School board teachers come to terms

With a simple “yea, yea, yea,” trustees with the Rainy River District School Board ratified three contract agreements reached with three different unions at their monthly meeting Tuesday night at Donald Young School in Emo.
All three contracts were two-year agreements, retroactive to Sept. 1, 2002 and running to Aug. 31, 2004.
Tuesday afternoon, the local Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario membership ratified their agreement reached with the school board last week, freeing the board to ratify the deal itself Tuesday night, Education Director Warren Hoshizaki noted.
Meanwhile, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 5B ratified their agreement with the board last Friday with 90 percent in favour—paving the way for ratification by the board Tuesday night.
In both deals, teachers will receive a 2.5 percent salary increase retroactive to Sept. 1, 2002, and then a 1.0 percent increase retroactive to Feb. 1, 2003.
On Sept. 1, 2003, teachers will see another 2.5 percent increase and a further increase of 1.0 percent on Feb. 1, 2004.
This represents a three percent annualized cost to the board.
Elementary teachers who participate in extra-curricular activities that involve more than 50 hours will receive one personal leave day per year. A per diem rate of $25 will be paid to the principal’s designate for a half-day or less, and $50 for more than one half-day up to one full instructional day.
As well, each elementary teacher will receive a half-day for each of three reporting periods each school year to a total of 1.5 days for the purpose of preparing report cards.
This year being shortened, teachers will receive half-a-day for report card preparation. Finally, elementary teachers will receive additional maternity benefits.
High school teachers will see a slight change in their contract regarding personal leave. Teachers now will be entitled to one full PL day for 0-99 accumulated sick days and two days for 100-200 days of accumulated sick leave.
Previously it was set at one PL day for 50-99 accumulated sick days. Also, teachers will reimburse the board for one additional PL day at the full cost of an OT.
Effective September, 2003, secondary teachers will have access to a course subsidy plan where the board will contribute up to $6,000 per year to a fund for professional development to a cap of $12,000.
Work Load Provisions Agreement, originally ratified on Nov. 8, 2002, will be incorporated into this collective agreement
The board will pay for secondary school teachers’ first criminal record check in respect to incumbent teachers in 2003, provided the teacher participates in process operated by the Ontario Education Services Corp.
Finally, performance appraisals of all teachers under the OSSTF contract will be conducted in accordance with the Education Act and its regulations as they are amended from time to time.
The final contract ratified Tuesday night was a two-year deal with board support staff, including custodial and secretarial staff, represented by CUPE Local 65.
Salary increases in this contract, ratified by membership on April 5, will see a three percent increase retroactive to Sept. 1, 2002 and another three percent increase on Sept. 1, 2003.
Other details of this agreement include wording revisions to the sections in their contract on casual employees, time off in lieu of overtime, paid holidays, and general leave.
The new contract also will see the deletion of the section on travel allowance.
“I am very pleased to have these contracts settled for the next two years,” said Hoshizaki. “It allows for stability in our district schools and we can concentrate on programs and the success of students.”
(Fort Frances Times)