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P. Teacher Workload

1. Instructional Day

a) The student instructional day as legislated should be strictly adhered to and recess periods should be excluded from this instructional time. The Schools Act should ensure consistency in length of the school day in schools throughout the province and that bus contracts are designed to meet the scheduling needs of the schools.

b) Teaching time available must be utilized effectively and efficiently by providing to teachers the necessary supports and resources to maintain a positive classroom learning environment and remove from teachers the responsibilities for such activities as fundraising or other tasks which are not directly related to teaching.

c) No discussions over lengthening of school day or school year will be entertained without achieving maximization of teaching time as outlined in (b) above. In any event, no increases will occur without the consent of teachers.

d) Teachers should receive, on average during an instructional cycle, a minimum of 60 minutes of preparation time during a 300-minute instructional day. [2005 BGM]

2. Teacher Workday

a) The length of the workday for teachers shall be arrived at through collective bargaining but the scheduled workday shall not exceed six hours or thirty hours per week. [1999 BGM]

b) Definition

A teacher’s workday is that period of time necessary in a day to fulfill the requirements of the teaching position. The time necessary can fall into two categories – scheduled, and unscheduled. It should be noted that the concepts of scheduled and unscheduled time reference the time required to accommodate the normal assigned duties of a teacher. It should no way be interpreted that the teacher’s workday described herein corresponds to a day of salary. The number of hours on which pay is based is five per day. The tasks indicated in the time categories in this definition will take considerably longer than five hours. In addition, there are a variety of activities such as supervision of after school student events, coaching, chaperoning for special excursions, etc., which teachers undertake as voluntary assignments.

  1. Scheduled time is that period of time during a school day when a teacher has specifically assigned duties such as: supervision of students, administrative duties, classroom instruction and scheduled preparation time.
  2. Unscheduled time is that period of time a teacher may find necessary for proper fulfilment of duties beyond the regular school day. This time is used to accommodate tasks which are unable to be completed during the regular school day.

c) No teacher shall be required to be present at school beyond the normal school day for more than a total of three hours in any one week. [Mar/7-8/97] [1997 AGM]

d) No teacher shall be required to be present for school duties on Saturday or Sunday.

e) A teacher’s participation on a school-based or board-based committee requires that teacher’s consent.

f) Any teacher required to attend interagency meetings regarding a student shall be given time during the instructional day to attend such meetings. [1999 BGM] [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

3. Supervision

a) The performance of supervisory duties is not an effective utilization of a professional educator’s time. It is also recognized that a reduction of supervision duties will have a positive effect on other workload issues. Supervision duties have a negative impact on teacher time which should be available for more productive professional activity. Therefore, supervisory duties should be minimized for teachers and school boards should utilize other community supports and resources to take responsibility for such duties.

b) Supervision before and after classes should be kept to a maximum of 20 minutes. Teachers shall not be expected to supervise pupils who arrive very early in the morning and also leave late in the evening. In such cases the school board should provide the extra necessary supervision.

c) A program of hiring non-teaching personnel for lunch time supervision be introduced into our school systems at the earliest opportunity.

d) Supervision of extra-curricular activities shall be done on a voluntary basis.

4. Work Assignment

a) There shall be consultation at the local level between teachers and their principals in determining the allocation to teachers of curricular and non-curricular duties. The workload of teachers will be distributed in a fair and equitable manner, and the process will involve, but not be limited to; consideration of numbers of students, both pre-school and school aged children, number of course preparations, nature of courses taught, characteristics and identified learning/behavioural difficulties of students taught, administrative duties required, and multigrade/course teaching situations. (Clause 29.01(a) of the collective agreement.) [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

b) Every effort shall be made to determine a teacher’s curricular duties for the coming school year prior to the last day of the current school year. [2001 BGM] [June/8/01] [JC Nov/01] [2003 BGM [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

c) Notwithstanding b) above, every effort shall be made to ensure that the consultation for the coming school year referred to in Clause 29.01(a) of the collective agreement between teachers and their principals shall occur not later than the first scheduled instructional day. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

d) Kindergarten teachers should not be responsible for implementation of any pre-school readiness programs for children. [2003 BGM]

5. Preparation Time

A significant number of teachers have inadequate time for preparation and function within a school day overcrowded with instructional and other duties, allowing little or no time for preparatory necessities. Therefore;

a) A teacher shall receive, on average throughout an instructional cycle, a minimum of 60 minutes of preparation time during the instructional day. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

b) Consideration be given to hiring part-time personnel in order to provide preparation time in small schools.

c) Limits be placed on the number of course preparations required of a teacher, and additional resources be allocated, where necessary, in order to achieve this goal.

6. Class Size

The NLTA maintains the view that a direct relationship exists between student achievement and class size. Therefore, in order to promote effective teaching and learning conditions and in the interest of quality education and enhanced levels of student achievement, the Association will make every effort to pursue limits on class sizes appropriate to the teaching situation involved, in accordance with the following guidelines:

a) Kindergarten classes – maximum 12 students;

b) Primary classes – maximum 20 students;

c) Elementary/Intermediate and High School classes – maximum 20 students;

d) Special education classes – maximum six students;

e) Classes of students designated as either hearing or sight impaired, trainable mentally handicapped, multi-handicapped, or emotionally disturbed – maximum four students;

f) The number of students in laboratory, workshop and computer classes should not exceed the number of fully equipped student stations provided, or the number of students recommended by the Department of Education, whichever is lesser;

g)    i) multigrade/multicourse classes, K-3 – maximum 12 students;

ii) multigrade/multicourse classes, 4-12 – maximum 15 students;

h) In situations where integration of special needs students occurs in regular classrooms – maximum 15 students. [1999 BGM]

7. Teacher Allocation

a) Administrators

Administrative personnel should be allocated separately from the pupil/teacher ratio formula in accordance with the following:

All schools in the province shall receive the following administrative allocations:

Number of Pupils Admin FTE
1 – 49 .50 units
50 – 174 1.00 units
175 – 249 1.25 units
250 – 399 1.50 units
400 – 549 1.75 units
550 – 699 2.00 units
700 – 849 2.50 units
850 + 3.00 units


[Mar/1-2/96] [1996 AGM] [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

b) Specialists

  1. Teachers for specialty program areas such as physical education, music, Core French, reading recovery, and later literacy should be excluded from the normal pupil-teacher allocation ratio and allocated on a different formula devised to provide adequate personnel to deliver a curriculum expected of schools in today’s society. [Feb/17-18/00] [JC Feb/00] [June/9/00] [JC Oct/00][2001 BGM]
  2. A salary unit for a full-time learning resource person should be made available, apart from the regular teacher allocation, for schools having 150 or more students. Where there are less than 150 students a half-time salary unit should be provided.
  3. Teacher allocations should include units for remedial instruction. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]
  4. Guidance counsellors should be allocated based on a ratio of 1:250 students in addition to the regular allotment of teachers. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM] [Mar/17&19/16] [JC Mar/16] [2017 BGM]
  5. The Department of Education should provide field consultation services for psychological problems in school districts that do not have the services of a psychologist.

c) Teachers

  1. Teaching units should be allocated based on programs and needs, not student numbers. [2001 BGM] [June/8/01] [JC Nov/01] [2003 BGM] [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]
  2. Additional teachers should be allocated to schools on the basis of programs approved by the Director on the recommendation of the principal and staff of these schools.

d) Program Specialists

  1. All districts will have a program implementation specialist for early childhood/ primary, elementary, intermediate, senior high, school development and special services.
  2. All districts will have a minimum of four additional program implementation specialists, to be allocated according to programs, funded by the Department of Education in addition to existing teacher allocations, and to be assigned based on needs defined by each district.
  3. All districts will be provided time for lead teacher secondment to support curriculum initiatives at the district level.
  4. The Department of Education shall provide resources so that lead teachers can be assigned to each district, for all areas of the curriculum, to work with district level personnel on curriculum implementation issues. [Apr/6-7/00] [JC Oct/00] [2001 BGM]

8. Leave Provisions

a) Teacher leave is to be governed by specific provisions of the collective agreement. Efforts should be made to change the discretionary nature of leave provisions to nondiscretionary, in order to ensure that all teachers have access to leave, particularly for family leave and professional development activity. [Mar/10-11/95] [1995 AGM] [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

b) Teachers should be able to avail of unpaid leave for an unspecified number of days if a capable substitute is available. [2001 BGM] [June/8/01] [JC Nov/01] [2003 BGM]

9. Bargaining Unit Duties

Duties which are normally performed by members of the bargaining unit will continue to be performed by members of the bargaining unit and at no time will be assigned to personnel outside the bargaining unit. [June/14-15/96] [1997 AGM]

10. School Secretarial Services

All schools shall have a minimum of one full-time secretarial position. [1999 BGM]

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