The impacts of a global shortage of professional educators are felt acutely by Surrey teachers. Teachers are experiencing higher levels of stress and burnout as workload increases due to daily failures to fill. We have made it clear to the Employer that the burden of this crisis is not just for teachers to bear. If teachers can be pulled from their regular duties to cover staffing shortages, then management, including District Principals and Superintendents can too. As teachers, we know that the root cause of this crisis is poor working and learning conditions, and perhaps having management experience our working conditions – namely exploding class sizes/caseloads, violence, lack of supplies and resources – might be what it takes to collectively build a public education system that students and teachers deserve.

As we navigate this crisis, here are a few notes:

  • Staff Committee should regularly review and monitor the failure to fill rotation at their school sites. If administrators are not part of the failure to fill rotation plan at your school, then the Employer is violating the terms of our Failure to Fill Grievance settlement. This should be addressed through Staff Committee. If there is no resolution at your Staff Committee, then contact the STA Office.
  • It is important that Staff Committees in elementary schools pay particular attention to non-enrolling staff being pulled for failures to fill. If non-enrolling is pulled for more than one session a day for failure to fill, then the administrator must report this to the district using the Power BI app. Make a practice of reviewing this data at your staff committee meeting.
  • In high schools, the Employer is limiting access to Department Head release days during months where historically there are high teacher absences and a low supply of TTOCs. If there is an urgent need for release days during these months, talk to your administrator or bring the matter to Staff Committee. Depending on the circumstances, release days may be approved during these months.
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