Understanding QECO and its Objective

Understanding QECO and its Objective

QECO is the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario, a service provided by three affiliates to evaluate teacher academic credentials for salary purposes. Its objective is to provide members with the highest QECO category as quickly as possible within the integrity of the evaluation program.

About Understanding QECO and its Objective

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1. QECO/COEQ The Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario Presentation to: Date

2. WHAT IS QECO? QECO Objective: To provide members with the highest QECO category as quickly as possible within the integrity of the evaluation program. A service created by the three affiliates AEFO, ETFO and OECTA, which is funded by the memberships to serve teachers. Evaluates teacher academic credentials for salary purposes by following a specific and consistent set of criteria. Provides to teachers the quickest and most useful routes to the next category. QECO is recognized in every collective agreement of the three affiliates for teacher salary category placement.

3. WHAT IS QECO? There are a lot of misunderstandings around QECO and particularly around what QECO is and what it is not QECO is not The Ontario College of Teachers The Ministry of Education An employer EQAO QECO works for members to provide the highest possible category. It will never reduce a category or attempt to disadvantage a member.

4. WHAT IS QECO? QECO Similar but Unique. Virtually all school systems in North America and around the world have a system of salary categories defined by academic qualifications. Outside of Ontario, the authority that creates and maintains these systems is usually the employer. But QECO, unlike any other authorities, is solely governed by the teachers as an independent not-for-profit corporation.

5. WHAT IS QECO? Quick Facts: More than 45 years of service since 1969 Now, more than125,000 teachers of AEFO, ETFO and OECTA served (not OSSTF). Peel teachers were the last to join QECO (2000 2005) Up to 25,000 applications per year Staff of 13 Governed by the Affiliates Committee (president and general secretary of each of the three organizations). QECO serves Teachers.and works to obtain the highest possible category for each one.

6. WHAT QECO IS Before QECO Many factors affected salaries, benefits and working conditions of teachers. Affiliates addressed inequity. From the struggle for equitable remuneration for teachers regardless of gender, favoritism or location in the province, QECO was created.

7. WHAT QECO IS www.qeco.on.ca PROGRAM 5: Available on website Transparent charts, regulations and definitions. 5 Categories available to certified teachers: A A1 A2 A3 A4 Category A is only for teachers with no degree (limited special certifications and teachers certified before degree requirements.) Teachers with OCT acceptable degrees will be placed in no less than Category A1. Many teachers still start at Category A1. The majority of teachers are already in Category A4. It is estimated that up to 40,000 are not yet in Category A4.

8. QECO Before and Now QECO Issue Before Now Comment Completion timeline 10 16 weeks 2 10 days QECO has dramatically changed its operation model, reducing the processing time while increasing the number of teachers it serves. Academic credentials Recognizing only traditional credentials. Much broader recognition QECO recognizes credentials accredited by the authority in the jurisdiction, and at the time, in which they are conferred. Missing information on application Send application back if all information was not provided. Work with whats available if there is enough to provide the service. QECO will complete the request if there is enough information, and ask for the remainder for the next evaluation. If something else is required, QECO staff will phone the teacher rather than making a request in a letter form. If teacher is registered on QECOweb, then then a note of missing information is available to the teacher electronically.

9. Apply Yearly!!

10. Why Apply Yearly? May not know the quickest route to reach next category. May not realize that requirements have already been satisfied. Sometimes miss several years of an increment change just because they werent sure if they should apply. Always best to apply to QECO often if not in Category A4. No cost Quick application available on website Response will provide most current and quickest routes to next category Response returned usually within 2 weeks.

11. Why Apply Yearly? The Super Teacher March 2010 QECO Inquiry Discovered he had never been evaluated : Paid at Category A1. History of Employment / Salary: Employed permanent since 1997 4 yr. degree, several three-part specialists Would have been in Category A4 by 1999 if applied. Never applied to QECO 13 years of lost salary at category A1. Retro pay for current year only. Recognized as a very popular, hardworking, do- everything Super teacher. Loss Over $100,000 Many examplesOften for years before we hear from these teachers they are experiencing shame, embarrassment, guilt.

12. Why Apply Yearly? But I Havent Done Any Coursework First Application in February 2000 Bachelors degree Masters in progress, but degree was not complete Received Category A3 and a letter from QECO requesting a transcript of the masters degree once the degree was conferred for a higher category. 2 nd Application in April 2012 QECO requested transcript of conferred Masters degree. Masters had been conferred in late 2000. Teacher received Category A4 in 2012 as a result of completed Masters degree. 12 years of lost category placement. Loss in excess of $40,000.

13. Why Apply Yearly? The Collector First QECO Evaluation - 1986 Three year degree- Category A1 Provided upgrading routes which was interpreted by the teacher as needing a lot of courses to get to Category A4. Next QECO Evaluation- 2011 Considering retiring in next 12 months Evaluation reveals 3-three part specialists and an enormous assortment of other AQ courses Would have obtained category changes since 1990. Took a course every summer with her friends. Just lost track of how many Has a huge impact on average of best 5 years for retirement. Loss - more than $100,000 and pension reduction

14. Local Leaders Can Help Encourage members to: A pply to QECO yearly if they are not yet in Category A4. Review pay stubs to ensure they are in the correct QECO category. Contact QECO and request quickest routes to next category. Pay attention to employer deadlines. Take courses to help move up the grid. How to do this? Newsletter inserts Add QECO reminders and deadlines at meetings Demonstrate the economic sense of a category change Share QECO notes and tips. Include in NTIP presentations Link QECO to your local website ( www.qeco.on.ca )

15. QECO The Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario qeco.on.ca