British Columbia teacher shortage has some districts looking for uncertified replacements


As BC students return to classrooms across the province, the union representing their teachers is sounding the alarm over what it says is a critical staffing shortage.

The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation says B.C.’s soaring cost of living, coupled with salaries that are the second-lowest in Canada, are making it difficult to recruit new teachers and retain existing teachers. in office.

Read more:

BC students with disabilities excluded more than 4,000 times last year: report

According to BCTF president Clint Johnston, some of those teachers are raising their hands and moving to provinces further east, like Alberta, where salaries are higher and the cost of living lower.

While teachers are locked in negotiations with the province over their latest collective agreement, Johnston said the sticking point remains salaries.

The story continues under the ad

« The crux right now is really…wages that will keep up with the rising inflation that we’re seeing right now, » he said. « This type of inflation can be a very affected pay cut. »

Staffing shortages became severe enough that some districts in the interior and northern British Columbia began advertising jobs for uncertified substitute teachers.

Click to play the video:

New report cites increased exclusion of students with special needs in BC schools

New report cites increased exclusion of students with special needs in BC schools

« We know there are uncertified people teaching in the province, but to see that advertised, asked for, kind of accepted, that’s really a concern for us, » Jonston said.

The shortage has prompted some in the opposition to call on the province to raise wages to stem the bleeding.

« We are in competition for good teachers in this province, » Saanich North and MPP for Islands Green said.

The story continues under the ad

Read more:

Low childhood vaccination rates in British Columbia raise concern as children return to school

“We want to have the best education system in the country. We’re going to have to make sure that we invest in it that way.

Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside would not comment directly on the negotiations on Tuesday, saying only that salaries were discussed between teachers and their employer.

The teachers are due to return to the bargaining table on September 26, although Johnston said they hoped to resume negotiations sooner than that.

For now, however, he said the union was not considering a strike.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Back to top button