Professional Development Fund
SCHOOLS’ PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BUDGET
According to Article XVIII of the Collective Agreement, the Board shall allocate funds each school year for the sole purpose of funding Professional Development activities for teachers covered under the Collective Agreement.
This school fund is administered at each worksite by a committee of teachers plus the Administrator. The Union Steward is Chair of this Committee. Funds not spent by August 31 are rolled over to the next school year.
Your P.D. Account Number will be used when you fill out either the Payment Voucher/Cheque Request Form (yellow) or the P.D. School Expense Form (gold). It will also be used by your secretary when they electronically record the use of an occasional teacher when a staff member attends a conference. It is not to be used for the use of an occasional teacher for track and field or other school related events.
The Role of the Union Steward:
- The Union Steward is ‘Chair’ of the school’s P.D. Committee. The Committee must comprise a minimum of 3 people (including the Administrator and Chair) and preferably more committee members depending on the size of the staff. The size of the committee should, for voting purposes, be an odd number.
- The Chair, along with the committee, can approve/deny all or some of the funds requested. This will depend on the amount of money in the P.D. Budget and the school’s criteria.
- Ensure all forms and supporting documents are submitted to the GEETF office for reimbursement/payment approval.
- Track/monitor the activity in the school’s P.D. account. The GEETF office will provide a print out to each steward up to three (3) times per school year as provided to us from the GEDSB. Alternatively, you may also request a print out from your school secretary or administrator at any time. Please note: the GEETF office does not have access to the accounts on the SDS accounting system. Please carefully watch entries which read as “payroll” as this means that an occasional teacher (OT) has been charged against your account. In the past we have found the P.D. accounts numbers were used in error when a teacher attended a workshop that should have been charged elsewhere. It may take 4 – 6 weeks for a reversal to reflect in the account.
- Notify the GEETF office of any discrepancies in the account according to your records. We will work with GEDSB’s Business Services to have any errors corrected.
- Each year, the Union Steward and their P.D. Committee should review their “Criteria for Use of Funds”. A copy of the latest criteria must be sent to the GEETF office. The school-based criteria must be aligned with GEETF criteria and principles for prioritizing use of school-based P.D. Funds (identified at the end of this document).
The Role of the Administrator:
- The Administrator is a member of the school’s P.D. Committee.
- He/she votes with the committee on the feasibility of a staff member attending a conference/workshop and any expenses that the school’s P.D. Committee will cover.
- The administrator approves the release time for the staff member and arranges for an occasional teacher, if applicable. Release time should not be denied without just cause.
- His/her signature must appear on either of the forms used (cheque request or P.D. expense form) to request reimbursement/payment.
The Role of the Grand Erie Elementary Teachers’ Federation:
- To notify the schools yearly of their P.D. allotment for the current year as well as a record of unused funds being rolled over. Please note that the rollover and allotment does not occur until at least the end of October. Until that time funds are still available for use whether the account is in a debit or credit balance.
- To provide updates of the status of your P.D. budget. Hard copies will be made available to each Union Steward at training sessions up to three (3) times per school year.
- To check all expense forms and cheque request forms that are being charged against any school’s P.D. budget that are sent to us from the GEDSB’s Business Services Department or from the schools’ P.D. Chair.
- To approve these forms and return them to GEDSB’s Business Services Department to process. Our stamp/signature must appear before they are processed. If we find the forms incomplete, e.g. signatures or receipts missing, they are returned to the union steward with a note asking for corrections. If the expenses do not meet criteria, they are rejected and sent back to the school.
Steps for Submitting PD Budget Expenses
- Any staff member wishing to use the school’s P.D. funds must submit their request in writing, including all costs, to the Chair (Union Steward).
- The ‘Chair’ calls a meeting of the school’s P.D. Committee. The Committee can approve/deny all or some of the monies requested. This could depend on the amount of money in the P.D. budget and/or the criteria. The first expense that must be accounted for is the use of an occasional teacher (OT). The cost of an occasional teacher as of September 1, 2019 is $263.71 per day.
- The ‘Chair’ must ensure that the appropriate forms (either the expense form or cheque request form) are filled out with the required three signatures as follows: Claimant, Union Steward and Administrator
The Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB) and GEETF will accept only the ‘originals’ of all forms and receipts – no copies. Please call the GEETF office when you need more forms. These forms are also available on the Staff Portal under Business Services Forms and on our website below. Please see below to determine which form you should be submitting.
Payment Voucher/Cheque Request Form (yellow) is used when you would like to register for a conference and have the GEDSB pay the cost of the registration in advance. This is the Board’s preferred method of payment for a conference. The yellow form must have a copy of the registration form attached and the three required signatures. This procedure requires a minimum of 2-3 weeks prior to the date of the conference. Most conferences allow for registration in advance of payment when the payment is being submitted by the school board. This is advisable to secure your spot at the conference. Include your confirmation/reference number with your payment request and registration form.
Elementary School's PD Budget Expense Form (gold) is used to apply for all expenses incurred by the teacher at the conference or for expenses that have been approved by the school’s P.D. Committee and GEETF. Original receipts are required for all expenses except mileage. Please note that reimbursement will not be approved until after the date of the conference. Special note regarding hotel costs: a reservation code or confirmation email is not sufficient. An original receipt from the hotel is required.
- Once all paperwork and supporting information/documents are collected please submit to the GEETF office via GEDSB’s courier or through regular mail. The reimbursement will be approved at the GEETF office and forwarded to GEDSB Business Services for payment.
- GEETF will not approve, and GEDSB will not reimburse, for any expenses related to telephone/internet/video use expenses included in a hotel receipt.
- GEETF will not approve, and GEDSB will not reimburse, for any expenses related to liquor included on any receipts submitted. For this reason, itemized receipts are required when paying by credit card. The credit card slip on its own is not sufficient.
- *NEW* As per GEDSB’s Administrative Memo AM-14, all mileage claims must be accompanied by a Google Map to support the claim (shortest distance, point to point). Mileage paid by the GEDSB is currently $0.58 cents per km for the 2019-2020 school year. Please note that the Board will not pay at a rate that is higher than this. The school’s P.D. Committee may approve this rate or determine one of their own, dependent on their circumstances. Some schools only pay for actual gas used. Receipts are required for parking expenses and toll charges on the 407ETR.
- Members can expect payment to be made electronically directly to their bank accounts. Manual cheques are not issued.
Booking Occasional Teachers (OTs): When booking OTs through ADS for approved release time through the PD Fund to attend a conference etc. only use “Workshop” as the reason and use the PD Account number for your school/location when entering the booking into ADS. This will ensure that the costs associated with the release time are charged to the correct account. DO NOT use "Union/Federation Leave."
The administrator’s VISA should not be used for P.D. expenses, e.g. to pay for registrations of conferences/workshops or the purchase of resources. The Board does not accept this. We can easily pay in advance for registration for conferences by way of the Cheque Request Form if sufficient notice is given.
Purchase of Professional Resources: It is mandatory that if a teacher would like to use PD funds to purchase resources that these are approved in advance. Any resource that contains lesson plans or reproducibles primarily will be denied. Resources should be used to professionally develop the teacher in order to improve in their role; not as a tool in the classroom to assist in teaching the students.
Schools are not permitted to order resources by attaching the order form to a cheque request form. The Union Steward will forward a request/order form to the GEETF office describing the resources they wish to purchase. If GEETF finds it is a legitimate use of the funds, they will be approved. The order form will be returned to the Union Steward who will then forward it to the supplier.
The purchase of these resources does not go through GEDSB’s Purchasing System. Professional resources become the property of the teacher(s) for whom they are purchased. The resources must be paid for by the teacher(s) who are the recipients and then submitted to the GEETF office on a P.D. Elementary Expense Form.
- Attendance at Conferences and Workshops and the various expenses that these entail, e.g. occasional teacher, registration, accommodation, mileage, food, parking.
- Claims for the reimbursement of food are limited by the criteria of the school PD Fund, or by the meal allowances established by ETFO, whichever is less. Currently, ETFO daily limits are $15 for breakfast, $20 for lunch, and $ 45 for dinner to a daily maximum of $80.
- Costs associated with having a presenter bought in to the school, to provide a beneficial workshop (curriculum, teaching strategies etc.) and the cost of food brought in for above type of workshop/presenter, provided that it is GEETF members that apply for the use of funds. However, no GEETF members can be compelled/directed to attend. Note: It is permissible for several schools to share in bringing in a presenter and costs incurred. If this is being planned, please contact the office to ensure the billing is done according to our criteria.
- Cost of occasional teachers (OTs) to release GEETF members to observe in another classroom.
- Purchase of professional publications/videos/tapes re: curriculum, e.g. ETFO publications. Please note that a full description of the item purchased may be requested. These must be purchased for a particular group of teachers and become their property. When they leave the school, they can take the books with them. The curriculum books are not to be catalogued and put in the library.
- PD funds may be used for AQ courses once by a member to a maximum of $350. Reimbursement will be approved once the course is completed. Proof of payment and course completion must be submitted to the GEETF Office with the gold Elementary School’s PD Budget Expense Form. Note: The amount used for this purpose may be reduced so that the amount subsidized for an AQ course from all sources shall not exceed 100% of the cost of the course. Other sources of subsidy for an AQ course shall be the first source of subsidy, topped-up by PD funds. (e.g. – if another organization subsidizes a $700 AQ course in the amount of $400, then the maximum that will be approved from the PD Fund will be $300).
We Will Not Approve:
- Textbooks or teacher guides related to textbooks, resource materials that primarily contain lesson plans or reproducibles for students.
- Consumable items such as pens, stickers, notebooks, long distance telephone calls, video rentals, internet costs or alcohol.
- Membership in organizations. The exception to this would be if the cost of the conference is cheaper for the teacher to become a member of the organization and the two costs (membership and registration) are not more than the registration for a non-member.
- Cost of meals for staff meetings.
- Use of occasional teachers (OTs) supply teachers to cover teachers involved in track and field or other sports events.
Don’t hesitate to call the GEETF office if you have any problems completing the forms or any other questions regarding your school’s P.D. Budget.