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Frequently Asked Questions

Class Sizes
Mutual Agreemnt


Additional Professional Assignments, or APAs, are additional coverages that you may be asked to provide to supervise students around the school building or by covering another class.  APAs are a half period in length and not to be split into different parts of the day.  No teacher should be asked to or offer to do two APAs in one day.  Are per our collective agreement (2019-2022), each full time teacher can be assigned up to 46 APA's a year.  Some teachers, including PORs, part-time teachers, and coop teachers receive a reduction in their APA maximums.  No APA should conflict with a teacher receiving a 40 minute uninterrupted lunch.


A teachers Annual Learning Plan (ALP) is due once a year on the last day of October.  The ALP is teacher developed and outlines some of your professional goals for the current school year.  OSSTF D16 T/OT Ed Services Committee has created an ALP Generator, on the Ed Services Committee page, to help you complete this.  

Teachers in their TPA or NTIP year do not have to complete their ALP until after their evaluation and in consultation with their administration.


Benefits for contract teachers are provided by Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP). 
Check out this Benefits-at-a-Glance document for a quick reference to your benefit plan.

Part-time teachers are eligible for benefits but pay an increased portion of the premium based on your FTE.

LTO teachers are eligible for benefits if your LTO is for 90 days or longer.

OT's are eligible for a reduced cost plan, different from the contract teacher/LTO plan through OTIP if they work at least 80 days in the school year. 

Contact OTIP for more information: 1-866-783-6847


Effective September 1, 2023 direct billing of plan member contributions will be implemented for eligible OSSTF Teachers who are in an eligible Long Term Occasional Teaching position of 90 calendar days or longer. 


Effective February 1, 2024, direct billing of plan member contributions (rather than payroll deduction for active plan members) for all remaining and newly eligible OSSTF members will be implemented. Further detailed general information will be communicated to all from OSSTF Benefits prior to this transition, and detailed requests will be sent by OTIP to affected plan members to obtain the PAD authorization prior to the February 1, 2024 transition date.

Please read this letter from OTIP about this change or contact OTIP directly for more information.


OSSTF members can receive their Certification Rating Statement through QECO, the Qualifications Evaluation of Ontario.  Members apply for their initial rating statement to ensure that you are paid correctly on the salary grid.  QECO also provides recommendations for course pathways (i.e. honours specialist or three-part specialists) that you may take to move across the grid.

Changes in OSSTF certification/QECO that result in a change of category are due by:

  • December 31 to receive retroactive pay to September 1

  • May 1 for semester 2 to receive retroactive pay to January 1

"If this is impossible through no fault of the teacher, that a "notice of expected change" along with an explanation of the delay in filing the new Certification Rating Statement is filed with the Board by December 1 of that year. Failing this, the salary increase shall be made effective on the 1st day of the month following the month in which the new Certification Rating Statement was filed with the Board."

Class Sizes

Class size guidelines are in the Staffing Workload Protocol on the BWW.

Class size maximums may be "pierced" by up to two students.  The school Branch President and In School Staffing Committee members should be aware of all pierced classes to assist with completing the report.  There are limits on how many classes can be pierced at each school and how many sections can be pierced for an individual teacher.

Position of Responsibility (POR) FAQs

A Position of Responsibility (POR) is a leadership role within the school and within your subject department.  A department must have a minimum of 6-sections to have a POR, except in the case of a new school.  A POR term is 4-years, with the exception of Interim (one year or less with quals) or Acting (one year or less, without quals) PORs which are only one year in length.  

Our Collective Agreement outlines most FAQ about PORs.

Roles and Responsibilities: See L.D.2.0 
POR Levels, Allowances, and Assistant POR: See L.B.4.0

APA Maximum for PORs: See L.E. 

Since a POR term is only 4-years, each year, beginning in November, PORs which come due that June will be posted as vacancies.  Any full time secondary teacher with the qualifications (specialist or honours specialist in one area of the subject grouping) may apply.  Current PORs should be notified by their school administration.  Incumbents may reapply for their POR.  As a courtesy, the D16 T/OT office typically puts out a request for current PORs to contact us and indicate if they are reapplying.  Those seeking a POR may also call in to find out in the incumbent is reapplying or not. 

Acting PORs are members who fill the role of a POR but do not hold the qualifications.  A POR vacancy must be posted multiple times before unqualified members can apply.  See the current year Staffing Timelines to find out what the current number of 

Board Powerpoint: Application Process and Role Expectations (2022) (BWW)

Mutual Agreement: Teaching Outside of your Qualifications

Teacher qualifications are an indication that they have the knowledge and skills needed to provide the best possible program in a particular subject and to ensure the safety and well-being of students.


In certain circumstances, the assignment of a teacher who does not have the required qualifications is possible as long as the principal and the teacher are in agreement about the assignment and the assignment has the approval of the appropriate supervisory officer. (Teacher Assignment in Ontario Schools:  A Resource Guide, March 2011)

Board Qualifications Document (BWW)

Mutual Agreement: When a teacher does not have the specific subject qualifications but at the request of the school administration, they are willing to teach a course outside of their OCT qualifications, this is done on Mutual Agreement.  They must sign off on a specific course code for the semester.  This is a one-time agreement and needs to be completed each time a request is made.  In certain circumstances, a TLA may be required.


Temporary Letter of Approval (TLA): A TLA requires Ministry approval and the purpose is to allow a teacher to teach in a division or a specific area of need (Technological Education, French as a Second Language (FSL), Special Education).  TLAs are generally considered in June after the search for a qualified candidate has resulted in the need. TLAs are not used to secure an existing teacher in a school during the staffing cycle, however, this may become necessary once no qualified candidate can be found. The school administrator must request a TLA through Human Resource Services which is then sent to the Ministry of Education for approval.

School Surplus / System Surplus

  • School Surplus: Based off each schools enrolment and a request of sections from each schools ISC team, the board distributes staffing allocations (the number of FTE teachers) to each school.  Each school compares their current staff list to their staffing allocation to determine if they have more or fewer teachers than they have been allocated.  If they have more, they have a school surplus.  School surplus teachers have not lost their job, they will be placed at another school in the board.  Should a position become available at the school a teacher was declared surplus from, the teacher has a right to recall for up to two years.  At the time of surplus, a recall letter must be completed if you would like to be called back when a position opens.

  • System Surplus (Redundancy): The board compares board level enrollment and funding to determine the number of teaching staff they need for the system.  If they have more contract teachers than the system needs, there is a system surplus.  When declared a surplus to the system, the board does not have a full-time teaching position for you.

  • Should the board not have a position for you, whether through a system surplus, or during the school surplus placement meetings, as per our Collective Agreement: L.D., the board will find a permanent alternative assignment at full regular salary and benefits for at least one year (if employed with the board less than 5 years) or for two years (if employed with the board for 5 years or more).

Severe Weather Policy (formerly Inclement Weather Policy)

Review Board Severe Weather Policy Memo (BWW) for more clarity and the most updated information. 
As of Nov 2022 there are three types of weather days:

  1. Extreme Cold:  Schools operate as normal, except student transportation is cancelled.

  2. Inclement Weather: Schools operate as normal, except student transportation is cancelled.  Staff are expected to attend their regular work location.  In the event this is not possible, they should attend an alternate YRDSB school and notify their administration.  If this is not possible, they must contact their administration to explain their efforts to attend.  If, in collaboration with the Superintendent, and administration it is determined that the staff member has not made sufficient efforts to report to their regular or an alternate work location, the employee will be informed that there may be a loss in pay. 

  3. Emergency Weather Day:  This is a system closure.  All schools, workplaces and board offices will be closed due to an extreme weather event.

Sick Days /
Sick Leave

Full-time teachers have 11 personal illness days and 5 "bucket" days.  Details on what bucket days can be used for and their limits are outlined in our collective agreement.  If you exceed the maximum number of bucket days or the maximum allowance for a particular type, you will be unpaid.  If you exhaust your personal illness days, you have access to short term disability days.  Sick Leave Graphic      Bucket Day Graphic

Part-time teachers have prorated sick leave.  Every teacher can access their balance of days under the "my absences" tab in the Employee Self Serve area of the BWW.  Be aware that this list is not always reflective of the current date.

Absences can be coded for 1 period (0.33 deduction), 2 periods (0.67 deduction) or 3 periods/full day (1.0 deduction).  For example, if you are missing half a day, with one class and your prep period, code a one-period absence for a 0.33 deduction to your sick bank.  

APA period - if you will be absent for only you APA, review this Board Memo.  There is no deduction to your sick leave.


New-Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) involves two evaluations in the first 12 months of employment with the board.  There should be one in each semester. 
Board NTIP Handbook for Teachers (BWW)

NTIP Process Slidedeck (from Board)


Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) occurs once every five years.  A teacher should be notified about their upcoming TPA within 20 school days of their TPA cycle year. 


TPA Resources from the Board (BWW):

If you are teaching a community class see the TPA Supplement for Community Classes (BWW).  

TPA Observation Guide - Classroom Teacher

TPA Observation Guide - Consultant/Coordinator

TPA Observation Guide - Coop Educator

TPA Observation Guide - Guidance Counsellor

TPA Observation Guide - Teacher: Blind/Deaf

TPA Observation Guide - Teacher/Librarian

TPA - Observation Guide - Student Success

TPA Supplement for Community Classes (BWW)


Pre-evaluation should happen within 2 days prior to the the classroom observation.

Post-evaluation should happen ASAP but no later than 20 school days after classroom observation.

Written report is due no later than 20 days after classroom visit.


A teacher can apply for a TPA exemption or deferral (BWW). An exemption changes your cycle year.  A deferral does not change the cycle year. See the details in the board TPA memo (BWW)

Inclement Weather Policy
Sick Days/Leave
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