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Quesnel Needs More Teachers

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A teacher shortage continues in the province and it is a severe shortage in Quesnel.

That according to Quesnel District Teachers Association President Lisa Kishkan…

“It so serious that at one point this spring we had nine classrooms that had non-certified teachers in them. And that’s not due to a lack of recruitment efforts on the part of the District.”

Kishkan says it is primarily the result of going 16 years without class size language in their collective agreement….

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“When that class size language was restored last year and re-implemented, it meant an immediate need for thousands of teachers across the province, which created the ability for people, for the first time in well over a decade to have real mobility around employment.”

Kishkan says they hope that things will fix themselves over time now that the language has been restored but she things can be done to speed up the process…

“We need to see first of all a recognition on the part of government that we actually have a teacher shortage in this province. I think we need to open up more seats in universities for people to get the qualifications they need. And we need to see some real recruitment initiatives…the starting wage for a qualified professional teacher in not competitive, compared to other areas in Canada and compared to other similar professions, and that needs to change in order to attract people to the profession.”

She says another deterrent is the previous relationship with the BC Liberal Government with continued court battles and a labour dispute.

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