Ask Ali - Field Trip Fun!

I’m going on a field trip and will be missing my planning time.  Can I get it paid back?

–Toby Paidfer

Dear Toby,

No.

When a teacher plans a field trip they are volunteering to do so, and so if they have planning time during the field trip, they are volunteering to use it for the purposes of the trip. That is why it is not paid back.


I teach music in a K-6 school and would like to take the junior students to the symphony on a field trip.  While on the trip, there are primary teachers that will lose planning time because I am on the trip.  Is it my responsibility to pay it back?

–Viola Petee

Dear Viola,

No

It is not your responsibility to arrange the payback of the planning time, but it is the responsibility of the principal who has approved the trip to ensure that teachers get their planning time.   

When the principal signs off on the field trip, they are also ensuring that no one is losing planning time too.  It should be discussed with the principal as part of the trip being approved so that there is a plan in place and an understanding in advance for everyone affected.

Frequently, one of the affected classroom teachers stays back and the planning time teacher (music teacher in this case) attends in their place.  In doing so, the classroom teacher that is staying back can provide the necessary planning time coverage.


At our last staff meeting, I found out our intermediate division is going on a spirit day field trip skating.  Can I be forced to go?

–Ophelia Downer

Dear Ophelia,

No.

Teachers are required to report to their worksite to perform the essential duties of their job.  Working at an alternate site, or attending a field trip, is voluntary.  Teachers must volunteer to work elsewhere.

If your principal insists you must participate, then please contact the ETFO Waterloo office.


My class is going on a field trip in the morning.  Can I shuffle my timetable and move my planning time to the afternoon so that I do not miss it?

–Olive Boutamé

Dear Olive,

No.

When a teacher plans a field trip they are volunteering to do so, and so if they have planning time during the field trip, they are volunteering to use it for the purposes of the trip.

As well, teachers cannot modify the teaching/working timetable of another teacher.  The principal is responsible for timetabling the school and any timetable changes must be made by the principal to ensure that the Collective agreement is being followed.

The local Occasional Teacher (OT) agreement also requires that an OT follow the regular timetable of the teacher they are replacing, so the timetable should not be changed in situations where an OT is being used either.


The Kindergarten classes are on a field trip to the farm.  I have been assigned to do one of the kindergarten teacher’s outdoor duties while they are on the trip.  Can I be assigned extra duty?

-F.D. Kay

Dear F.D.,

Maybe…

When the principal signs off on the field trip, they are also ensuring that no one is being assigned additional duty.  It should be discussed with the principal as part of the trip being approved so that there is a plan in place and an understanding in advance for everyone affected.

If you already have 80 minutes of duty per 5-day cycle, then you cannot be assigned additional duty - it would violate the Collective Agreement.

If you have less than 80 minutes of duty per 5-day cycle, then the principal can ask you to do a little more - but you cannot exceed 80 minutes in a 5-day cycle.