Rainbow District School Board secondary school teacher staffing to remain status quo this year

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RAINBOW DISTRICT – An Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) representative says that it is a case of good news/bad news in regards to teachers within the Rainbow District School Board (of the OSSTF) not facing job losses for the 2019-2020 school year; however, this may not be the case in the future.

“It’s good news and bad news,” stated Eric Laberge of OSSTF District 3 in Sudbury, when contacted by the Recorder last week, noting that job losses among members due to provincial education reforms have been sidestepped at least for the 2019-2020 school year. However, “next year there is a lot more uncertainty in terms of what staffing is going to be in the (RDSB) schools.”

James Clyke, outgoing president of OSSTF District 3, had been quoted in the July 31, 2019 edition of Northern Life saying “it seems that the school board has done a pretty good job trying to mitigate job losses. It doesn’t seem that it’s going to be an unorthodox year for us. It seems that it’s going to be pretty much business as usual until we get further down the road with the Ford plan.”

The provincial government announced earlier this year the average class size requirement for high schools will be raised by six students, from 22 to 28. Class size averages for kindergarten and primary grades are not being changed, but in Grades 4 to 8, the average will increase by less than one student, from 23.84 to 24.5.

“For this year, no, there have been no job losses (in OSSTF positions) due to the new class size ratio the government announced earlier this year,” said Mr. Laberge. “For this upcoming school year things will remain status quo in terms of (secondary school) staffing. Who knows what this will look like next spring,” he added.