For Immediate Release
2 May, 2023
Jordan Brown, NDP MHA for Labrador West, is concerned with what he describes as a “crisis in education” in his district. He’s not alone. A petition, signed by hundreds of residents of the district, calls on government to meet with teachers in Labrador West to create a plan to deal with the many issues surrounding teacher recruitment and retention.
Brown says government should get in the habit of doing consultations before taking actions that cause harm. Brown is concerned that the meetings referenced today in the House of Assembly by the Minister will not include consultation with teachers, staff, or concerned parents of students.
“It’s a pattern with this government. They take action without proper consultation and understanding of an issue. Then they’re rushing to put out fires caused by their own inadequate preparation,” Brown said today.
The petition describes “massive” substitute teacher shortfalls, and the need for more “teachers, Instructional Resource Teachers (IRTs), guidance counsellors, school psychologists, support staff, maintenance workers, bus drivers, and custodians.”
Part of the problem is the lack of available affordable housing in the area. Teachers who want to move to Labrador West to work are unable to because they cannot find a place to live. Meanwhile, a government commitment to work on existing teachers’ apartments and add units in the empty first floor of the formal school board building languishes without action being taken.
In the House of Assembly’s Question Period yesterday, Brown said, “Teachers, school staff, and students were appalled to hear the Minister of Education … dismiss the concerns they experience as ‘unsubstantiated.” The MHA wanted to know, “Are the people of Lab West being untruthful? Or does the Minister not understand what’s going on in his portfolio?”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or firstname.lastname@example.org