Other Teaching Roles: Are You Protected?
Under the Education Act, teachers become members of ETFO bargaining units when they teach in English language public schools in Ontario. The federation has the right, and the obligation, to represent all teachers in the bargaining unit with respect to their terms and conditions of employment as public school teachers.
When a school board offers a qualified ETFO teacher a role in any way connected with teaching in an English language public school in , that teacher should be governed by the relevant collective agreement, and should be paying dues to ETFO.
This is true even if the duties offered to the teacher are:
ETFO members asked to take on unique or unusual teaching roles for school boards must ensure they are governed by the terms and conditions of the collective agreement.
ETFO Services to Members
ETFO provides an umbrella of protective services to members when they are performing their teaching duties in public schools. Such services include:
ETFO has established criteria for assessing when advice and legal support will be provided to members. The key criterion is whether or not the event in question is connected to the member’s performance of his or her duties as a public school teacher.
If the events are not connected to teaching duties under the collective agreement, legal support will not be provided by ETFO.
ETFO teachers should resist entering into any type of “contract” for teaching services, no matter how limited they appear to be, unless they are sure that this type of teaching permits coverage under the collective agreement and the remission of union dues to ETFO.
Personal Service ContractsIf a teacher decides to work outside of his or her regular teaching duties with a school board or with another employer, any legal issues connected to this work will not fall within ETFO’s mandate or criteria for legal approvals.
If an ETFO teacher signs personal service contracts with school boards to offer coaching services, marking services over the summer, tutoring services, or other types of services outside their regular teaching day, this individual contract may expose the teacher to legal liability. ETFO will have no role in negotiating personal service contracts or enforcing them.
The federation’s protective services department cannot offer advice to teachers about the negotiation or terms of such individual service contracts, or provide advice about any problems that arise in relation to them. The teacher who enters into these arrangements does so as an individual, and not as an ETFO member.
Legal support and legal advice will not be extended to ETFO members to assist them in their employment or other obligations under any contract except the collective agreement under which they perform their teaching duties.
Often, ETFO members volunteer for activities in their communities. Any legal issues that arise in such circumstances are the teacher’s own responsibility. These issues are unconnected to ETFO’s mandate.
For that reason, ETFO frequently warns its members about volunteering for activities which are not connected to teaching duties, and which involve potential legal risks. These activities may include coaching a sports team in the community, driving families or students to social or sporting events on weekends or after school, camping activities with students or community members, or other similar activities. All these activities involve the teacher as a community member in his or her individual capacity, not as an ETFO member performing the daily work of teaching.
ETFO members should refrain from accepting employment with a school board under a personal service contract without first discussing it with the ETFO provincial office.
ETFO members should seek legal advice from their own personal lawyers if they have any issues arising from employment or activities outside of teaching.
Members are advised to consult Professional Relations staff in Protective Services at 416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836 for additional advice.