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Jobs losses lead to declining enrolment
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The decline in enrolment may cause downsizing in the number of term, contract teachers - teaching positions with contracts that are renewed yearly - this fall, if the decline continues, says Duff Spence, chair of Yk Education District No. 1. But how far the district will have cut teaching positions won't be known until May, he said.
Spence said the number of teachers resigning or taking a leave of absence at the end of this school year, combined with other factors such as the number of students enrolled with special needs will ultimately decide the outcome.
"As part of our collective agreement with the Northwest Territories Teachers Association, teachers have until the end of April to hand in their resignations if they are going to resign," said Spence.
There are currently 144 teacher positions in the employ of YK1. February 2009's enrolment numbers in YK1 are 1,885 - compared to 1,991 in February of last year.
"With the layoffs that have occurred here in town, we anticipate some families may move away", said Mel Pardy, assistant superintendent of education.
"We can definitely say that there will be no layoffs this year, but we may not rehire some term positions."
David Reid, president of the NWT Teachers' Association, said he doesn't expect long-term teachers to lose their jobs. He said any cuts to staff will likely affect just the term positions.
"While you never like to see someone lose their jobs, term positions are hired for a certain length of time."
The Yellowknife Catholic school board is also facing the idea of downsizing, but officials didn't yet want to comment.
"We still have resignations to look at," said superintendent Gwen Keith of Yellowknife Catholic Schools.
"It all has to level out before we will be able to comment."