The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association is raising a flag about what the merger of four English school boards would mean when layoffs happen.

The provincial government announced in last week's budget that the four would be collapsed into one by September.

"For teachers who are extremely stressed right now, and we have heard from many, from administrators, from new teachers, from mid-career teachers, they are very, very stressed right now because of the unknown," said NLTA president Lily Cole.

"There's this big cloud over everybody's head."

Until the boards are dissolved on Aug. 31, the current collective agreement allows a laid-off teacher to bump into a position that is as close to the community as possible, and within the same district.

"The school district now is from Labrador to St. John's and there's many people in Labrador who don't want to leave Labrador and there's many people in St. John's who don't want to leave St. John's, so all of a sudden it's province-wide seniority," she told CBC News.

"It's really, really going to be difficult."

Cole said the process for what happens in the new board is far from clear.

"The devil is going to be in those details," she said.

The budget is removing 142 teaching positions from the school system. As well, an additional 18 positions are being eliminated by attrition. Cole said that change will also mean difficulties for the education system, and that fewer services will be available to students.