UPDATE: Changes Coming to How Teachers are Hired
The Ministry of Education is changing hiring practices for teachers and the unions in Windsor-Essex are not happy.
Speaking on Thursday morning, Minister Stephen Lecce announced that Regulation 274 will be revoked, and teacher hiring in Ontario will be dictated by merit, diversity, and the unique needs of schools and communities.
"Our government is fully committed to standing up for students and parents who deserve the best, most qualified, and reflective educator at the front of the classroom," said Lecce. "That means, when it comes to hiring educators, principals should be able to hire the best teacher for the job - not necessarily the one who has been in line the longest."
OSSTF District 9 Spokesperson Christina Wagner tells AM800 News this an unnecessary move.
"Our board has gone through the hiring process for OTs [ocassional teachers] and it has been done through the regulations and we haven't had any issues," she says. "Unfortunately the government is taking advantage of an already terrible situation this school year and creating more chaos."
Wagner says at the end of the day, a lot of the teachers in the ocassional teacher hiring pool DO have the required qualifications.
"Many of them have the experience, the qualifications, they have extra qualifications to make them that much better just in terms of their experiences in the classroom and many of the experienced ocassional teachers, they've improved on their qualificaitons and experiences to help better their pedagogical practices.")
According to the ministry, for nearly a decade, teachers in Ontario have been hired through what the ministry describes as a convoluted system that preferred seniority over skills, abilities, diversity and lived experiences of teachers.
The new hiring Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) will enable principals to hire based on merit, diversity and the unique needs of the school, while providing strict protocols to avoid concerns of nepotism.