Hours of Instruction – Frequently Asked Questions

//Is there a difference between the hours of instruction and the teachers’ workday?

An adjudication decision on Article 18 of the Collective Agreement has established that the hours of instruction described in Article 18.01 are indeed the hours of instruction for students and do not necessarily translate into hours of work for teachers.

Article 18.02 recognizes that teachers’ responsibilities require duties that may involve time beyond the hours of instruction. This addresses the duties of preparation, marking and parent-teacher interviews, all of which normally occur outside the hours of instruction.

//How does one calculate the hours of instruction?

The best definition of the hours of instruction would be that it is all the time from when a student would be considered to be late at the commencement of classes in the morning up until the time when classes are dismissed at the end of the day, excluding the lunch period. This would mean that in a case where the bell rings in the morning to notify students that they have to be in class, and the second bell rings five minutes later to mark the beginning of classes, the hours of instruction would start counting from the second bell. If there is only one bell in the morning and at that time students are to be expected to be in their class, then the calculation would begin from that bell.  All the time between the opening and closing of classes, including homeroom periods, breaks and preparation periods, are counted for the purpose of hours of instruction.

//When are teachers expected to be in school in the morning?

Article 25(1)f of Regulations 97-150 of the Education Act requires teachers to be present 20 minutes prior to the opening of classes in the morning and 20 minutes before the opening of classes after the lunch period. In practice, the 20 minutes before the afternoon session is not applied because it comes in conflict with the 60-minute duty-free period provided in Article 22 of the Collective Agreement.

//Can teachers be required to be at school earlier than 20 minutes before the commencement of classes?

Teachers may be required to be in school prior to the 20 minutes before the commencement of classes in the morning if they are assigned to do non-teaching duties as per Article 22 of the Collective Agreement. Any non-teaching duties such as supervision assigned to teachers during those 20 minutes should be counted in the calculation of non-teaching duties overall.

//When can teachers leave the school in the afternoon?

Another adjudication decision has stated that teachers may be required to stay at school for a reasonable time after the hours of instruction so that they may be available for administrative or educational purposes. The reasonable time suggested in that adjudication was up to 30 minutes after the departure of the last school bus; there has been no other interpretation of anything beyond 30 minutes.

//Are teachers required to attend meetings after the hours of instruction?

Section 25(1) under Regulations 97-150 of the Education Act whereby teachers are required to attend meetings called by principals or superintendents. Teachers are required to attend staff meetings which deal with administrative issues such as scheduling, school policies, school discipline, promotion, or other issues related to the general operation of the school. The NBTF has advised teachers that the activities involved in parent-teacher meetings fall within the general description of Article 18.02, and has accepted that there is an obligation for teachers to attend such meetings if their duration and frequency are reasonable. The Federation agrees that a meet-the-teacher meeting at the beginning of a school year also requires teachers to be present. A calendar of the scheduled meetings should normally be distributed to teachers at the beginning of the school year. Teachers should plan ahead and make arrangements in order to attend these meetings.

However, the Federation has always taken the position that other scheduled meetings, such as PD sessions, PLCs, math nights, fundraisers, book clubs, called after the hours of instruction are left to the discretion of teachers.


Please call a member of the administrative staff should you have any questions on this issue or any other issue relevant to your working conditions at 1-888-679-7044.

Return to all posts