The NBTF would like to offer the following clarification for members regarding the recently released Plan for the Continuity of Education from EECD.
It is important to remember that the primary focus of New Brunswick teachers must be to closely follow the recommendations of Public Health and our provincial government to reduce the spread of COVID-19, flatten the curve and save lives.
This plan does not require you to meet in person with students, parents, colleagues or school administrators during the State of Emergency.
The current restrictions placed on society will constrain or define the potential educational approaches used. However, the compensation of teachers remains the same and the NBTF collective agreement still applies.1
Members will continue to accumulate and/or benefit from:
- Experience (for salary purposes)
- Sick Leave2
- Compassionate Leave
- Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leaves
- Class Size
- Pension Plan
- Retirement Allowance
- Group Insurance
It has also been confirmed that the districts are currently working on staffing and transfer requests for the next school year. (Some decisions may be delayed as a result of the current situation.)
Length of the school year
The EECD has confirmed that the school year will not be extended.
Hours of Instruction
During the instructional day, teachers will need flexibility regarding their hours of availability given their current family responsibilities.
What kind of work could teachers be asked to do?
- Make regular contact with families.
- Develop, prepare and share activities to promote learning.
- Encourage students to continue their learning.
- Prepare for the eventual return of students to in-school learning format.
- Participate in all school meetings held during the hours of instruction. Personal circumstances will have to be considered and discussed with school administration with regard to a teacher’s ability to participate in some meetings.
- Specialty teachers (arts, music, phys-ed, etc.) will also be available to help produce learning options to facilitate students’ participation.
- Guidance counsellors will be available to deliver services, within their professional scope, via the electronic support lines (Anglophone Sector Only).
- ESS-Teams, in collaboration with classroom teachers, will adjust Personalized Learning Plans to identify how parents can best support their child in the current situation.
- Participate in professional learning. These opportunities will be scheduled ahead of time, kept to a minimum and be reasonable in length. Personal circumstances will have to be considered and discussed with school administration with regard to a teacher’s ability to participate.
- There is no expectation of daily contact with families.
- Any concerns with students or parents should be brought to the attention of the school administrator.
- Teachers are not responsible to ensure that work is being done by students.
- Any technical issues regarding the accessing of materials will be referred to the district and are not the responsibility of the teacher.
- All provincial assessments have been cancelled for the remainder of the school year with the exception of Grade 12 French Oral Proficiency Interviews which will be voluntary.
What teachers can expect from parents/guardians:
- Parents will have a key responsibility of encouraging students to engage in the provided resources, which will help to ensure the continuity of children’s education in this current model.
- Families are encouraged to continue discussions and to participate in activities, to the extent possible, that promote physical fitness and positive mental health, nurture creative expression, stay connected to others, and encourage social responsibility.
- It is important that parents recognize that many teachers have similar family responsibilities during this time and may not always be available.
On-line courses will resume and continue as usual.
Access to school building
In the event teachers are requested to access schools in order to retrieve materials and personal items, the Employer will ensure that teachers and school administrators receive information about the necessary precautionary measures to provide a safe workplace while on-site.
Teachers are reminded to always be professional and exercise caution when sharing materials electronically whether using the employer’s account or their own social media. It is also important for teachers to respect the Copyright Act.
Your professional code of ethics, and all district and provincial policies remain in effect.
For any other questions, please contact the NBTF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 The grievance process is still available to the New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation.
2 Teachers who cannot be available to work due to illness will be expected to use sick leave in accordance with the NBTF collective agreement.