In essence then, the school board can exercise its discretion during the hiring process in assessing the competence, suitability and qualifications of applicants. This discretion must be exercised within the other parameters of Article 6 and the recall and reassignment rights of teachers under Article 9 (Layoffs).
At the point of hiring a substitute teacher, a school board may wish to give particular consideration to such aspects of a teacher's capability as years of university training, length of teaching experience, length of experience with that particular school board, prior teaching in that particular school or previous experience teaching that particular grade level or subject combination. However, the board is not obliged to give greater weight to either one of these or any other particular criteria, since Article 6.03 contains the words "as assessed by the school board". Thus, one school board may indeed place greater emphasis on some particular aspect of a person's overall capability than another would.
As a result of concerns with the lack of consistent policies and procedures for the hiring of substitute teachers, an ad hoc Committee on Substitute Teachers was established by NLTA in the Fall of 1992 to examine and make recommendations on this subject. The committee reported to AGM 1993 and that AGM referred the report and its recommendations to the Provincial Executive for consideration and actioning. The recommendations have since been approved by the Provincial Executive and AGM 1994 and are now an integral part of the NLTA's Policy on Substitute Teachers. This position also forms part of NLTA's opening proposal for the upcoming contract negotiations.
The Association's Policy on the hiring of substitute teachers states as follows:
(a) That substitute and replacement teachers be recognized as defined in Article 42(f) and 42(j), and in accordance with Article 49.08, of the Provincial Collective Agreement.
(b) Subject to Article 9.10(a) of the Provincial Collective Agreement, preference in the hiring of persons for substitute and replacement positions shall be given to individuals who have served in substitute and or replacement positions with the employing school board.
(c) (i) Subject to (b) above, and the requirement of capability, hiring of substitute and replacement teachers shall be on the basis of accumulated seniority in a substitute or replacement position in this province.
(ii) Teachers who have been laid off and are still unemployed in a full-time position shall have service accumulated in any continuing position included in the calculation of seniority as a substitute or replacement teacher.
(d) Capability shall be recognized and determined on the basis of the overall ability of the candidate to perform the job function required.
(e) A substitute/replacement teacher list shall be compiled on a district wide basis comprising candidates approved by the superintendent or designate, subject to the candidates' holding a valid teaching certificate.
(f) A school list of substitute and replacement candidates shall be a sub-set of the district list and shall contain names of teachers who have indicated a particular desire to be considered for call-in to a given school or schools.
(g) A substitute/replacement teacher whose name appears on the school list shall remain on that list for that school as long as the teacher indicates a desire to continue substituting/replacing at that school. Removal of a substitute's name from the list by the school board may be undertaken only for just cause and shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration process.
(h) Subject to Article 9.10(a) of the Provincial Collective Agreement, and the requirements of capability and seniority, a teacher who has been hired on a substitute or replacement basis at a specific school shall be given preference for hire for substitute and replacement positions at that same school over a candidate who has no previous experience at that school.
It is the position of the NLTA that this policy outlines a fair and objective process for the hiring of substitute and replacement teachers. If included in the Collective Agreement, it would replace a system that is, at present, inconsistent and highly subjective with one that is objective based upon the criteria of accumulated seniority as a substitute/replacement teacher and capability to perform the job function required.