ONTARIO TEACHERS' SICK DAYS LEAVE SOME CLASSES WITHOUT COVERAGE, SAYS TORONTO STAR REPORT

Jun 05, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Ontario teachers are said to be taking a record number of days off as they use up sick days they can no longer bank until retirement.  The Toronto Star reports the sudden need for substitute teachers in recent weeks has so outstripped demand that some elementary principals have asked librarians, special education and ESL teachers to scrap regular duties for a day to supervise classrooms.  The report says a few high schools have even cancelled classes in senior grades for lack of teachers.  Scott Moreash is the Associate Director of the Peel District School Board.  He says last Friday, the board had a record high volume of teachers taking so called “family responsibility” days.  But he says there weren’t enough substitutes to cover the 1664 teachers who were absent.  Under the controversial new contract imposed this year by Queen’s Park, Ontario teachers had their sick days cut from 20 to 11 per year, and lost the right to bank unused sick days.  Doug Joliffe, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation in Toronto, says “some teachers have an almost sentimental attachment to the idea of banking sick leave, even if they couldn’t end up using them.”

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