A lot has changed for teachers across British Columbia since last year’s Supreme Court decision to restore the pre-2002 collective agreement.

Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association President Shawn Gough says it’s been a positive year, but there are still some changes that need to be made.

He says although more teachers have been employed in the past 12 months, but there are still simply not enough educators in British Columbia. “There are also not enough teachers teaching on-call. So when teachers are sick or they have to be away for a reason, there’s not enough people to actually replace them,” he says.

“That’s cutting into the services for students with special needs [and] teacher-librarians are being pulled out of their positions to cover classrooms.”

Gough says the province needs to look at a recruitment retention strategy. He notes that it will be different across the many regions of BC, but more teachers are certainly needed, especially in rural communities.

“There’s a strategy that needs to be developed to offer some kind of incentive for people to make that move up here [North Vancouver Island], whether it be a moving allowance or be a rental subsidy or a student loan forgiveness program. [These are] all things we’ve had in the past but have been thrown by the wayside as the years [have] progressed.”