Hamilton Catholic school board hands out surplus notices to 42 high school teachers

News Apr 16, 2019 by Natalie Paddon The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton's Catholic school board handed out surplus notices to 42 high school teachers Monday.

The notices, which are not layoff notices, indicate the number of surplus secondary teachers at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board for next year.

"Our commitment is to do everything we can ... to minimize the impact on staff," said board chair Pat Daly. "There's a long way to go until next September, and our hope is that through retirements and other things that the teachers will remain in the employment of the board."

While the surplus notices indicate the board could cut as many as 42 high school teaching positions, some of the affected teachers may end up with jobs depending on retirements, enrolment numbers and final funding allocations.

The local union president is not optimistic that will happen.

"If enough people were to retire, we could absorb them," said Sergio Cacoilo, president of the Hamilton Secondary Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association. "The problem is, we will not have enough people retiring."

Cacoilo estimates there will be a total of 60 high school teachers of retirement age over the next four years. Paired with the average secondary class size increasing from 22 to 28 students over the same time, there will not be enough retirements to cover the surplus, he said.

"We simply do not have enough senior teachers in the system to be able to absorb this," he said.

Each year, the board goes over the school-by-school surplus to determine if teachers need to be moved to other schools, but it is rare for Hamilton's Catholic board to declare an overall system surplus, Daly said.

Daly, who has been board chair for close to 30 years, said the last time he remembers it happening was in the 1990s.

The majority of the surplus positions are related to the province's planned increase to the average high school class size from 22 to 28 students as well as uncertainty around funding, he said.

School boards are expecting to learn of their per-pupil Grants for Student Needs, which fuel most of their funding, at the end of April — a month later than the ministry typically announces them.

Despite this, the board has to issue surplus notices now in order to meet timelines set out in the collective agreement, he said.

"We appreciate that this creates concern for those receiving the letters, but again, we just want to assure them that we're going to do everything we can to minimize the impact," he said.

Monday's news left affected union members feeling "devastated" and "hurt," said Cacoilo.

Many had been hired within the past year or two after spending several years on the supply list, he said.

Some had started families, while others had bought property and are taking care of older family members, Cacoilo added.

"These are people that were moving on with their lives and now they're thinking, 'Oh my God, I'm going to get laid off'," he said.

Different collective agreements have different dates, and so numbers are not yet known for elementary school teachers and other education staff, Daly noted.

Two weeks ago, Hamilton's public school board projected it could cut as many as 136 staff positions next year, including 79.61 high school teachers and 23 educational assistants, because of changes to the average secondary class size, declining enrolment, school closures and funding cuts.

Of the 79.61 secondary positions identified, 27.44 are slated to be cut due to a decrease in enrolment while 35 positions are expected to be reduced through retirements but not replaced because of the average class size increase.

The news about staffing reductions comes after the province announced changes to the education system last month, ranging from increasing the average high school class size, to implementing mandatory e-learning.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said no teachers will lose their jobs as a result of the government cuts, and that the 3,475 teaching jobs that will be eliminated over four years, which will save $851 million, will be done through "an attrition-based approach."

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Hamilton Catholic school board hands out surplus notices to 42 high school teachers

The union president says there will not be enough retirements to cover the surplus of high school teachers

News Apr 16, 2019 by Natalie Paddon The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton's Catholic school board handed out surplus notices to 42 high school teachers Monday.

The notices, which are not layoff notices, indicate the number of surplus secondary teachers at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board for next year.

"Our commitment is to do everything we can ... to minimize the impact on staff," said board chair Pat Daly. "There's a long way to go until next September, and our hope is that through retirements and other things that the teachers will remain in the employment of the board."

While the surplus notices indicate the board could cut as many as 42 high school teaching positions, some of the affected teachers may end up with jobs depending on retirements, enrolment numbers and final funding allocations.

Related Content

The local union president is not optimistic that will happen.

"If enough people were to retire, we could absorb them," said Sergio Cacoilo, president of the Hamilton Secondary Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association. "The problem is, we will not have enough people retiring."

Cacoilo estimates there will be a total of 60 high school teachers of retirement age over the next four years. Paired with the average secondary class size increasing from 22 to 28 students over the same time, there will not be enough retirements to cover the surplus, he said.

"We simply do not have enough senior teachers in the system to be able to absorb this," he said.

Each year, the board goes over the school-by-school surplus to determine if teachers need to be moved to other schools, but it is rare for Hamilton's Catholic board to declare an overall system surplus, Daly said.

Daly, who has been board chair for close to 30 years, said the last time he remembers it happening was in the 1990s.

The majority of the surplus positions are related to the province's planned increase to the average high school class size from 22 to 28 students as well as uncertainty around funding, he said.

School boards are expecting to learn of their per-pupil Grants for Student Needs, which fuel most of their funding, at the end of April — a month later than the ministry typically announces them.

Despite this, the board has to issue surplus notices now in order to meet timelines set out in the collective agreement, he said.

"We appreciate that this creates concern for those receiving the letters, but again, we just want to assure them that we're going to do everything we can to minimize the impact," he said.

Monday's news left affected union members feeling "devastated" and "hurt," said Cacoilo.

Many had been hired within the past year or two after spending several years on the supply list, he said.

Some had started families, while others had bought property and are taking care of older family members, Cacoilo added.

"These are people that were moving on with their lives and now they're thinking, 'Oh my God, I'm going to get laid off'," he said.

Different collective agreements have different dates, and so numbers are not yet known for elementary school teachers and other education staff, Daly noted.

Two weeks ago, Hamilton's public school board projected it could cut as many as 136 staff positions next year, including 79.61 high school teachers and 23 educational assistants, because of changes to the average secondary class size, declining enrolment, school closures and funding cuts.

Of the 79.61 secondary positions identified, 27.44 are slated to be cut due to a decrease in enrolment while 35 positions are expected to be reduced through retirements but not replaced because of the average class size increase.

The news about staffing reductions comes after the province announced changes to the education system last month, ranging from increasing the average high school class size, to implementing mandatory e-learning.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said no teachers will lose their jobs as a result of the government cuts, and that the 3,475 teaching jobs that will be eliminated over four years, which will save $851 million, will be done through "an attrition-based approach."

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Hamilton Catholic school board hands out surplus notices to 42 high school teachers

The union president says there will not be enough retirements to cover the surplus of high school teachers

News Apr 16, 2019 by Natalie Paddon The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton's Catholic school board handed out surplus notices to 42 high school teachers Monday.

The notices, which are not layoff notices, indicate the number of surplus secondary teachers at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board for next year.

"Our commitment is to do everything we can ... to minimize the impact on staff," said board chair Pat Daly. "There's a long way to go until next September, and our hope is that through retirements and other things that the teachers will remain in the employment of the board."

While the surplus notices indicate the board could cut as many as 42 high school teaching positions, some of the affected teachers may end up with jobs depending on retirements, enrolment numbers and final funding allocations.

Related Content

The local union president is not optimistic that will happen.

"If enough people were to retire, we could absorb them," said Sergio Cacoilo, president of the Hamilton Secondary Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association. "The problem is, we will not have enough people retiring."

Cacoilo estimates there will be a total of 60 high school teachers of retirement age over the next four years. Paired with the average secondary class size increasing from 22 to 28 students over the same time, there will not be enough retirements to cover the surplus, he said.

"We simply do not have enough senior teachers in the system to be able to absorb this," he said.

Each year, the board goes over the school-by-school surplus to determine if teachers need to be moved to other schools, but it is rare for Hamilton's Catholic board to declare an overall system surplus, Daly said.

Daly, who has been board chair for close to 30 years, said the last time he remembers it happening was in the 1990s.

The majority of the surplus positions are related to the province's planned increase to the average high school class size from 22 to 28 students as well as uncertainty around funding, he said.

School boards are expecting to learn of their per-pupil Grants for Student Needs, which fuel most of their funding, at the end of April — a month later than the ministry typically announces them.

Despite this, the board has to issue surplus notices now in order to meet timelines set out in the collective agreement, he said.

"We appreciate that this creates concern for those receiving the letters, but again, we just want to assure them that we're going to do everything we can to minimize the impact," he said.

Monday's news left affected union members feeling "devastated" and "hurt," said Cacoilo.

Many had been hired within the past year or two after spending several years on the supply list, he said.

Some had started families, while others had bought property and are taking care of older family members, Cacoilo added.

"These are people that were moving on with their lives and now they're thinking, 'Oh my God, I'm going to get laid off'," he said.

Different collective agreements have different dates, and so numbers are not yet known for elementary school teachers and other education staff, Daly noted.

Two weeks ago, Hamilton's public school board projected it could cut as many as 136 staff positions next year, including 79.61 high school teachers and 23 educational assistants, because of changes to the average secondary class size, declining enrolment, school closures and funding cuts.

Of the 79.61 secondary positions identified, 27.44 are slated to be cut due to a decrease in enrolment while 35 positions are expected to be reduced through retirements but not replaced because of the average class size increase.

The news about staffing reductions comes after the province announced changes to the education system last month, ranging from increasing the average high school class size, to implementing mandatory e-learning.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said no teachers will lose their jobs as a result of the government cuts, and that the 3,475 teaching jobs that will be eliminated over four years, which will save $851 million, will be done through "an attrition-based approach."

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec