Manitoba’s teachers are facing unprecedented pressures and workload in the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers are expected to balance distance learning and in-class teaching, resulting in high work hours and burnout.
We support the demands of the 400+ educators, school leaders, and support staff outlined in their letter addressed to Premier Pallister and Minister Goertzen on November 9, 2020:
- Reduction in class sizes through the hiring of additional educators and support staff
- Sustainable workloads for teachers, which includes reasonable classroom/learning arrangements
- A golden universal standard for a minimum 2 meters distancing for all students
- Supports for students with additional needs and supports for mental health for students and staff
- Clear policy for substitute teachers recruitment, retention, and safety
- Clear, evidence-based, policy from the province concerning performing arts education
- Digital equity for students and staff who need access to devices and the internet
- Identify and address ventilation concerns in schools
- Public messaging, education, and data that is clear, concise, transparent, accessible, and timely
- Prompt contact tracing and quick COVID-19 testing of staff and students
Additionally, we further demand:
- Immediately release details on what has happened with the $85.4 million of federal money earmarked for school COVID-19 preparedness
- Provide adequate PPE to meet the needs of schools
- Conduct an urgent review of the province’s PPE procurement methods and institute a quality assurance process to ensure no more defective or expired PPE is supplied to schools, child care centres, health centres or anywhere else
- Drastically expand the number of contact tracers
- Prioritize teachers and school staff, along with medical staff, when conducting PCR testing for COVID.
- Commit to making rapid-testing available to teachers and school staff, along with medical staff and other front-line workerS
- Give every student the option to conduct their learning remotely
- Provide sick time coverage to all educators including temporary workers, substitute teachers, and support staff
We are all in this together!