Adult Educators Stress Song
Lynda Toews 2008
Some locals, like Vancouver, have had an Adult Educator sublocal for some time, while in others, efforts to include them in contract have so far been unsuccessful.
Adult Educators often work days, nights, weekends and over the summer. It is precarious work, always at risk of closing down based on Board or Ministry funding decisions. Also, the program is not offered consistently around the province. In the 1990s locals worked to get these colleagues into our contracts, through separate agreements or in the local collective agreement. After a number of arbitrations the way was paved for full recognition in contract.
Working conditions for adult educators within local agreements are still substandard in many areas. Most Lower Mainland Adult Educators lack preparation time and professional development time. Recently they have had to fight for even one curriculum implementation day, although they deliver the same curriculum as their K-12 counterparts.
Adult Educators are paid on an hourly basis, without coverage for holidays. In many cases there are no contractual provisions for lunch breaks for Adult Educators, so they often don’t get lunch breaks, or if they do, they can be as short as fifteen minutes. In addition, temporary contracts are widespread, and contract provisions to provide a process for conversion to continuing are lacking.
Most adult educators don’t have access to learning assistance or counselling services, although the students come disproportionately from among those who “fell through the cracks” in the K-12 system. They were unsuccessful the first time around because of unmet special educational needs, or because of social or emotional issues.
This song, a variation on the Teacher Stress Song, was written for a ceremony welcoming Burnaby Adult Educators into the Burnaby Teachers’ Association and the BC Teachers’ Federation.
Melody: Teacher Stress Song, Geoff Peters, Marion Runcie and Maureen MacDonald.