NBTF Newsletter – November 2020

Newsletter Nov2020

// Storm Days

Please note that the Collective Agreement and the following information are still in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The NBTF regularly receives questions related to storm days.

When schools are closed due to inclement weather, do teachers need to report to work if an activity (e.g. professional development) had already been planned?

According to Article 16.03 (a), if schools are closed due to inclement weather and an activity was scheduled for that day, teachers are not required to report to the activity no matter where it was to take place.

What is the situation for a teacher who is on leave when schools are closed due to inclement weather?

The NBTF and the Employer have agreed on an interpretation for a teacher who is on sick leave at a time when the school is closed because of inclement weather.

If a teacher requested a sick day because of an illness or an injury, but schools were closed due to inclement weather, a sick leave day would be deducted. However, if a teacher was approved a sick day for a medical appointment on a storm day, they will not be deducted a sick leave day as agreed by EECD in June 2017 in the settlement of the Absence Management Program Grievance.

For any teacher who is on sick leave both on the day before and on the day after a storm day, it is assumed that the teacher would not have been at work on the storm day. That day will then be deducted from the teacher’s accumulated sick leave.

What about other situations where a teacher had already requested a leave?

If a school closure occurs on a day where a teacher was approved for paid leave (such as Educational Leave, Family Responsibility Day, Bereavement Leave), the absence cannot be modified unless there are exceptional circumstances.

For teachers who had requested a leave without pay, it is expected that the day would not be paid. In such case, the Employer would have already accepted to grant a leave but the condition at the outset was that it would be without pay.

Essentially, a storm day cannot make it such that a teacher would be in a better financial position than if the school closure had not occurred.

Are substitute teachers paid during a storm day?

Article 61.08 indicates that a substitute teacher who teaches more than ten (10) consecutive teaching days in the same assignment in a school that is closed due to a storm will be paid for that storm day in accordance with Article 16.02 of the Collective Agreement provided that the storm day occurs during the assignment.

For other questions related to this subject, please contact an NBTF staff officer by email at or by telephone at 1-888-679-7044.

// Technological Support for Students and their Parents

If you receive questions from parents on the use of technology, please refer them to the Appendix B6 – Students Support (BYOD) of the Return to School Plan, which was updated on November 19, 2020.

// Lesson Plans for Supply Teachers

If a teacher is absent for a certain period of time, is it necessary to leave detailed lesson plans for the supply teacher for each day of absence?

Article 61.11 of the Collective Agreement states the following: “Supply teachers will be expected to fulfill the same responsibilities, perform the same duties and carry out the same teaching assignments as the teachers whom they are replacing.”  Therefore, it is reasonable to expect supply teachers to be responsible for the preparation and assessment of courses during an extended absence.

In general, it has been agreed that teachers must submit lesson plans for the first two days of absence and leave their unit or long-term plans as well as curriculum documents to guide the supply teachers in their preparation for the subsequent days.  The goal is to ensure continuous quality education. The teacher on leave should not be responsible for planning and preparation beyond these first two days.

To prevent teachers from having to prepare when they are not able to accomplish the task, it is recommended that every teacher have an emergency kit prepared at the beginning of the school year or semester in which could be found educational activities to be covered during the first days of their absence, a class list, a schedule of the day/week including duty, information on students with special needs including medical needs, name of educational assistants and their duties, a list of additional resources that the supply may use for additional activities, names of teachers who may be able to provide help when needed, etc.

Other Frequently Asked Questions related to supply teachers:

May we ask a supply teacher to cover a class of another teacher during his/her preparation period or to do another teacher’s duty?
Yes, as with any other teacher, we can ask them. However, it is left solely to the supply teacher’s discretion to accept or refuse, unless it is an emergency situation.

Is a supply teacher required to attend PLC and staff meetings?
Yes, supply teachers may be required to attend PLC and staff meetings. However, this requirement may vary depending on the length of their assignment. Day-to-day supply teachers should check with the school principal while a long-term supply teacher would be expected to attend these meetings.

Must teachers leave their laptop and password with the supply teacher?
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development made a change in practice regarding laptop computers assigned to teaching staff. Since March 11, 2019, the laptop is considered assigned to the position rather than to the person.

As a result, when on long-term leave, you will be asked to leave your laptop at the school. This includes all long-term leaves with or without pay such as maternity leave and educational leave. It is important to remember that you must never share your password with your substitute or anyone else.
For other questions related to this subject, please contact a NBTF staff officer by email at or by phone at (506) 452-1736 or toll-free number 1-888-679-7044.

// Violent Incident Report

In order to make sure that our data reflects the current reality in schools, the NBTF is still looking to gather information on all violent incidents that teachers are facing on a daily basis. Therefore, all teachers are asked to take a few minutes to fill out our Violent Incident Report each time they are confronted with such an incident. This information is highly confidential and is for the exclusive use of the NBTF.

This information is not shared with the district unless it is requested by the teacher through the Violent Incident Form. Examples of incidents include:

  • Verbal harassment – being subjected to derogatory comments and student profanity
  • Threats or physical assault – students engaging in actual physical attacks against teachers (kicking, hitting, spitting, scratching, biting, throwing objects…)
  • Damage to school or personal teacher property

// Replacement of School Principals

School Principals, as well as teachers, must be replaced according to the Guidelines for the Replacement of Absent Teachers (Schedule N of the Collective Agreement). These guidelines are clear: when a principal is absent for any reason, they must be replaced at all times.Before COVID-19, principal’s meetings were usually held outside of the school premises, and principals were always replaced. Now, these meetings are held virtually and principals can attend the meetings from their offices.

It is the NBTF’s opinion that school principals are not available to carry out their duties when they are participating in those meetings, therefore, they should be replaced.

This item was brought to the attention of the Employee-Employer Relations meeting on November 4, 2020. It was agreed that if school principals feel the need to be replaced (depending on the length of their meeting), they can make the request, which would be approved by the employer.

For any questions related to the subject, please contact Caroline Foisy at 506-452-1763.

// Thank You, Supply Teachers!

The New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation (NBTF) organized a virtual Zoom meeting exclusively for supply teachers around the province so they could express their views and ask their questions freely. The NBTF also made a short presentation on their roles and services for members. Supply teachers are an essential component of the education system. It is important that they feel supported by the NBTF, and that they have access to the best working conditions possible.

This virtual meeting was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. The NBTF will host another meeting exclusive to supply teachers in the coming months. In the meantime, we invite all supply teachers who would have questions or concerns to contact us directly by email at or by phone at 1-888-679-7044.

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