Roger Callow 

16 July 2019 at 08:34

To: jerry.agar@sunmedia.ca

MESSAGEThis account appears on employeescasecanada.ca  2019 July 16

1) Why are we not firing teachers in Ontario? asks O.S. columnist Jerry Agar p.15 based on other Union workers disciplined for evasive practices including 'Friday and Monday' absenteeism to an abnormal degree.

2) As a permanent teacher in West Vancouver, I was ousted in 1985, not due to absenteeism as I possibly had the best attendance of any teacher (The Union asked me at one time to donate my 'sick leave' - up to 200 days - to those chronically ill teachers, which I did). No, my crime was far worse... whistleblowing in which I got my own imposed BILL 35 (shades of the imposed Carbon Tax) in an unresolved legal matter in which no compensation has been paid for 34 years and counting due to the malfeasance of over 50 judges. Justice Canada collapsed under that load and merely awaits the likes of a Jerry Agar to inform the public of that catastrophe (at the cost of his job!).

3) As a Supply Teacher in Ottawa with 16 years experience in both my postings ending in 2004, I witnessed the Friday-Monday sickness spike and methods used by administrators to curtail it:

a) Lumping Supply Teacher costs into Department budgets did have some savings as some teachers came to school when they should not have. When some Administrative sharpshooter decided to further cut that Department's budget the following year, the teachers said 'to hell with it' and went back to the old model of absenteeism foregoing photocopy costs (later re-instituted)

b) While I have always felt that absent teachers should be paid 85% of salary, I have been told a 'Phoenix' nightmare problem would ensue wiping out any savings in instituting any such scheme. Some teachers consider these 20 days as a 'right' to be added into early retirement. Savings accrue to the School Board in that a new teacher replacing the retiree saves 50%.

c) Requesting a Doctor's letter for Fridays and Mondays did not even get off the ground. Doctors are not available on a single day's notice nor should one with a cold go to the Doctor's Office as per medical advice (and unnecessary costs).

4) As to taking a day off, there are pitfalls for teachers there as well. Returning from absence leads to an increase in marking load and, in some instances (not me); the teacher found all her stickers, equipment, etc. handed out willy nilly by 'popular' supply teachers.

5) Currently, I do not recommend that anyone take up the practice of teaching. Students in QC education faculties are leaving in droves as are first year teachers. School Administrators cannot get Supply Teachers. Similar to the modern police forces with their 'priority policing' (I had a franchise installing home alarms in the 1990's but that is another story); one cannot call on an authority figure and expect decisive action. Teachers are alarmed at increasing violence in the classroom and being blamed in the process for those occurrences. Under those circumstances, expect a deluge of teachers departing the profession.

I certainly could not survive in the current situation for if I witnessed a serious infraction in the classroom, I would call in the administration.(I see these current absentee figures do not include 'stress leave'; something new in my lexicon.)

6) The major question raised by Agar's column which is not answered is whom is going to replace all these fired teachers? The Ford Government has suffered enough slings by acting inopportunely on other topics merely making matters worse at a higher expenditure.






P.S. You reference the legal ON Labour Outfit run by guru Howard Levitt, whom, similar to yourself, has been challenged to write on the biggest labour fiasco - including the ON phase - in Canadian jurisprudence. You are both frauds to that extent regarding your respective silences.