According to a new survey of Calgary’s public school teachers, 80 per cent of them feel their jobs are getting more stressful.
The survey was conducted by the Calgary local of the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) in April just as the teachers, the province and school boards were in the midst of hammering out a contract.
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More than 800 teachers answered the questionnaire.
Many of the respondents said large class sizes, reduced prep time and dwindling resources for students with special needs are all making their jobs more stressful, said ATA president Frank Bruseker.
“Teachers are feeling their workload is becoming more complex, there's more duties that are there and they don't see any relief in sight,” he said.
“So the teachers are expressing a lot of concern about being able to carry through their work throughout the school year.”
Compared to a similar survey three years ago, teachers now seem to be under more pressure, he said.
Eighty per cent said they are working more than 50 hours per week.
Anecdotally, Bruseker said he has heard of teachers taking sick days because they find the workload too heavy.
Under the new contract with the province, workload committees will study teachers’ duties in each union local.
But that process will take some time, Bruseker said.