Rainbow District School Board braces for work action
Contingency plan in place to fill the gaps in administrative duties
The Rainbow District School Board is bracing for the impact of work action by its secondary school teachers on Monday.
The action comes in opposition to provincial Bill 115, which freezes teacher’s wages and limits the right to strike.
Teachers with the boards are planning cutbacks to administrative duties, such as supervising spare periods and administering practice math and literacy tests for grades nine and ten. However, the board has said it has a contingency plan in place to fill in the gaps.
Norm Blaseg, the board’s director of education, will be informing principals today what that plan will look like. He also said that the board will not be able to give specific examples about what that contingency plan looks like until he finishes talks with all the board’s ten schools.
"They need to know what teachers will be doing and what teachers won’t be doing. And that still needs to be clarified because across the province, each school has taken on a different onus, or a different look," said Blaseg.
James Clyke, president of the union representing the teachers, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, said they want parents to know that job action will not affect student health and safety, and won’t affect supervision in hallways.
"When students are going through transition periods through classroom to classroom, and they’re in the hallway, and they’re interacting, sometimes there’s things that can happen," said Clyke.
"We will not be striking those activities, we'll be going through there and we will be helping them. And, if they're going through bullying, we will be stopping them and interceding in those processes."
Secondary school teachers with the Rainbow board were eligible to begin job action November 15 following the start of job action earlier this week by teachers with 20 school boards in southern Ontario.