Teachers of New Brunswick along with the NBTF are pleased that a tentative agreement has been reached with CUPE.
As most of you did, the NBTF learned of it via social media last evening.
Government confirmed on Sunday morning that both students and staff would be returning to school on Monday, November 15, 2021, and that no operational days would be provided. While this situation is incredibly frustrating, it does not violate the collective agreement, nor is it subject to grievance.
Once again, this government has demonstrated limited understanding of what is required to operationalize schools and the amount of time and work for professional educators to change from online learning to a face-to-face environment. Simply cleaning a school does not make it ready for students and quality learning.
During the past several weeks, our Co-Presidents have met with Minister Cardy and have repeatedly expressed the importance of having operational time to allow any transition back to school. It is evident that the government has chosen once again to ignore this advice.
That being said, the unfortunate situation of the past few weeks gives us a good opportunity to set the parameters of online learning for the next round of bargaining.
Together, we have gained a better understanding of the limitations and demands of online learning and the issues it raises in terms of work-life balance.
For now, let’s find a way to celebrate the return of our students to the classroom, the solidarity shown to our colleagues, and the conclusion of this episode with a negotiated instead of an imposed agreement.