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Peterborough educators respond to auditor general's report on teacher sick days

Peterborough educators respond to auditor general's report on teacher sick days
From Global News - December 7, 2017

In her report released Wednesday, Ontarios Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said the number of sick days being taken by teachers and other school staff has increased by about 30 per cent over the past five yearsfrom nine days in the 2011-2012 school year to 11.6 in 2015-2016.

Lysyk says boards are being forced to spend money meant for students to hire substitute teachers to fill in for those off sick.

READ MORE: Auditor general finds Ontarians pay millions for ineligible power generator costs


Cathy Abraham, the chair of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, says this is not the case in her board. She says the needed cash was found in, what she calls, other administrative places. She places the blame for the increase in sick days directly on the province who eliminated the practice of teachers banking their sick days during negotiations in 2011.

This is not about staff taking sick days. If they are unwell they should take sick days, that is the way it goes, said Abraham. We are very concerned about their mental health, their physical health, all of those things, but on the other hand, we do need to talk to the ministry and continue those conversations about funding those days.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario says the province cant possibly compare life in the classroom as it existed in 2011 with that of today.

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