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Frequently Asked Questions

How much special leave do I get every year?

You will get 30 hours at the beginning of every year until you have a total of 150 hours. You cannot accrue more than 150 hours. 

Please refer to Article 19 in your Collective Agreement if you require more information.


What can I use my Special Leave for?

Special leave can be used in the following circumstances: 

Dependent illness 

For each instance of illness, up to 5 days are available to you to care for a dependent or someone permanently residing with you. Additional leave may be granted at the discretion of the superintendent. 

Compassionate leave 

Up to 5 days are available to you for each of the following: to attend the serious illness, imminent death, or death of an immediate family member. Leave under this article can total 15 days per family member, taken as up to 5 days for the serious illness, up to 5 days where death is imminent, and up to 5 days where there is a death. 

(Under Article 21, you may also take up to 8 weeks of compassionate leave without pay, to care for a critically ill member of your immediate family as defined by the Employment Standards Act.)

Medical/ Dental care 

Up to half a day is available to attend a medical/dental appointment for the member or dependent. If you live in a community and must leave said community to attend an appointment, you may use up to 2 days including travel time to attend the appointment. 

Legal appointment 

If you live outside of Whitehorse you may receive up to 1 day of leave to attend to legal business, which cannot be completed in your home community. You may be granted an additional day to travel. 

Domestic Violence 

An employee who is experiencing violence in the home can take up to 5 days leave. This can be extended at the discretion of the superintendent.




We are thinking of having a baby. When is the best time of the year to have a child? (This question is usually asked in relation to pay.)

The employer augments EI benefits received during the regular work year. If you would normally be in your classroom teaching then you will receive your Supplementary Employment Insurance Benefits. 

For the period of the summer break the augmented benefit is not paid; it is deferred to the commencement of the next school year. For the Christmas and Spring Break, the current practice of the employer is to discontinue the augmented benefit and treat it as a loss to the employee. YTA is challenging this interpretation by way of an Association grievance. 



We are having a baby, now what?

It is up to you how you let people in the school know. You don't have to reveal your circumstances before you request your leave. You must request the leave at least 8 weeks before starting your leave. 

I am a temporary employee. Will I get benefits?

You are considered an employee until the end of your contract. Yes. You will get benefits until you would have finished teaching. In the event that you are successful in achieving an employment contract for the next school year as a temporary or permanent employee your benefits will continue.


What things do I have to make sure I do before going on leave?

Here is a checklist for you. Make sure that you have completed it at least 8 weeks before you start your leave. 

1. Write a letter to your principal outlining the starting date and length of leave. This may be extended later. 

2. Fill out a Leave of Absence form, have your principal sign it and send it to your superintendent.

3. Fill in a Leave Allowance Application form (Supplementary Employment Insurance Benefits). 

4. File an Application for EI Benefits. Do this online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca. Apply once you have received your final pay stub before your leave. 

5. Request a Record of Employment from employer to be sent to EI. 

6. Once you have been approved for EI benefits, send a copy of the approval of EI to the Public Service Commission. 

7. Your letter to the principal included a return to work date. You must reconfirm this date with your principal at least 4 weeks prior to your scheduled return.


When should I plan on starting my leave when expecting a child?

You can start your leave no more than ten weeks before and no less than one week before the scheduled arrival of your baby.

Will I continue to receive my benefits while on leave?

You have the option of maintaining your benefits by prepaying the premiums. If you choose not to do this, your benefits will be suspended until you return to work. 

I have been asked to meet with the Administration at my school, what rights do I have?

You are entitled to know the reason for the meeting. If the meeting is for the purpose of investigation that may lead to formal discipline or to render formal discipline, you have the right to have a YTA rep with you.

Who can be my YTA rep?

Technically you can use any member of the YTA. Use someone you trust and who has the necessary knowledge. As well, members in your school who have been designated as staff reps have been given training on how to attend these meetings.

I have been asked to attend a meeting with a member; can I leave my class to attend these meetings?

If you have been asked to act as a YTA rep for a member, then yes, leave will be provided for you. If due to operational requirements, a substitute teacher cannot be provided for you, the meeting will need to be rescheduled.