Teachers say 23 jobs to be cut

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by Terry Myers

Renfrew County’s secondary school teachers say they now have the numbers, and 23 high school teachers will not have jobs next school year.

On top of that, an additional 20 teachers employed by the Renfrew County District School Board will see a reduction in their work assignments “as a direct result of the Ford government’s reduction in education funding and increase in average class sizes.”

Jeff Barber, president of the local district of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), says the school board “declared” the layoffs on June 7.

“This is an unprecedented number of job losses for teachers at the Renfrew County District School Board relative to our student enrolment,” Barber said in a statement Monday.

“Despite government claims that declarations of redundancy are routine at Ontario school boards, there is absolutely nothing routine about the alarming number of teachers losing their jobs. This is not business as usual.”

“Pilot” year

The Renfrew County District School Board, meanwhile, is raising its own red flags over the province’s education reforms.

Board chair Susan Humphries has written to Education Minister Lisa Thompson asking that the province treat 2019-20 as a “pilot” year for its reforms and re-evaluate the impact afterwards.

In a letter dated June 3, Humphries said the board is “working hard at managing within the parameters provided to us and still ensure the best possible outcome for our students.”

However, as a rural district “with a small population in a large geographic area, we are faced with making difficult choices that unfortunately will impact all students at the secondary level but particularly our most vulnerable students,” she said.

> for the full story, pick up a copy of the June 12 NRT…