A former Member of the OPC who retired and returns to work for a school board in a temporary role as a school or system administrator has the option of joining the OPC as a Member on term assignment.  

Normally, working as a “supply” principal or vice-principal must end after the month in which the individual reaches 50 days of re-employment. 

There have been times when the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, which oversees the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), has extended the ability to work without a suspension of a retiree’s pension from 50 to 95 days (subject to certain preconditions). This decision has been made due to shortages and typically has not been made until approximately the middle of the existing school year. You can review the OTF, OTPP and OPC websites for announcements should there be an increase in days and under what conditions the extension may exist.  

You must review the current terms of re-employment annually and ensure that you follow them, as a miscalculation in available days can result in a suspension of your pension. 

The fee for Members on term assignment is 60 per cent of the current annual OPC Member fee and is tax deductible. 

This fee is unchanged, notwithstanding the possible increase in the number of days a Member on term assignment can work. In exchange for the fee, Members on term assignment can 

  • seek advice and support from the OPC in accordance with the Protective Services Policy 

  • enjoy the same opportunities to participate in professional development at the Member rate 

  • receive access to The Register and PST Resources via the website  

  • receive weekly President’s Messages and 

  • receive other timely communications from the OPC. 

Note that if a term assignment exceeds the limits, and following the Member’s notification to the OTPP, the full membership fee must be remitted forthwith to maintain entitlement to the benefits of membership. 

The following are some questions retirees seeking re-employment in a “term” or “supply” position would want to raise with the board. There is no common agreement for this position; you are essentially negotiating a personal services contract. The document to reflect your agreement can range from an offer letter, in which the board dictates (usually very minimal) terms, a formal contract, or you can even negotiate terms by way of an exchange of written correspondence (such as email). The questions below provide some guidance with respect to potentially beneficial terms that can be negotiated into these agreements. 

*If returning as an occasional teacher, the former OPC Member must join the relevant occasional teachers’ union.

 What is the term of the agreement?

Ensure that the agreement acknowledges your desire to avoid violating the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) re-employment requirements. 

If you work past the month in which you complete 50 days of employment, you will resume contributing to your pension, and will be required to repay contributions retroactively from your first day of work. To avoid any confusion around this issue, particularly if there has been a temporary extension, be sure to consult with the OTPP prior to starting any re-employment assignment. 

What are the expectations for the role?

The agreement should stipulate that you will work on the school days set out in the school year calendar (unless you are willing to work at other times). 

Confirm whether you will be required to attend at a school or the board office or potentially even work from home. If you have any plans that will require you to take time off, special arrangements should be noted. 

What is the daily rate? Are any other perquisites available? 

  • Some boards pay a flat rate no matter the length of the supply contract, while others pay a different rate for daily work than they do for long-term assignments (typically10 or more consecutive days) 

  • Inquire about whether you will be participating in professional development (PD), including PD days and/or if you will be provided with funds for self-directed PD. 

  • Note that retirees are ineligible to participate in the ONE-T benefits plan. 

  • Any other perquisites will depend entirely on your negotiation of them and are not normally offered. Review the local terms and conditions (T&C) for items that should be negotiated such as mileage, allowances for internet and cell phone costs. Do not assume that what is provided to permanent principals and vice-principals will automatically be provided to you. 

Will the board offer any paid sick leave?

If you are signing on to a long-term position of consecutive weeks or months, paid sick leave comparable to what is currently in local agreements, such as a day or two a monthmay be a suitable request and should be negotiated in your agreement with the board. 

Will the board defend and indemnify you if there’s litigation?
This is likely, given that the insurance policies would cover anyone acting as an agent for the board. However, some districts provide indemnification protections to their full-time principals and vice-principals beyond what’s included in insurance policies. Retirees will only get these additional protections if they negotiate them into their contracts. 

Will the board pay for your OCT fees?

Since you are in high demand, you may be able to negotiate this.

Will the board pay for OPC term membership?

Since you are in high demand, you may be able to negotiate this.

Our Membership for term assignment has benefited individuals who have faced Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) complaints against them, allegations of abuse to the Children's Aid Society (CAS)/police, as well as many instances where peer support has been beneficial in handling conflict with staff and/or parents at the school. Complaints against administrators are on the rise, and a membership for term assignment can provide you with the peace of mind that you will have support should you need it.  


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