On May 3, the Association signed an amended agreement with the School District that resolves several grievances related primarily to special education classes, staffing ratios, caseloads, and failures to fill that dated back to 2017.

The Agreement was originally signed in July 2021 but as September unfolded, it became apparent that there was an interpretation difference between the Association and the Employer, and the Association sought further legal support to resolve this matter. The interpretation difference was related to Section 3 of the Agreement, namely, what happens when there is a failure to fill. The amendments have been highlighted below:

The District will use the following priority scheme in reassigning staff to cover for absent enrolling teachers whose replacement is necessary (where no TTOC is available):

  1. Extending working day for part-time teachers or TTOCs who agree to the increase, subject to Article D.22 of the Collective Agreement.
  2. Reassignment of one or more TTOCs dispatched to the school.
  3. Secondary teachers on their own preparation periods.
  4. When none of the above are available to cover the absence, other teachers and Principals/Vice Principals who are included in the school’s rotational plan developed by the Principal and the School Staff Committee consistent with Articles A.34.4 and A.34.5 of the Collective Agreement, a rotational plan that includes, in no particular order:
    1. principals and vice-principals,
    2. teachers on their own preparation time,
    3. non-enrolling teachers, and
    4. teachers who provide preparation time (collectively, the “School Staff”)

This rotational plan will be such that the School Staff equitably share the coverage of failures to fill.

Main features of the Failure to Fill Agreement:

  1. It requires that schools create equitable system for coverage of failures to fill (where before, there was no contractual language on this issue).
  2. It clarifies which positions can be included in the ratio for Special Education Resource Teachers.
  3. It clarifies which positions will not be included in the Special Education Resource Teachers ratios.
  4. It requires that staffing be added to the following school year in the form of additional FTEs to pay for the deficit created in the previous school through not meeting the required ratios (including by non-enrolling teachers being pulled to cover failures to fill, or days when certain teachers (e.g., B.A.S.E.S. and Teacher Librarians) are not replaced.
  5. It sets out guidelines about what non-enrolling positions must be posted in Spring staffing, and how staffing is adjusted based on September 30 numbers.
  6. It requires that the District provide the STA with timely information in a usable form to enable us to verify compliance with this Agreement and the Collective Agreement.

If you have any questions regarding the Failure to Fill Agreement, please contact Joanna Cerazy, Grievance officer, at grieve1@surreyteachers.org.

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