Even after staffing recalls, at least 29 TDSB high school teachers will lose their jobs, board says

Classroom

At least 29 Toronto District School Board high school teachers will lose their jobs this upcoming year, a spokesperson says, despite previous PC government promises to the contrary. 

"The fact is there are full-time teachers that will remain laid off, even if we're able to recall a number of them," Ryan Bird said Thursday. 

Earlier this week, the union representing secondary school teachers in Ontario said more 150 of them were without full-time contracts. 

While it's a normal occurrence for there to be unfilled positions at the start of the school year and then filled later based on enrollment numbers, Bird said the gap is too much this year when it comes to high school. 

As of Thursday, there are currently 109 full-time TDSB high school positions laid off, but that works out to about 155 people, in part because some staff are technically part-time and doing multiple roles. 

Bird said - under the best case scenario - the board hopes to fill 80 of those 109 positions, which still leaves 29 gone, if current government funding levels remain.

"How many people that will be, I would assume it would be a bit more, I just don't know how much exactly," Bird said, adding there will "definitely" be full-time teachers. 

The TDSB is not expecting any layoffs for elementary teachers. 

Premier Doug Ford has infamously said that no teachers would lose their jobs and previous education minister Lisa Thompson had promised there would be no 'involuntary job losses." 

Current minister Stephen Lecce was asked about the layoffs Thursday at a funding announcement in Milton.

He stressed the normalcy of staffing recalls, the attrition funding the government has given and that some boards have fully brought all their teachers back. 

"We were conditioned to believe through the summer that there was going to be dramatic layoffs of teachers, dramatic increases of class sizes, massive reductions in services," he said. "I just think what we were told is not actually what is taking place." 

But he declined to address the reality of teachers losing their jobs when pressed as his announcement ended. 

"So those teachers have lost their jobs," a reporter said, but education ministry staff promptly responded with, "no, we're done."