“Cone of Silence” – Central Placement Meetings
Tuesday, May 19 marks the start of the staffing period known as the “Cone of Silence”. Transfer requests, and the placement process – which is likely to include bumping again this year – will begin on Thursday, May 21 and continue to Wednesday June 3. Teachers will learn their placement status when the Cone of Silence period ends, June 8.
At the Central Staffing Table from the TDSB – Andrew Gold, Senior Manager, Employee Services – Secondary Staffing, David Moore, Central Coordinating Principal, Employee Services – Secondary Teaching, the board Staffing Officers, Sandi Tierney -East and Lynda Brewer -West, Bonnie Sheehan, Staffing/Seniority Analyst, Nadia D’Ambrosio, Assistant Staffing Administrator and an advisory group of principals, two from each quadrant.
At the Central Staffing Table from OSSTF– Leslie Wolfe, Lisa Black-Meddings, Hayssam Hulays, Angie Romo and Michelle Teixeira. OSSTF’s role at the Central Staffing Table is to oversee the process to ensure adherence to the staffing rules.
Staffing Committees during the Cone of Silence
School Staffing Committees will not meet during the Cone of Silence staffing period, and Principals are expected to maintain confidentiality (as all staffing committee and central staffing people are throughout the process) during this time. This should mean that no information is available about the staffing disposition of any member.
This period of imposed silence protects members from the roller coaster ride effect that would otherwise be experienced by them during central staffing as over the course of the next couple of weeks an individual may be surplus, placed, bumped, placed again, bumped again and finally placed.
Bumping – Why and How?
Bumping is the process by which we ensure system-wide seniority guides placement into jobs. It occurs in years when the board determines that the number of teachers who have been declared surplus to school is too large to guarantee jobs based on the number of known vacancies. While teachers surplus to school are the most junior on that particular staff (subject to program needs), due to individual school allocation variations, some schools must declare many more teachers surplus than others. For example, School A declared 23 teachers surplus; School B declared 3 teachers surplus. School A’s most senior surplus teacher has 20 years of experience. School B’s senior surplus teacher has 4 years of experience so, across the system, teachers who hold greater seniority than their counterparts in other schools, are often on the surplus list.
The bumping process entails reviewing the qualifications of teachers who are on the Surplus to School against the seniority/qualifications list of those teachers who remained at their home school during the in-school staffing process. The Central Staffing Committee reviews the most senior surplus teacher’s qualifications and looks for the most junior teacher in the system with those same qualifications (or the timetable that the senior teacher can teach). The most senior teacher then bumps that junior teacher. That junior teacher is then placed on the Surplus to School list, in their place in seniority order, and we continue the process until we’ve reached the end of the Surplus to School List. At that point we start again to ensure no one who was bumped and therefore placed on the surplus list holds qualifications that would entitle them to a timetable held by someone junior to them. This process is repeated until the Surplus List is made up of only the most junior teachers in the system.
On June 8 teachers who applied for a transfer, teachers who were surplus to school and teachers who were bumped during the “Cone of Silence” period will find out whether their transfer request was successful, whether they have been placed or whether they are on the tentative Surplus to Board list respectively.
Staffing Committees will meet to review the effects of the Central Staffing Table work on their school’s staffing including any pullbacks, vacancies, bumping and placements, and will continue to meet to stay up to date on continued changes as they occur.
Post June 8
An information meeting for those who are Tentatively Surplus to Board as of June 8 will be held by OSSTF at the Union Office, 1482 Bathurst Street, 4th floor, on Tuesday, June 9 at 4:30 pm.
Central Staffing will continue to meet throughout June and through to the middle of July, placing those teachers who are Surplus to Board as vacancies arise.
The Union Office during Staffing
During the course of the Central Staffing Process, the above-named OSSTF Staffing Officers will often be out of the office. Each will have access to email and will respond as able. If your situation is urgent, call the office, explain the circumstance and ask to speak to an available member of the Executive.
We appreciate your understanding during this time.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the staffing process or any other union-related matter, don’t hesitate to be in touch with your Executive Officer.