, a teacher would work on reduced salary for two, three or four years and then be entitled to a leave of absence with accrued monies being paid during the period of leave. In this regard, all income deferred during the initial working years of the plan are held in trust for the teacher and, during the year of leave, the teacher is paid the accumulated funds plus compounded interest divided equally over twenty-six pay periods.

For more information and to access the DSLP application forms, teachers can visit the NLTA website here: Deferred Salary Leave Plan.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Educational Leave

How do I apply and how does the process for selecting candidates work?] Application for Educational Leave is made to the school district. The deadline for applications to be received for leave in the 2016-17 year is January 15, 2016. Applications are available in mid-late October. Check the FORMS section at that time to obtain an application.

Once all applications are received they are ranked according to the district’s priority. The district forwards all the leave requests, along with its priorities to the Provincial Selection Committee consisting of representatives from the Department of Education, NLTA and the School Boards Association. The selection committee meets in late February or early March to make selection for leaves occurring during the following school year.

The selection process is detailed on the application. While no one factor determines whether a person is granted leave, district rankings are strongly considered. Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Family Leave

Yes, all teachers are entitled to three family leave days as per clause clause 18.03 of the Provincial Collective Agreement (Clause 29.03 of the Labrador West Collective Agreement) which states:

A teacher shall be granted leave with pay, not exceeding three (3) days in the aggregate in a school year to attend to the temporary care of a sick family member; needs related to the birth of the employee’s child; medical or dental appointments for dependent family members; meetings with school authorities or adoption agencies; needs related to the adoption of a child; or home or family emergencies.

Teachers are not required to apply for family leave as it is considered non-discretionary leave. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District does have a leave tracking form for non-discretionary leave which teachers are required to complete. The form does not and should not require an explanation of the reason for the leave. Teachers can complete the form upon return to school if the leave was of an emergency nature. Please refer to the above clause for the criteria for family leave eligibility. Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Sick Leave

The formula for determining the amount of paid sick leave available to a teacher who is unable to perform their duties because of illness, injury or disability is outlined in the Collective Agreements. Teachers are eligible for paid sick leave, according to their years of service, based on the schedules outlined in Articles 15 and 27 (Sick Leave) of the Provincial and Labrador West Collective Agreements. Thus, a teacher’s sick leave availability for the upcoming year is calculated for each teacher at the beginning of each school year based on the teacher’s years of experience, the number of sick leave days previously used, and when the teacher first started teaching.

a) For teachers who taught in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to September 2006, sick leave is calculated by the years of service based on the table below, less the total number of days used in the last four calendar years.

First year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 days
Second year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .36 days
Third year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 days
Fourth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 days
Fifth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 days
Sixth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 days
Seventh year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157 days
Eighth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168 days
Ninth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 days
Thereafter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 days

Example: A teacher with 15 years of service would have 195 days sick leave available for 2015-16 minus the total number of days used in 2014-15, 2013-14, 2012-13, and 2011-12. This type of calculation is repeated each September of a new year.

It is also important to note that teachers with teaching experience in the province prior to September 1, 2006, are entitled to not less than eighteen (18) days’ sick leave in any school year. Thus, if the calculation above yields a result of less than 18 days, 18 days are placed in the teacher’s sick bank, less any amount borrowed the following year.

b) For teachers with no previous teaching experience prior to September 1, 2006: These teachers accrue sick leave at the rate of 12 days for every complete year of teaching service to a maximum of 240 days. The amount available in any particular year is: [Number of years of service] times [12] minus [any days previously used].

Example: A teacher with four complete years of service would have 48 days of sick leave minus the total number of sick leave days used in their career to date. So, if they have used 30 days over the course of their career, they would have 18 days remaining. Any amount borrowed in the previous year is subtracted from this amount.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

New Teacher Orientation

The NLTA, in collaboration with the school districts and Memorial University, offers a conference for beginning teachers – sometimes as a provincial event and sometimes regionally depending on numbers. This takes place early in the winter semester, January or February. The NLTA works with the school district in identifying eligible candidates.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail: mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Pensions

Buying Back Unpaid Leave

If you request a contract to purchase unpaid leave within 180 days of returning to work, the cost will be the premium that you would normally have paid had you been working and that premium will be matched by Government. If you request a contract after 180 days from returning to work (it could be years later), the cost will be full actuarial value with no Government contribution.

The procedure is as follows:
• Contact the Pensions Division at the Department of Finance by email at: pensions@gov.nl.ca to discuss eligibility
• Provide your name, SIN and mailing address
• Request a contract to purchase your unpaid leave time for pension purposes
• Pensions Division will send you a contract outlining the cost and options for payment. You will have 45 days to make a decision whether or not you wish to proceed with the contract.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca

Purchase Maternity Leave

If you request a contract to purchase maternity leave within 180 days of returning to work, the cost will be the premium that you would normally have paid had you been working and that premium will be matched by Government. If you request a contract after 180 days from returning to work (it could be years later), the cost will be full actuarial value with no Government contribution.

The procedure is as follows:
• Contact the Pensions Division at the Department of Finance by email at: pensions@gov.nl.ca to discuss eligibility
• Provide your name, SIN and mailing address
• Request a contract to purchase your maternity leave time for pension purposes
• Pensions Division will send you a contract outlining the cost and options for payment. You will have 45 days to make a decision whether or not you wish to proceed with the contract.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Pension Service in a Different Province

Yes, it is possible provided you meet the conditions which include you have left your service and contributions with the previous registered plan, i.e. you have not either received a refund of contributions or transferred the contributions to a RRSP.

In order to transfer pension service to the TPP from another registered pension plan, a teacher must contact the Pensions Division at the Department of Finance by email at: pensions@gov.nl.ca to discuss eligibility.
• Provide your name, SIN and mailing address
• State that you are interested in a contract to transfer/purchase pension service from another plan (outline the specific details)

Pensions Division will send you the appropriate forms to be completed and forms to be sent to the other plan in order to initiate the process. Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Substitute Service

Yes, provided you are employed in a term, replacement or permanent position at the time of making the request to purchase/transfer your substitute time into the main plan. The process is as follows:
• Contact the Pensions Division at the Department of Finance by email at: pensions@gov.nl.ca to discuss eligibility
• Provide your name, SIN and mailing address • Request a contract to purchase/transfer your substitute time to the main TPP
• Pensions Division will send you a contract outlining the cost and options for payment. If you have money in the Government Money Purchase Plan (GMPP) as a result of substituting since 1989 that money can be used to assist in the payment. Be advised that funds available in a teachers GMPP account are unlikely to be sufficient to cover the full cost of purchasing time within the TTP. You will have 45 days to make a decision whether or not you wish to proceed with the contract.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca

Professional Development

After School Professional Development

Participation by teachers at Professional Development sessions on weekends or after school is voluntary.

The Provincial and Labrador West Collective Agreements specifically deal with working on weekends. Articles 29.05 (Labrador West 17.05) states:  No teacher shall be required to be present for school duties on Saturday or Sunday.

Schedule E of both the Provincial and Labrador West Collective Agreements prevents the employer from altering conditions as they currently exist for teachers with respect to: (a) the length of the instructional day for students; (b) the hours of classroom instruction for teachers; and (c) the length of the work day for teachers.  Introducing mandatory after school professional development would be interpreted by the NLTA as violating Schedule E.

Check the PUBLICATIONS link to view the collective agreements online.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Support for Out of Province Travel for Professional Development

NLTA does provide support for out of province travel for professional development which is not funded through any of the existing NLTA professional development programs. The information and application regarding the Out-of-Province Grant is available under our FORMS link.

Teachers may be eligible for up to $500. It is important to note that the deadlines for submitting applications are strictly enforced and funding is not possible retroactively. Teachers must apply prior to traveling out of the province and before the established deadlines.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Professional Relations

Difficulty Working With Another Teacher

NLTA recommends that the individuals in question attempt to resolve their differences through personal discussion. The NLTA Code of Ethics, states:

(vi)  A teacher submits to the Association disputes arising from professional relationships with colleagues which cannot be resolved by personal discussion.

Members should note that contact with NLTA Administrative Officers is held in the strictest confidence. The advice provided will detail possible remedies including the availability of NLTA personnel who are trained in “dispute resolution” protocols and strategies.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Retired Teachers

Retired Teachers Wishing to Substitute

School districts may consider hiring retired teachers to fill vacancies when they experience difficulty recruiting non-retired teachers. However, to consider hiring a retired teacher, there must be no non-retired teacher available who meets the basic criteria for selection under the Teachers’ Collective Agreement. If there is no non-retired teacher available, retired teachers can receive approval from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Department of Finance to substitute. Even if a retired teacher is added to the substitute list for a school, preference must be given to hiring persons other than those in receipt of a government pension unless there are no other persons qualified to fill the position.

Retired teachers who have received severance may be re-employed as a teacher if he/she has been out of service as a teacher for a number of days equivalent to the severance pay received; otherwise, a refund of the appropriate proportionate part of severance pay is required.

Retired teachers who are approved to substitute can teach for a maximum of 65 days each school year and still be entitled to their pension. Without approval from the Minister of Finance or if a teacher teaches beyond 65 days in a school year, the pension is required to be suspended during any time the teacher is paid to teach. Retired teachers working as substitute teachers must not teach 20 continuous teaching days or more; if they do so, they are considered to be replacement teachers for pension purposes.

Retired teachers who are interested in substituting must apply directly to the school district.  Retired teachers are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible during the summer to allow time for the approval process.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

There are some changes to policies upon retirement, but in general, yes, most coverages continue and applicable premiums are collected automatically through Pensions Payroll rather than Teachers Payroll. The transition is seamless and unseen by teachers when retiring. The exceptions are as follows – Long Term Disability and Basic Critical Illness policy coverage terminates upon retirement, and Basic Life insurance coverage changes from twice salary to twice pension and/or to $15, 000 at age 65. Every retiring teacher should check with the plan administrator, Johnson Inc. at 1-800-563-1528 or locally at 737-1528 to confirm their desired coverages at retirement, to make any desired changes, or to receive further information.

Seniority

Seniority as a Substitute

You start accumulating seniority when you start teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador, in accordance with clause 9.01 of the Provincial Collective Agreement [clause 1.01(l) of the Labrador West Collective Agreement.] Seniority is defined as:

(a) “Seniority” herein shall be determined on the basis of the total length of time employed as a teacher in Newfoundland and Labrador both before and after the signing date of this agreement. (Effective September 1, 1994)…..
(c) Employment as a teacher referred to in (a) means periods of employment with all School Boards in the Province, schools operated by the Department of Education, schools in Churchill Falls and schools in Conne River.

Your seniority will be reflected on the Board’s seniority list once you have a permanent position.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Sick Leave

The formula for determining the amount of paid sick leave available to a teacher who is unable to perform their duties because of illness, injury or disability is outlined in the Collective Agreements. Teachers are eligible for paid sick leave, according to their years of service, based on the schedules outlined in Articles 15 and 27 (Sick Leave) of the Provincial and Labrador West Collective Agreements. Thus, a teacher’s sick leave availability for the upcoming year is calculated for each teacher at the beginning of each school year based on the teacher’s years of experience, the number of sick leave days previously used, and when the teacher first started teaching.

a) For teachers who taught in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to September 2006, sick leave is calculated by the years of service based on the table below, less the total number of days used in the last four calendar years.

First year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 days
Second year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .36 days
Third year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 days
Fourth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 days
Fifth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 days
Sixth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 days
Seventh year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157 days
Eighth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168 days
Ninth year of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 days
Thereafter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 days

Example: A teacher with 15 years of service would have 195 days sick leave available for 2015-16 minus the total number of days used in 2014-15, 2013-14, 2012-13, and 2011-12. This type of calculation is repeated each September of a new year.

It is also important to note that teachers with teaching experience in the province prior to September 1, 2006, are entitled to not less than eighteen (18) days’ sick leave in any school year. Thus, if the calculation above yields a result of less than 18 days, 18 days are placed in the teacher’s sick bank, less any amount borrowed the following year.

b) For teachers with no previous teaching experience prior to September 1, 2006: These teachers accrue sick leave at the rate of 12 days for every complete year of teaching service to a maximum of 240 days. The amount available in any particular year is: [Number of years of service] times [12] minus [any days previously used].

Example: A teacher with four complete years of service would have 48 days of sick leave minus the total number of sick leave days used in their career to date. So, if they have used 30 days over the course of their career, they would have 18 days remaining. Any amount borrowed in the previous year is subtracted from this amount.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Amount of Sick Leave a Teacher has Available

TCASS is the on-line computer software package available in each school in Newfoundland and Labrador which is used to track, among other things, teacher attendance. A teacher can ask their school secretary or school administrator to look up the number of sick leave days he/she has available as of a certain date in the TCASS system. This is found next to the teacher’s name under ‘general attendance’. If a teacher is in need of a more detailed report they should contact Teacher Payroll at PayRoll@gov.nl.ca

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Medical Notes

A medical certificate is required for sick leave in excess of four consecutive teaching days or for any day after seven days have been used in a year without a note.  Example: If a teacher is off work sick on Monday and Tuesday, and provides a doctor’s note for these two days, then the teacher has NOT used any of the seven days for which a note is not required. Thus, a teacher should always provide a note if they visit a doctor, dentist, or other medical specialist while off on sick leave, thereby preserving days for which no note is required.

The seven days without a note are not “extra” sick days. All sick leave utilized, with or without a note, are deducted from the teacher’s sick leave bank.

For further information about sick leave and other benefits that may be available to sick, ill or disabled teachers, see Info Sheet #2 (Sick and Can’t Work- What Then?).

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Special Interest Councils

Special Interest Councils are professional learning communities dedicated to life-long learning and the ongoing professional growth of NLTA members. Their mandate includes offering a range of professional development programs, including conferences, institutes, focus groups, teleconferences, and e-learning initiatives. Councils communicate with their membership using a variety of current technologies. As part of their mandate, the councils will respond to curriculum and program concerns, develop position papers on critical issues, work with government on curriculum development and advise the NLTA on matters of importance.

Currently there are nine special interest councils (click on the council name to access their webpage and more information):

•    Council of Special Services (COSS)
•    Math / Science
•    Music Council
•    Newfoundland and Labrador Counsellors’ and Psychologists’ Association (NLCPA)
•    Physical Education Council (PESIC)
•    Second Languages Council-Le Council des langues secondes
•    School Administrators’ Council (SAC)
•    Teacher Librarians Newfoundland Labrador (TLNL)
•    Technology Education Council (TESIC)

In addition to the councils listed above, members are encouraged to establish new Special Interest Councils that will help to meet the specific needs of our members. If you are working in one of these specialized areas, you may choose to join the appropriate council. By participating in Special Interest Council programming, you can avail of the latest information on methodologies, trends in particular disciplines, and changes in curriculum as they develop and emerge.

Special Interest Councils advertise their programs through The Bulletin, the NLTA website, school boards, schools and media. If you are a member of a Special Interest Council, you will be automatically notified of professional development opportunities. Since helping our membership become more effective teachers is always an overriding goal of this Association, the activities of our Special Interest Councils are geared to improving classroom practice.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Substitute Teaching

Retired Teachers Wishing to Substitute

School districts may consider hiring retired teachers to fill vacancies when they experience difficulty recruiting non-retired teachers. However, to consider hiring a retired teacher, there must be no non-retired teacher available who meets the basic criteria for selection under the Teachers’ Collective Agreement. If there is no non-retired teacher available, retired teachers can receive approval from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Department of Finance to substitute. Even if a retired teacher is added to the substitute list for a school, preference must be given to hiring persons other than those in receipt of a government pension unless there are no other persons qualified to fill the position.

Retired teachers who have received severance may be re-employed as a teacher if he/she has been out of service as a teacher for a number of days equivalent to the severance pay received; otherwise, a refund of the appropriate proportionate part of severance pay is required.

Retired teachers who are approved to substitute can teach for a maximum of 65 days each school year and still be entitled to their pension. Without approval from the Minister of Finance or if a teacher teaches beyond 65 days in a school year, the pension is required to be suspended during any time the teacher is paid to teach. Retired teachers working as substitute teachers must not teach 20 continuous teaching days or more; if they do so, they are considered to be replacement teachers for pension purposes.

Retired teachers who are interested in substituting must apply directly to the school district.  Retired teachers are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible during the summer to allow time for the approval process.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Seniority as a Substitute

You start accumulating seniority when you start teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador, in accordance with clause 9.01 of the Provincial Collective Agreement [clause 1.01(l) of the Labrador West Collective Agreement.] Seniority is defined as:

(a) “Seniority” herein shall be determined on the basis of the total length of time employed as a teacher in Newfoundland and Labrador both before and after the signing date of this agreement. (Effective September 1, 1994)…..
(c) Employment as a teacher referred to in (a) means periods of employment with all School Boards in the Province, schools operated by the Department of Education, schools in Churchill Falls and schools in Conne River.

Your seniority will be reflected on the Board’s seniority list once you have a permanent position.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Substitute Service

Yes, provided you are employed in a term, replacement or permanent position at the time of making the request to purchase/transfer your substitute time into the main plan.  The process is as follows:
•    Contact the Pensions Division at the Department of Finance by email at: pensions@gov.nl.ca to discuss eligibility
•    Provide your name, SIN and mailing address
•    Request a contract to purchase/transfer your substitute time to the main TPP
•    Pensions Division will send you a contract outlining the cost and options for payment.  If you have money in the Government Money Purchase Plan (GMPP) as a result of substituting since 1989 that money can be used to assist in the payment.  Be advised that funds available in a teachers GMPP account are unlikely to be sufficient to cover the full cost of purchasing time within the TTP. You will have 45 days to make a decision whether or not you wish to proceed with the contract.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Substitute Teachers and Employment Insurance (EI)

Two documents are required to apply for regular EI benefits: an application form (available from any EI office or on-line) and a Record of Employment (ROE-sometimes called a Separation Certificate) which must be provided by employers when employment ends. The NL English School District (NLESD) uploads ROEs electronically to Service Canada. If you are working at more than one job, obtain a Record of Employment from each employer. Teachers who have not received their ROEs can, and should, file their application anyway so that their claims can start as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may lose benefits to which they are entitled. Additional documents may be required for special benefits. Online information is available at http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/ei/regular_benefit/eligibility.page

Employment Insurance claimants have a responsibility to seek employment and to accept offers of suitable employment. The expectations for the scope of a claimant’s job search will depend upon their contribution and claim history. Any assessment of a claimant’s job search will include consideration of available employment opportunities and commute time. When completing your application for regular benefits, make sure you provide examples of non-teaching positions as part of your job search. During the non-teaching period (July and August) you must look for non-teaching positions in order to remain eligible for regular benefits. DO NOT mention education or teaching as part of your potential job search on the application form. Make sure that your salary expectations are consistent with the examples of non-teaching positions noted on your application form. Should you not know the salary levels of those positions, ask your EI agent.

If you finish a term contract at the end of June but obtain another contract (term or permanent) for September during July or August, you must notify your EI agent as soon as possible of the date of acceptance of a contract. You may be dis-entitled to benefits as of this date.

For further information, please see the Teacher’s Guide to Employment Insurance.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Substituting While On Deferred Salary Leave

Federal taxation legislation prohibits individuals from receiving salary from their employer during the leave year.  For example, this means that a teacher employed by the NL English School District (NLESD) who is off on his/her deferred leave year cannot work for or receive remuneration from the NLESD in any capacity, including as a substitute teacher, during the leave period.  He/she can, however, work as a substitute for the Conseil Scolaire Francophone provincial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador (Francophone school board), teach at a private school or at a post-secondary institution, or accept employment outside of education.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Substituting While On Paid Educational Leave

While on educational leave you are permitted to substitute. There is one restriction. You are paid 80% of salary while on leave and can only substitute for the amount of time that would bring you up to 100% (i.e. the remaining 20% salary).  If you do substitute for more than that, you are volunteering. No one can make more than his/her full salary in any given year.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca.

Teacher Certification

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has authority for teacher certification.

Complete information is available along with all forms as well as a FAQ section at: http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/teaching/certification.html

If you have any further questions regarding teacher certification in Newfoundland and Labrador, please contact:
Registrar of Teacher Certification
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
P.O. Box 8700
3rd Floor, West Block
Confederation Building
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Telephone: 1-709-729-3020
Fax: 1-709-729-5026
Email: teachercertification@gov.nl.ca

Upgrades to Teacher Certificates

With a Master’s Degree you may be eligible to move from fifth to sixth grade or from sixth to seventh grade. This depends on your specific education profile.  You must apply to the Registrar for Teacher Certification, complete the application for upgrading and pay the required fees. It is important for teachers who intend to upgrade their teaching certificate to get prior approval of their upgrade plan from the Registrar. In this province, Memorial University Education Programs are considered the standard. This means that the Registrar will evaluate other programs from other universities as compared to the requirements at Memorial University. A Master’s degree from other jurisdictions is not necessarily guaranteed to be accepted for upgrading purposes.

Complete information is available along with all forms as well as a FAQ section at: http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/teaching/certification.html

If you have any further questions regarding teacher certification in Newfoundland and Labrador, please contact:
Registrar of Teacher Certification
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
P.O. Box 8700
3rd Floor, West Block
Confederation Building
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Telephone: 1-709-729-3020
Fax: 1-709-729-5026
Email: teachercertification@gov.nl.ca

Workplace Safety

Injuries on the Job

Yes, any time an injury occurs while you are working and/or during any activity involving student(s) in which your involvement, whether mandatory or voluntary, is linked to your role and responsibilities as a teacher, the injury should be reported to your school principal and WorkplaceNL as it would be considered to be work-related and, therefore, compensable by WorkplaceNL.  In fact, your employer and your physician (if you require medical attention as a result of an injury at work) are legally required to report all workplace injuries directly to WorkplaceNL.

If you have to miss work due to a workplace injury, it is important to be aware that provincial legislation (Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act) determines the income benefit level for all employees who are injured on duty.  You cannot access paid sick leave if you are off work due to a workplace injury as the legislation states that employers, including school districts, may not pay an injured employee an amount in excess of that which the employee is entitled to under the Act.  The WorkplaceNL benefit level is 80 percent of net wages, with maximum earnings established yearly. The legislation defines “net” wages as gross income minus EI, CPP and Income Tax deductions. Any other deductions from the employee’s regular pay (e.g. group insurance premiums, pension premiums) will continue to be deducted from the WorkplaceNL benefit levels. While the WorkplaceNL benefits are set at the above percentage levels, teachers should be aware that the maximum insurable gross pay effective January 1, 2015, used in the calculation of benefits is $61,615 per annum ($2,370 bi-weekly). The 80 percent benefit will be calculated on the maximum insurable gross pay and not on the teacher’s actual gross pay, if the actual gross is greater than $61,615 annually ($2,370 bi-weekly).

Any teacher who has Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance coverage through the NLTA Group Insurance program will be entitled to receive a “Top Up” Benefit through the LTD coverage once they are in receipt of WorkplaceNL benefits for lost earnings. The LTD Top Up Benefit is non-taxable and will pay teachers the difference between 85 percent of their regular net income and the WorkplaceNL benefit received. Under the LTD Top Up Benefit program, net income is defined as gross salary, less Income Tax, Employment Insurance premiums, and Canada Pension Plan contributions. In order to qualify for this benefit, the teacher must be a member of the LTD benefit plan under the NLTA Group Insurance program and must complete the applicable application. Applications are available from the NLTA office

Whether or not you miss any time from work due to a workplace injury, WorkplaceNL benefits for other expenses may be payable. For example, fees for medical reports, physiotherapy, chiropractic services, prescription medication, crutches and prostheses, and travel expenses for attending appointments are covered by WorkplaceNL.

For further information, please see the NLTA Infosheet titled “Injury on Duty and Workers’ Compensation“.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca

Right to Refuse

Pursuant to section 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), employers in Newfoundland and Labrador must, within reasonably practical limits, provide a work environment that ensures the health and safety of its employees. Accordingly, teachers have the right to work in an environment that is as safe as is reasonably practicable. If you believe that your workplace is unsafe, you should first make your concerns known to your school administration. If your concerns are not adequately addressed at that level, then you can submit a report to the WorkplaceNL/Representative for your school (under the OHSA, every school must have an OHS Committee or an OHS Representative, depending on the number of employees in the school). The employer must respond in writing within 30 days following receipt of a recommendation from an OHS Committee.

If a teacher has reasonable grounds to believe that specific work circumstances are dangerous to his/her health and safety and has brought this to the attention of his/her principal, that teacher has the right, pursuant to the OHSA and the OHS Regulations, to refuse unsafe work until remedial action has been taken. Employees who exercise the right to refuse can be reassigned to other work if available. Whenever possible, any teacher who feels their situation may warrant this type of response should contact the NLTA for advice and assistance before exercising the right of refusal under the OHSA.

Further information can be obtained by contacting an administrative officer in Programs & Services at the NLTA at 726-3223 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3599 or by e-mail mail@nlta.nl.ca