The announcement of the prime minister Legault at the effect that a plan for the progressive reopening of schools will be presented as early as next week surprises the two most important trade unions of the education environment in the Outaouais.
April 24, 2020 4: 00
Updated at 8: 25
Plan back-to-school: fears and questions two trade unions of the Outaouais region
“One has the impression that there are people who do not speak in the box at the top”.
The announcement of the prime minister Legault at the effect that a plan for the progressive reopening of schools will be presented as early as next week surprises the two most important trade unions of the education environment in the Outaouais region, who argue that significant concerns remain among their members about school “redesigned”.
The president of the trade Union of education of Ottawa (SEO), Suzanne Tremblay, was a little surprised that things have here at this speed and a calendar of déconfinement will be unveiled in the coming days, because, she says, a fifteen committees involving multiple stakeholders have been trained at the request of the minister of Education. The recommendations were to be filed at the beginning of may.
Stunned, the Federation autumn education (FAE), which is affiliated with the union, also indicated Wednesday that she demands to see the plan to reopen it as of now.
“Our concern is to know if it will be listened to, because that will bring this plan-there on his shoulders? The majority are the teachers, because they are the ones who will be on the floor daily. This is something to re-open schools in such a context, there are a lot of things to think about and this is not a simple one. The plan may not have been written without the teachers being consulted, have seen and have enhanced. The more we listen, the better will be the re-opening. We must do things quietly, but wisely. The schools of yesterday are not the schools will re-open in may. It can absolutely nothing to minimize in terms of security,” she says.
Simon Séguin-Bertrand, A Record Of The Right
It states that approximately 15% of the approximately 5200 teachers of the school boards of the Portages-de-l’outaouais, the Rivermen and the Heart-of-Valleys are aged 55 years and over. This is not counting pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. Many have their share of concerns. In addition, note-t-on, the disinfectant products were already becoming scarce in several locations.
“Parents have been reassured because they will have the choice to send their children or not, but the teachers, themselves, will be at work. So there are questions that we must answer. Training on hygiene measures should also be given, many are not accustomed to. There have been setbacks in health, then in education we have the chance to do things right, to avoid jeopardizing the safety of staff”, said Ms. Tremblay.
If some are removed from the workplace, the school boards will find themselves with “an enormous challenge” to manage, according to the union, which reminds us that the shortage of teachers and substitutes are already severely felt in the Outaouais region.
“The lists were empty. I don’t know that it’s going to take to replace the qualified staff” asked Suzanne Tremblay.
On the subject of social distancing, it is clear that the game plan must be clear and precise, ” said SEO.
“Dr. Arruda says that it will be necessary to maintain social distancing, but in a school, the lockers are in a row of onion. In some places they are even two per box. You do that reach your arm and you touch your neighbor. Just unit 1 of the polyvalente Nicolas-Gatineau, these are 650 students that come out at the same time deslocaux when the bell rings. How to organise-t-on dinners, recreations, transportation, physical education classes? It is a huge logistical challenge. Is this going to be the school day? Semi-groups? Some levels only? It is still unclear and the journey will be long”, she says.
Social distancing must be respected in the school at the re-opening of the latter.
Patrick Woodbury, Right
The union recalls that, to add to this puzzle, many schools in Gatineau are already having to deal with an overcrowding problem.
One thing is certain, students and teachers will have to learn to cope with this new reality disconcerting,
“Normally, when a child cries, we sit down at its height, and approach. It also makes us hugs when he’s happy to see us. The teacher spends as much time if not more, than the parents with the children each week, then there is a special bond that develops. We were accustomed to this proximity, then it’s going to be quite a learning experience, that will not happen automatically. Even if the parents say, the fact remains that the children did not go to the grocery store, have not found this distancing. It wants to say what, two meters, in the head of a young child? There will be a lot of education to be done, for example, that we can raise a smile instead of a hug. This is not impossible, but it will not be easy,” exclaimed she.
“It takes clear direction”
For his part, the president of the Union of school support of the Ottawa, Simon Dostie-Cormier, says that many of its 4000 members are fearful at the idea of returning to work without knowing the preventative measures that will be put in place.
“Employers have worked together since the beginning of the crisis, we communicate well, but it is believed that this is not enough. It takes clear direction from the government, and clearly we don’t have currently. We want a update for all the job that it represents. If we rely on what is said publicly, it does not seem to be considered in the debate, but at the end of the line, these are the people who roll custodial services, administrative services, maintenance of schools, etc, everyone will be in the same boat”, laments he.
People who are vulnerable or who have particular health conditions have many questions, ” adds Mr. Dostie-Cormier.
“There must be a definite plan, of the facts, to reassure people. There are many who are approaching their retirement, others who should be but who have decided to continue for a variety of reasons. There is already a shortage of staff, if we find ourselves in a situation of COVID-19. We don’t want to end up in situations where we are going to escape the ball with long-term consequences,” he said.