VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The new school year may be well underway, but BC public schools are still working to hire new teachers to fill positions created after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last year prompted the restoration of smaller class sizes.
The Education Ministry says most of the 3,500 positions have been filled, but hiring is expected to continue until the end of the month.
BC Teachers’ Federation President Glen Hansman says the surge of job openings has had a domino effect on staffing across the province.
“We had a lot of our members in northern and remote school districts in the province apply for and accept jobs in the Okanagan and in the Lower Mainland. And likewise, current members who perhaps live in Vancouver applied for jobs elsewhere or people who may work in Vancouver but actually live out in the Fraser Valley applying for jobs in school districts closer to home.”
Hansman adds the movement has put strain on certain districts, specifically Vancouver and northern communities.
Rob Peregoodoff, chair of the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council, says the city’s high cost of living has teachers looking to leave. “We all recognize and are happy that teachers have been able to recalibrate their personal lives and their commute as a result of this Supreme Court decision. The big challenge in Vancouver is we’ve had a net loss of teachers.”
Hansman wants the provincial government needs to create incentives — such as mentorship programs for new teachers — to attract talent from other provinces to BC.