March 1998


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Membership Services Answers
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did the College charge a full membership fee for 1997 when services were only provided for six months? Why doesn’t my membership fee cover the school year instead of the calendar year? Did the College inform members the fee was only valid through December?

A: The College was not granted the authority to collect membership fees until May last year. While your 1997 fee was not collected until the spring or summer, it covered all of 1997’s activities, including the election of the first Council in February.

Your Certificate of Qualification is your licence to teach in Ontario’s publicly-funded schools. It is issued annually after fees have been paid and verified and is valid for the calendar year. Membership fees will now be collected at the beginning of each year.

The College has informed members a number of times that membership fees cover the calendar year, including a story in the May ’97 edition of Professionally Speaking.

Q: If I don’t pay the College membership fee what will happen?

A: Your membership in the College will be suspended. Suspended members are not eligible to teach in any publicly-funded school in Ontario. As well, you will not be able to contribute to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). You will also not be able to buy back the time in the OTPP for the period you were suspended.

If you decide to reinstate your membership later, you must pay a $100 reinstatement fee, plus that year’s $90 membership fee.

Q: I’m going on maternity leave. Do I need to pay $90 to maintain my College membership?

A: To contribute to the OTPP while on leave or LTD, or to be eligible to buy back the pension time in the future, you must keep your College membership in good standing. Only teachers as defined by the Education Act can contribute to OTPP – and that means a member in good standing of the College.

If you teach for any period of time during 1998 in a publicly-funded school, you will need a paid-up membership. And if you’re only out of the classroom for a year it’s cheaper to pay your membership this year than a reinstatement fee next year.

Q: How do I know if my employer will deduct my fee this year?

A: If you are employed by a school board, private school where you are a member of OTPP, or a provincial school, your membership should be deducted from your pay. If you have not noticed a $90 deduction from your pay cheque, contact your employer to ensure they’re making the deduction. Most occasional teachers do not have their fees deducted by payroll and are invoiced directly by the College.

Q: My employer deducted my membership fee from my pay. Why did I get an invoice?

A: Every member who didn’t pay through payroll deduction last year was sent an invoice in January 1998. If you were not employed by a school board or independent school where teachers contribute to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in 1997, then you would have paid your fee directly. The College issued 1998 invoices based on 1997 records.

If you’re sure your new employer deducted your membership fee from your pay for 1998, you can ignore the invoice.

Q: Why do teachers need to supply proof for an old qualification (for example, an AQ) if the College has the Ministry of Education and Training’s records on file?

A: The Ministry of Education and Training (MET) files were transferred to the College in paper, microfilm, microfiche and electronic formats. We check all these formats for official transcripts and recommendations. If none are available we will ask you to provide us with proof from the granting institution so we can update your file.

Because the information in the MET files did not affect classification or seniority, many teachers hadn’t advised the ministry of additional degrees over the years, so the College has no record of them. QECO and OSSTF Certification do not exchange files with the College, so you can’t assume that because you told one of them, the College will know.

Q: I sent in corrections to be made to my certificates last year. Why haven’t I received any updated information in return?

A: Corrections to 1997 certificates will be reflected on your 1998 certificate, which you’ll receive in the spring. The College will be issuing certificates of qualification annually to members in good standing.

Q: When will I receive my 1998 certificate?

A: We’ll start mailing them in March, once we have received payment for your 1998 membership fee. After that, certificates will be mailed as membership fees are received.

Q: With the amalgamation of school boards, I need to know…can I teach "this subject" with "this qualification…"?

A: The Ministry of Education and Training is responsible for Regulation 298, which deals with the requirements to teach particular subjects. For more information, call MET’s policy branch at (416) 325-4336 or contact the MET office in your area. They are listed in the blue pages of your telephone directory.