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Voluntary Redeployment of Education Sector Workers During COVID-19

Backgrounder

Voluntary Redeployment of Education Sector Workers During COVID-19

Office of the Premier

The Ministry of Education, along with trustees' associations and union representatives, have developed and endorsed a framework which will allow the temporary voluntary redeployment of eligible education sector staff, while maintaining their employment status and compensation with their school board.

Voluntary redeployment is part of an ongoing provincial initiative to address staffing shortages in critical sectors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

ELIGIBLE STAFF

Redeployment is voluntary and has been endorsed by all four trustees' associations and the following unions and councils of unions at the provincial/central level:

  • Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
  • Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO)
  • Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
  • Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)
  • Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA)

Employees who are required to support Continuity of Learning in the education sector will not be eligible for temporary redeployments, such as instructional and special education teachers, and certain IT employees.

Most other employees are eligible, subject to the local school board's operational needs. This includes those working in custodial and maintenance roles, children and youth services, social workers, paraprofessionals, office support staff, and educational assistants.

Occasional teachers and casual education worker staff who are not currently working and potentially receiving federal supports are also eligible.

REDEPLOYMENT LOCATION

Education workers who register could be matched with opportunities based on their skill set, staffing needs and region.

Staffing needs will vary across the province. Employers urgently seeking staffing support are hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, women's shelters and other congregate care settings for vulnerable populations.

Staff who volunteer to be redeployed may or may not be deployed to a location with an active COVID-19 outbreak. A temporary redeployment may be terminated at any time by the employee, the employer of the employee's home position, or the receiving employer.

SUPPORTS FOR REDEPLOYED STAFF

Compensation and Benefits: Employees will maintain their employment status and compensation (salary and benefits) with their school board, in accordance with their collective agreement.

Health and Safety: The health and safety of all employees is a top priority. Before school board employees begin any temporary redeployment, the receiving employer will provide onboarding, training and appropriate safety equipment.

Pandemic Pay: On April 25, the Premier announced temporary pandemic pay for frontline workers including a $4 per hour worked pandemic premium, and a lump sum payment of $250 per month if working over 100 hours per month. Temporarily redeployed employees can receive the temporary pandemic pay if they and the worksite meet the eligibility criteria.

Childcare: Employees who are voluntarily redeployed would be eligible for emergency child care should it be necessary. Staff interested in finding out more about registration and locations of emergency childcare should contact their local Child Care Service System Mangers.

HOW TO APPLY

Education sector staff who wish to volunteer will receive further information from their local employers. Local school boards and local unions must first sign an agreement to permit redeployment for employees who wish to volunteer. School boards will review applications for volunteers based on their operational requirements. It may not be feasible for all staff who wish to volunteer to have their request granted.

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