Saanich school board contemplates changing recess

Teacher strike causing burn out in admins whose days are full enough already, school superintendent says

Job action is pushing management to the burn out phase, forcing the school board to consider moving recess.

In the Saanich school district, teacher contracts contain a stipulation of how long each week a teacher will participate in out of class supervision.

“With the job action that means that the teachers didn’t have to supervise. So we have had to cover off recess, before and after school supervision with our management staff,” said board chair Wayne Hunter. “You can usually adapt for one or two months, but after that it gets into a little bit of a burn out situation where you’re working too many things off the corner of your desk.”

Superintendent Keven Elder, through a report to the board at its Dec. 5 inaugural meeting, suggested recess be moved to the end of each day to make supervision schedules a little less hectic.

“We have no problem being behind if it’s work we can do in the evenings and on weekend,” said Elder, who is among the management staff taking on the before, recess and after school supervision times. “There’s work that can only be done on weekdays.”

Positions in human resources, transportation, facilities and labour relations for example require weekday work.

“The ability to stay up to speed with the rest of the work has been significantly compromised by the three extra supervision times,” he said.

The board opted to use additional non-union staff to supervision duties (speech and language pathologists, psychologists and First Nations assistants) and review the supervision issue at the Jan. 18 public board meeting.

“You can’t have job action without some resulting consequences. You try to minimize those as much as you can but you can’t hold the fort forever,” Hunter said. “Going forward there will be more noticeable consequences from the job action. You just can’t get away from it.”

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

Did you know?

Wayne Hunter was voted board chair during the inaugural meeting of the board of education on Dec. 5. The former teacher and principal previously served as mayor of Central Saanich for two terms, and as a councillor in Saanich for the past six years.

Jim Standen, a trustee re-elected to represent North Saanich, was named vice chair.

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