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New Brunswick Teachers’ Association sounds alarm bells over staffing levels


As many in the education sector prepare for summer vacation, the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association (NBTA) is sounding the alarm bells when it comes to students heading back to the classroom in the fall.

“Between September and March last year we had over 7,000 unfilled absences and that’s pulling away a lot of services from students and it’s really creating a huge strain on the system and it just can’t continue,” said NBTA president Peter Lagacy.

“We need to find some solutions soon.”

The association says without urgent changes across the province schools will be critically understaffed come September.

Looking at the numbers, NBTA says the Anglophone School District alone needs 524 certified teachers within the next two months.

Additionally, they say that 1,355 of about 6,000 teachers are likely to retire within five years.

Lagacy points to recruitment and retention strategies.

“This includes promoting the health and wellbeing of our current leaders, our current teachers, restoring and enhancing our mentorship program for early career teachers and ensuring a positive working and learning environment free from harassment,” he said.

On top of recruitment and retention, Lagacy says that the association is asking for a clear commitment to public education as an investment and having teachers involved in educational decisions and policies.

“As the election approaches, it’s imperative that we as educators and community members make our voices heard,” he said.

Adding, “our expertise must be respected and political inferences that destabilizes our system must be avoided.”

Through an urgent call for action, Save September, the association says the call for 524 certified teachers is made up of different factors.

It estimates that 220 teachers are retiring, they need about 150 on top of what they have now to keep up with the population growth and Lagacy says there are about 150 teachers or local contracts in the system without a Bachelor of Education degree.

“We’ve been raising that alarm for a while now and I think some of them are a little bit scared of ‘is this the new norm for education in New Brunswick’ and it can’t be,” he said.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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