Teachers hanging back from extra curricular activities
Sudbury teachers taking wait-and-see approach with respect to what the province does next
Despite encouragement from their union, some public secondary school teachers in Sudbury say extra-curricular activities are still a no-go.
Last week, the Ontario Secondary Schools Federation urged its teachers across the province to take up after school activities again, saying Premier Kathleen Wynne has signaled a real willingness to change the bargaining process.
But many teachers are still upset over the imposition of contracts and want to see a concrete move from the province.
Sudbury Secondary School teacher Clinton Jameus would normally be coaching at this time of year, but he is hesitant to resume extra-curricular activities.
He said the fact discussions are ongoing between the province and union is not enough for him.
"I believe it's a step in the right direction, but until I see a bit of movement from the government, I'm unwilling to give the extra time, although I am missing it," Jameus said.
Connie Newman, who also teaches at the school, said she's planning on resuming her extra-curricular activities, but she's also not sure anything concrete will come from the talks.
"Initial reactions were all excited, but it helps to see things down in writing instead of vague promises too," she said.
"So I think there are people who are still quite skeptical."
The director of education with the Rainbow District School Board said 20 per cent of teachers will likely not resume extra-curricular activities, but he's optimistic about the remaining group.
"We would hope no matter what that all teachers and all staff will support whatever decisions they make," Norm Blaseg said.
"And if they come back, that's great, and this will help move the student agenda forward and we can't wait for them to be back on board."
Blaseg said he hopes to meet with the local union within the next few days to further discuss the issue of extra-curricular activities.
‘Sudden’ turn of events
In the meantime Sudbury Secondary School teacher Bill Dodds said he's going to have to hear more details of the provincial discussions before he goes back to activities outside the classroom.
"It has come about quite suddenly," he said.
"I mean, we've gone from withdrawing from voluntary services to now it's OK. I think that, for myself and for many teachers, it frankly is a bit of a shocking turn of events."
Dodds said he's concerned teachers still aren't getting enough from the government in exchange for their time.