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Ontario counting on retirees to offset COVID teacher crunch

Ontario counting on retirees to offset COVID teacher crunch

With high levels of teacher absenteeism in Ontario schools, Education minister Stephen Lecce has struck a deal with the Ontario Teachers Federation to allow retirees to work additional days.

“We are seeing staff shortages impacting all sectors of the economy. Well before Omicron came to Ontario, school boards were reporting high rates of absenteeism from education staff. We need staff in order to continue providing live teacher-led remote learning and safely operate our schools when students return to in-person learning,” said Lecce.

Under the Ontario government’s agreement with the OTF, there will be a temporary increase in the number of days retired teachers can be re-employed in the publicly funded school system from 50 days to 95. The projected shortfall in occasional teachers is anticipated to be 7,000 across all school boards, as reported by school boards in the Fall of 2021,

Almost 40 per cent of school boards are reporting that up to 25 per cent of their teacher absences were unfilled by an occasional teacher. Almost 20 per cent of school boards are reporting that up to 50 per cent of their teacher absences were unfilled by an occasional teacher. 55 per cent of school boards reported that they had to use temporary Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certificates to help address staffing shortages.

The government has set aside $304 million which is projected to support the hiring of over 2,000 staff – while expanding access to second-year teacher candidates and nearly doubling the number of days retired teachers can works.

In a release thew Ministry says it has spent more than $1.6 billion in resources for the current school year, ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario, including the deployment of 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices, and stringent health and safety requirements. The government it will spend more on air ventilation, better masks for teachers and students, and stronger screening measures.

With high levels of teacher absenteeism in Ontario schools, Education minister Stephen Lecce has struck a deal with the teachers union to allow retirees to work additional days.

“We are seeing staff shortages impacting all sectors of the economy. Well before Omicron came to Ontario, school boards were reporting high rates of absenteeism from education staff. We need staff in order to continue providing live teacher-led remote learning and safely operate our schools when students return to in-person learning,” said Lecce.

Under the Ontario government’s agreement with the OTF, there will be a temporary increase in the number of days retired teachers can be re-employed in the publicly funded school system from 50 days to 95. The projected shortfall in occasional teachers is anticipated to be 7,000 across all school boards, as reported by school boards in the Fall of 2021,

Almost 40 per cent of school boards are reporting that up to 25 per cent of their teacher absences were unfilled by an occasional teacher. Almost 20 per cent of school boards are reporting that up to 50 per cent of their teacher absences were unfilled by an occasional teacher. 55 per cent of school boards reported that they had to use temporary Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certificates to help address staffing shortages.

The government has set aside $304 million which is projected to support the hiring of over 2,000 staff – while expanding access to second-year teacher candidates and nearly doubling the number of days retired teachers can works.

In a release thew Ministry says it has spent more than $1.6 billion in resources for the current school year, ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario, including the deployment of 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices, and stringent health and safety requirements. The government it will spend more on air ventilation, better masks for teachers and students, and stronger screening measures.

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