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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 4, March 2004

Staffing losses threaten our top-ranked system

Stripping the collective agreement and significant underfunding have together had a huge impact on the services available to students. Specialist teachers providing support to the classroom have been cut dramatically.

These statistics are from the staffing information collected by the ministry of education each year on Form 1530 for September in 2001 and 2003.

Two areas of staffing that were not guaranteed in the collective agreement have also lost staff and had program reductions: continuing education and career programs. In each of these cases, the ministry made a change in its finance rules that led to these reductions.

The major increases in staffing are also a result of changing the finance rules. A cap on administrative staffing costs was eliminated in the name of "flexibility." The result has been significant increases in the number of administrators—both in the schools and in district business offices—according to the figures reported to the ministry by school districts.

The "flexibility" promised by Christy Clark has been used in ways that have dramatically reduced direct service to students, but increased administrative staffing. However, even if there had been no increase in administration, districts would still have had to make many of the cuts in specialist staffing.

A detailed report on the impact of the B.C. Liberal policies on staffing for education is available on the BCTF web site at bctf.ca.

Between September 2001 and September 2003: Figures updated March 12, 2004

Student enrolment –2.0%

Teachers –7.7%

Includes:

Special education teachers –17.5%

Teacher-librarians –23.4%

Counsellors –9.5%

Continuing ed. teachers –34.5%

Career program teachers –27.4%

ESL teachers –20.0%

Clerical & support staff –10.2%

Administrators –4.1%

(Information compiled from the Ministry of Education 1530 and 1554 data collection forms)

 


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