Dear RETTA members
On May 21, Premier Brian Pallister announced that as Phase 2 of the government’s “roadmap to recovery”, teachers would be expected back in their schools starting June 1st.
As this created many new uncertainties, I wanted to send you a message to let you know that we are working hard at finding answers to the many questions we all have.
- What if I have personal health concerns and have apprehensions about returning to my worksite?
- The message given by the province was vague. What will be expected of us?
- Will PPE be available to us, and those coming into the schools?
- What about childcare for the children of teachers?
- Are we still going to be allowed to work from home under certain circumstances, or only when no students are coming to the school?
- Will there be sanitization protocols before and after student contact?
- And many, many more.
Other troubling aspects of the announcement on Thursday were the concepts of an early return to classes (August 31st) and the repurposing of some/all of the PD/Admin days throughout the year. I, like you I’m sure, have great concerns about both of these ideas. At this point, these plans are not concrete and the government is looking for feedback on their draft document. I encourage you to fill out the online survey. The survey has some room for comments, particularly in question #1, and the second page has a specific reference to schools. You could even write to your local MLA or the Minister of Education, Kelvin Goertzen. If you do write to your MLA or the minister, remember that you can only speak for yourself and not teachers as a group.
Keeping in mind that many, if not all of the questions and concerns we are facing will be common across the province, we will also be looking to MTS to seek answers from the provincial government. Click here for MTS updates.
Additionally, the school divisions were caught by surprise by this announcement just as much as we were, and they will be working hard to interpret the message given by the government and create a plan for staff. Kirsten and I are in close contact with our division over the next several days so we can get answers out to RETTA members as soon as possible.
If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me. We’re here for you.