PSFA Regulations Filed (Hiring Practices and Sick Leave Provisions 2012-2013)
On September 12, 2012, sections 1 through 19 (inclusive) and 21 of the Putting Students First Act, 2012 (”PSFA”) were proclaimed in force. The restraint period applies retroactively, as outlined in the Act.
On that date, the Ontario government filed a new regulation under the Education Act with respect to hiring practices. It is important to note this regulation was filed under the broad regulation-making powers set out in the Education Act, rather than the narrower powers established under the PSFA. Among other things, O. Reg. 274/12:
- provides rules for the ranking of occasional teachers by seniority;
- prescribes information to be included in the roster of occasional teachers;
- requires boards to create a “long-term occasional teachers list;”
- prescribes conditions under which an occasional teacher may apply to the board to be placed on the long-term occasional teachers list;
- establishes a minimum notice requirement for the posting of long-term assignment or permanent teaching positions;
- establishes a seniority-based framework for assignments or appointments of qualified occasional teachers to long-term assignments;
- establishes a seniority-based framework for assignments or appointments to permanent positions; and
- outlines the rights of unsuccessful candidates.
This regulation came into force on September 12, 2012. As a regulation under the Education Act, it applies to all school boards and, by section 277.13 of the Education Act, it prevails over any collective agreement.
On October 5, 2012, the Ontario government filed a new regulation under the PSFA.
O. Reg. 313/12 (Sick Leave Provisions, 2012–2013) applies with respect to school board employees’ eligibility for sick leave during the board’s 2012-2013 fiscal year, whether under paragraphs 9 and 10 of subsection 2(1) of the PSFA (for employees who do not bargain collectively) or under subsection 4(1) of the PSFA (for employees who bargain collectively). The regulation clarifies, among other things, that employees who have exhausted their sick leave benefits prior to the commencement of the 2012-13 school year and who remain absent due to illness or disability as of that date will qualify for the sick leave benefits contemplated by the PSFA without first having to return to work.
Regulation 313/12 also clarifies board employees’ salaries while on sick leave pending the outcome of an adjudicative process, for the board’s 2012-2013 fiscal year. Specifically, where an employee has exhausted his or her 10 days at 100% but may qualify for a further period at 90% entitlement, he or she shall be paid on that basis during the adjudicative process. If the adjudicated result determines that he or she is only entitled to 66.67%, he or she will not be required to repay the difference paid to that point in time.
This regulation is deemed to have come into force on September 1, 2012.