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U. School Preparedness

1. The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association believes that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through the Department of Education and the school boards, is responsible for ensuring that all school facilities are in good condition for the start of each school year.

a) Throughout the year, each district shall compile a list of needed repairs and renovations for each school within its jurisdiction and such repairs shall be actioned within a reasonable amount of time.

b) Minor repairs which do not interfere with school activities may be carried out on a regular basis as long as there are no health and safety concerns associated with the repairs. Whenever possible, this work shall be scheduled when students and staff have vacated the site.

c) Major repairs and renovations shall occur during non-teaching periods such as Christmas, Easter, summer vacation and long weekends.

d) If major repairs must occur during the school year, every effort should be made to ensure that they adhere to Section IV.FF.6.(d) of the NLTA Policy on Construction, Renovation and Physical Conditions of School Buildings, which states:

“i) Renovations to an existing school building shall not occur during the instructional day.

ii) The school board shall ensure that renovation work which occurs within the school year, but outside the instructional day, will not affect the air quality in the school building and/or disrupt any aspect of student activity or classroom instruction.”

However, if the above conditions cannot be met, the building shall be closed until the work is completed.

e) The school principal shall be a member of the school construction progress team.

2. a) Where there is a question of health and safety, such concerns shall be reported immediately to the school administration and to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee or workplace health and safety representative. The school administrator(s) shall notify the appropriate school board personnel of these concerns. [Jan/26/04] [JC Feb 04] [2005 BGM]

b) While awaiting the results of health and safety tests, the school administration, in consultation with school board officials, shall have the authority to close the facility and/or take other corrective action.

c) A representative from Occupational Health and Safety shall be assigned to school construction progress teams.

d) There shall be open and ongoing communication between school board personnel, school staff, and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee or workplace health and safety representative on issues related to the physical condition of the school construction. [Jan/26/04] [JC Feb 04] [2005 BGM]

3. a) When a school is closed due to health and safety concerns, teachers will not be required to be in attendance. Instructional time lost due to such circumstances will not result in an extension of the school day, week or year.

b) When facilities are required to close or relocate, teachers are not expected to pack or move school materials and equipment from one site to another.

c) Teachers shall be reimbursed for additional travel expenses caused by temporary relocation of their workplace. [Feb/8-9/01] [JC Feb/01] [2001 BGM]