School District 69 (Qualicum) is being hit by a teacher-on-call shortage, as restored union language across the province has more teachers being hired for full-time work. — File Photo

Shortage of on-call teachers impacts Qualicum school district

Many getting full-time work after re-instatement of class size rules

The good news is more teachers are getting hired for full time work in B.C.

The bad news is that’s leading to a lack of Teachers Teaching On Call (TTOCs) in the province, including at School District 69 (Qualicum).

The shortage is a result of the 2016 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that restored union language around limiting class sizes, confirmed SD69’s assistant superintendent Gillian Wilson.

This has led to a need for more full-time teachers, meaning those who might previously have been hired on as on-call teachers, and worked only when other teachers are away or sick, are now getting full-time work. That’s leaving TTOC lists in SD69 and across much of the province short.

Though Wilson said she couldn’t put a number on exactly how many TTOC positions the district is looking to fill, she confirmed its TTOC list is shorter than in previous years, and that the district’s other educators are having to be careful with their schedules to make sure work is getting covered.

“I’m really thankful that we’ve not had to cancel professional development during the days (for teachers),” she said. “Other districts have had to do that out of necessity. We’ve not done that,” she said, but added that teachers have had to be asked to defer their professional development plans.

Wilson noted that securing TTOCs for certain courses, like senior math, shop classes, science and other courses has been a struggle, and that the flu season has added to the difficulties. Superintendent Rollie Koop has previously noted that securing French immersion teachers for the TTOC list has also been a struggle.

During the school board’s Nov. 28 meeting, Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association president Debbie Comer expressed her concern for the situation.

She said this kind of shortage tends to affect the most vulnerable students, with educators giving less one-on-one time, having to help out in other classes, losing prep time and sometimes losing out on professional development opportunities.

“While I’m very hopeful… at the moment it can be very stressful for teachers in our district,” Comer said.

Wilson said the district is doing its best to keep the TTOC shortage from affecting teachers and students, and that the district is seeking various solutions to hiring more TTOCs.

This includes speaking with student teachers, who are about to graduate, about the benefits of working at SD69; speaking with retired teachers to find out if they’d be interested in working again; and doing lots of interviews.

“I was interviewing all day on the Wednesday (the day after the board meeting),” said Wilson.

“That was from teachers that are student teachers as well as other teachers that applied to our website.”

Before the Nov. 28 meeting, the district had also hosted an orientation for student teachers who are about to graduate, and the district will also be at a Vancouver Island University career fair taking place Dec. 18.

“So we’re doing lots of things to recruit great teachers to our community,” said Wilson.

Send news tips to:

Just Posted

Arrowsmith search and rescue members take on crevasse, heli training

New members take part in some weekend training, but Arrowsmith SAR always looking for more

RDN to save $1m for future demolition of District 69 Arena

Money to be put in reserves starting from 2019 to 2023

Parksville ‘street tree’ bylaw approved

Council votes in revised subdivison servicing bylaw

RDN wants speculation tax called off

Board chair seeks meeting with Ministry of Finance

CO: Errington goose carcasses most likely dumped by hunters

Carcasses of 40 birds discovered dumped on remote trail

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

SurvivorPQB supports local charity

Readers vote for their favourites and a chance to win $250 in groceries

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

RCMP on lookout for man after assault on Qualicum Beach senior

68-year-old pushed to the ground, mouth covered after saying hello to man smoking marijuana

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for B.C. SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read