The South East Cornerstone Public School Division has seen a decrease in full-time equivalent teaching positions, primarily due to how operations have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a presentation made during a board meeting last Wednesday, it was noted the decline of 25.6 full-time equivalent positions can be attributed to events taking students out of the classroom and learning at home through remote classes. 

While there has been a decline in staffing, this isn’t a concern for the Deputy Director, Keith Keating. He pointed to enrolment being tied to the number of students enrolled in classes at the various schools in the division. This means teacher staffing is always relatively static. However, recruiting for vacant positions has proven difficult at times. 

“Some of those more specific high school positions like the high school sciences, math, some of our French immersion teachers are typically a little more difficult to recruit out of the cities,” Keating said. 

Other positions where there is a push to recruit staff within the SECPSD in support staff. This includes caretakers and bus drivers. 

The presentation made by Keating during the meeting also explained the situation with collective bargaining agreements. The four-year agreements in place with CUPE and SEIU-West will be expiring on August 31st of next year, with bargaining expected to start in roughly seven to 11 months. The three-year agreement with the local teachers’ association was signed in August and expires in 2024.