Nunavut teachers’ union criticizes premier’s recruitment plans

“The idea that more will simply move in as others move out is false”

The Government of Nunavut is hoping that unemployed teachers in southern Canada will help fill vacancies in the territory’s schools. The GN is already looking for a new principal and teachers at Naujaat’s Tuugaalik High School, seen here, which was rocked by violence this past spring. (File photo)

By Jane George

Updated May 6 at 9:30 a.m.

The Nunavut Teachers’ Association says that the territory’s premier underestimates the challenges of teacher recruitment and retention.

A statement made by Premier Joe Savikataaq at a news conference on Monday, May 4, about the territory’s COVID-19 response was “reckless” and “short-sighted,” NTA President John Fanjoy told Nunatsiaq News.

When asked during the news conference whether he was worried that Nunavut might lack teachers for next year, Savikataaq said the Department of Education is always looking out for new teachers.

“September is still quite a few months away, and there was an announcement earlier in the year that Ontario was going to lay off a whole bunch of teachers, so maybe these teachers would want to come work in Nunavut,” Savikataaq said.

Fanjoy said Savikataaq’s remarks are “unfortunately an accurate reflection of how the Government of Nunavut is handling the current teacher retention crisis in Nunavut.”

“Teachers are in high demand across the country, and the idea that more will simply move in as others move out is false,” Fanjoy said.

So far, it looks like the number of teachers leaving Nunavut will be “substantial,” he said.

Since March, Nunavut teachers have faced cascading challenges due to COVID-19 prevention measures, school closures and confusion over what they should be doing and where they should be during the school closures.

But teachers are not leaving Nunavut simply due to COVID-19, Fanjoy said.

“Teachers are choosing to end their careers in Nunavut because of the chronic lack of support in schools for students and educators, in particular for our Nunavut Teachers Education Program graduates and teachers who are new to Nunavut,” he said.

The workload increases each year at the territory’s schools, while the supports continue to slowly evaporate, he said.

These problems have only grown under COVID-19 restrictions, he said.

“The morale of experienced Nunavut teachers is also at an all-time low, and some would rather leave their homes than continue to feel so disregarded by their employer,” Fanjoy said.

It’s not just about the money that teachers can expect to pay when returning to Nunavut after the summer break, he said.

Under the current travel restrictions designed to keep COVID-19 out of Nunavut, teachers will be expected to pay $2,100 or more, if they have a family, for a two-week supervised stay in a southern hotel before entering the territory.

“It doesn’t matter who you are. The travel restrictions are for everyone that’s leaving Nunavut other than medical patients,” Savikataaq said on May 4.

The teachers’ pressures to leave go beyond the ones imposed by the pandemic, said Fanjoy.

“They are leaving because of school violence that is not being addressed. Teachers are leaving because of long delays in salary placement, and untenable staff housing in many communities,” he said. “Overall, educators are leaving because they are unsupported and undervalued by the Government of Nunavut.”

In terms of Nunavut’s teacher recruitment efforts in southern Canada, Fanjoy said “there is very little recruiting happening in southern Canada, even before COVID-19.”

“Worse still, there is no recruiting happening in our high schools to promote Inuit entering the NTEP program and increasing the desperately needed amount of bilingual Inuit teachers in our system,” Fanjoy said. “Brochures and a folding table at some job fairs are not going to fix this.”

Last August, more than 60 teaching positions remained vacant Nunavut-wide.

Fanjoy said that he expected the education system to be short-staffed again this September, for the third year in a row, and that “people need to know that it is not due solely to COVID-19.”

“It is because the teachers and school administrators, the ones who work directly with Nunavut’s youth each day, are no longer willing to be treated in such a careless manner by the employer,” he said.

The amount of teacher turnover each year in Nunavut is often not clear until June. But more than 30 positions are now being advertised by the GN, mainly in the Kitikmeot and Qikiqtani regions, including several open positions for the principals, and for teachers in Naujaat, whose school had a troubled year.

The Department of Education has told Nunatsiaq News that as of Jan. 28 there were 37.5 educator positions available for competition.

  • In the Kitikmeot—nine (eight per cent of total educator staff)
  • In the Kivalliq—1.5 (less than one per cent of total educator staff)
  • In the Qikiqtani—27 (eight per cent of total educator staff)

“Because each community has a different end of school date, educator staffing numbers for the 2020-21 school year are currently unavailable,” a May 5 statement from the education department said.

Additional information: The Department of Education has provided Nunatsiaq News with more detailed information about the educator positions in the territory that are currently available for competition.

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(48) Comments:

  1. Posted by Puzzled on

    Does the premier know that not all schools start in September? There are a large number of schools that start in early August. This leaves less time to hire teachers. Fewer and fewer people want to move to Nunavut, the pay is no longer much higher than in other regions, especially if you take into account the cost of food and travel. Attendance and students’ academic achievement will not improve if it is always a struggle to find teachers for classes. Putting unqualified people only solves the problem of a body but it is the other qualified teachers and principals that have to pick up the slack of lesson planning. Nunavut needs to realize that treating people like they are replaceable does not encourage people to want to stay.

  2. Posted by Shocked! on

    I watched this press conference and was shocked by how flippant his comment was! I don’t think the quote in this article reflects how much his tone dismissed teachers who have legitimate questions on whether they would have to pay for an isolation centre if they decide to take a summer vacation outside of the territory. His comment made even less sense, as Nunavut would pay for a new teacher from Ontario to be isolated for 14 days anyway as part of their moving cost! Like you’re not even proposing to save the territory any money! lol. He came off as biased and not really a leader with his response. Many could assume that’s how he really feels. This is why briefing notes are so important. Why did his staff not anticipate this question and prepare a note for him?
    The Premiere should have just said he didn’t know, but would release a statement later. Instead he didn’t answer the question and then insulted all the teachers in Nunavut by saying they are easily replaceable. Anyone who chooses to work in Nunavut (local or southern) deals with many challenges not found in other jurisdictions. Teachers get even more on their plate and work hard for all of our kids (and some are a challenge).
    Hopefully he apologizes soon and clarifies the government stance on paying for teachers in isolation centres.

    • Posted by Entitled Teachers on

      I don’t know if a profession exists whose members are more entitled and self-righteous than teachers.

      “Shocked” at his reaction to whether or not teachers would have to pay for their isolation sites. Guess what? I’m a GN employee, originally from the south, and when the world got hit with a PANDEMIC, I said to myself, “I guess I won’t get to have a vacation this summer”. Which also involves seeing family. Because the world does not revolve around me, it apparently revolves around teachers.

      Oh it’s just easy for me to reschedule my vacation and anytime, right? Not really. I get 3 weeks of vacation a year, and it’ll be at least a full year in between times seeing family.

      Your comment about not saving any money because the GN would have to pay for isolating teachers brought in from Ontario doesn’t include the fact that money would be saved if teachers that are already here just stay here like EVERYONE ELSE.

      • Posted by Shocked! on

        I was most shocked at how replaceable he believes teachers are, not whether they have to pay or not. He actually didn’t answer directly as to whether they had to pay, just made a snide comment that they are replaceable. Watch the briefing. He was unprofessional for speaking that way…. This government has made the teachers scapegoats in this whole Covid thing. I’m not a parent or a teacher, but I can understand that there’s only one opportunity for teachers to have a vacation. If teachers have to pay to stay in isolation he should have just said so without the comment. So many high needs kids leads to burnout if teachers can’t take a break. The reality is that many teachers vacation out of territory and I feel like there’s so much judgement with that. The reality is Nunavut relies on southern workers, but at the time clearly resents this … seems like Nunavut takes every opportunity to diminish southerners and their contributions rather than redirecting that energy to build local capacity to take on roles in the future…

      • Posted by iRoll on

        Interesting how you qualified this rant through the perspective of a “GN employee.” You should know that this doesn’t give you any special insight into what it is like to be a teacher, in reality it doesn’t establish much of anything. I doubt most or any of the critics we see in these comments could do the job teachers do everyday, yet somehow being a GN employee gives the sense of some kind of moral authority to speak out. Funny.

        • Posted by Entitled Teachers on

          Lame and weak reply, iRoll. I was not trying to claim any insight into the job of a teacher by stating I was a GN employee. What I was doing, was stating that I have the same employer as a teacher, yet only teachers seem to be the outraged ones over losing their summer vacation out. That’s what it establishes.
          And then you go on to be a hypocrite in one sentence, arguing I doubt most or any of the critics we see in these comments could do the job teachers do everyday

          • Posted by iRoll on

            I guess in some broad way you have the “same employer,” but unless you work for the Department of education, you don’t have much or any special insight into this situation, which is also clear from your complaint that teachers should have just “stay here like EVERYONE ELSE”. Its a weak point that ignores the fact that the shut down of our schools took place at the same time as spring break, and that there were no travel restrictions in place at the time. They had every right to leave at the time and here’s the kicker: so did you. Unless your circumstances are somehow special, which I expect they might be given that you are important and almost certainly indispensable GN employee.

            • Posted by Pinky on

              I’m guessing he’s from an eastern province where they elect corrupt governments and jobs are few and far between hence angry “GN” worker jealous of teachers.

  3. Posted by Jean on

    That seems to be a prevailing theme in Nunavut re: lack of respect & regard for good employees. Homegrown & imported workers alike. Nunavut’s loss will be another jurisdictions’ gain. Au revoir Nunavut?

  4. Posted by Sam on

    Teachers,teachers getting tired of hearing this same old storey getting old

    • Posted by Perpelxed on

      Yet here you are, acting like you have something important to say. How strange is this?

  5. Posted by You shall reap what you sow on

    If you’ve lived in Nunavut for any length of time then there is nothing in this attitude that should surprise you. It is consistent with our widely held mistrust of ‘outsiders,’ ‘professionals’ and any kind of academic or scientific form of ‘expertise.’ At nest these things are treated with indifference, at worst with contempt.
    It seems that only this past summer we were scrambling to fill dozens of teaching positions, not at, but beyond the last minute. I expect this will become an annual ritual. The sad thing is that the ones who really pay for this are our children.

  6. Posted by Worried and Exhausted on

    After hearing the Premier’s comments at yesterday’s press conference and the tone in which he spoke I definitely feel worried. While I understand that this is a very different time that we are living in right now, the fact that the teachers are being so rudely dismissed is in called for. Yes teachers are GN employees, and yes all GN employees (and the rest of Nunavummuit) are being asked not to travel, however, unlike other employees and Nunanvummuit teachers have no say in when their time off will occur. It is easier for other People to defer there vacation times until later in the year I hopes that travel restrictions will be lessened or lifted; teachers have no other options. Many teachers who have family in the South are under a lot of additional stress that comes with worrying about loved ones and being almost 10 months away from them. Probably most teachers are not thinking right now “I want to go on vacation to a tropical location” (or such), but rather “I really want to check in on/be with my family”. Like I said, I understand the need to keep all Nunavummuit safe but I also think the Premier needs to also put himself in the teachers shoes and think how he would feel if he was essentially being told that he would have to leave his family for 12-20 months and his job was replaceable if he wanted to leave to see them.

  7. Posted by Christine on

    The Premier should be ashamed of himself after that comment he made!! Just goes to show you how much he values Nunavut Educators. Ridiculous! As the Premier of the Territory he mouthed off instead of thinking of an intelligent answer. The more press conferences they have the less intelligent he seems and at times feels annoyed at the questions being asked. Sorry to tell you but that is your job! The GN is always preaching how education is so important from Early Childhood Education to High School and then post secondary education and then make a comment like that? Mr Premier, are you still wondering why you have teacher vacancies? Maybe think before you speak.

  8. Posted by Finally, NTA on

    Kudos Mr. Fanjoy for finally speaking up. This went on way too long…..the disregard and disrespect from the employer brought education in Nunavut to this sad state and as a parent it is very, very hard to watch. In the Kitikmeot last year alone 7 out of 8 principals were ‘let go’. GN used the DEAs as the excuse and many, many staff left with the minister just letting it all happen right under his nose. They sure used these tricks to create chaos to then ‘fix it’ to look like the hero. It’s a thing – look it up. The minister does not take the Peoples concern into consideration but the staff under him that get away with so much. The turnover rate at the RSOs should speak for itself. Wake up or resign, we need leadership that will help grow and flourish, and your style of avoiding questions, concerns only lets it spiral into unhealthy, unsuccessful education in Nunavut. Look at Inuktut, what you spend so much time and money on. Teachers are professionals, I realize the history of residential schools with my parents experiences but there are good teachers out there that work hard in and out of the classroom including many hours of volunteering. Kudos to teachers!! In light of COVID-19, big time kudos to teachers who put up with my kids…. I only hope my kids continue to flourish in many ways while at home.

    • Posted by Jean on

      You are right on the mark! Teachers need to be shown more respect and appreciation (also rcmp, social workers, nurses, doctors, counselors). They put up with a LOT. And they do a LOT. If not for teachers the youth of Nunavut would have a bleak future. Respect. ?

    • Posted by Why u Dum on

      Right on John good job. Mr Quassa, time to do your duty, recall the leg, so John Main can issue another vote of confidence, on the leadership during all of this. Shame on you Joe, shame.

    • Posted by Crystal Clarity on

      Hit the nail on the head. It is so obviously targeting non-Inuit teachers. Wonder how this will play out when there are Inuit GN employees stuck paying this and there’s a big outcry. Will they bend then? Education is taking such a nose dive and I’m betting the hiring season will be worse than last year when people see the attitude of the premier. The decision making in the department too is laughable. As another commentator wrote the Kitikmeot has become a gong show over the last 4 years with excellent,dedicated people getting let go or squeezed out by self-serving DEA’s and the RSO.. The other regions aren’t much better. Same kind of issues. No wonder people leave. Non-Inuit head back south and many Inuit teachers go off to work elsewhere like the Inuit orgs etc… where they get more respect and better pay. Education in Nunavut has become a sinking ship under this present government.

  9. Posted by Not Value for Education on

    I have to hand it to teachers dealing with the day to day chronic social issues, ignorant parents, racism and lack of resources.
    The Premier demonstrates what many in Nunavut seem to think: who cares. When you can get a six figure job up here easily, show up 4 days a week, do a terrible job, and get promoted via pile 1 discrimination into management, you barely need to pass high school.
    The fact less than half of kids graduate despite apparently being able to easily earn credit for going on the land, and the fact there are no inuit teachers, all confirm this attitude.
    In 2040 this territory may get to 1993 in terms of education, common sense, and respect for educators.
    No teachers leaving are going to look back and we will again have the annual call for teacher recruitment and the standard excuses for Education. Incompetence.

  10. Posted by Guru on

    People don’t quit jobs. They quit bosses.

  11. Posted by We can replace you with laid-off teachers on

    Did the premier say, “if you don’t like how we treat you during the pandemic, we can replace you with teachers from Ontario who just lost their jobs?”

    The silence from Emile Hatch is deafening.


  12. Posted by The Truth on

    It is not correct what the NTA said of the reasons why teachers leave Nunavut. Let’s get the facts correct. Has the NTA done it’s own job of conducting it’s own survey on exiting teachers and current teachers as to why teachers leave? When the NTA finally comes up with it’s own survey, make sure to include harassment by supervisors, lack of NTA support and favouritism as elements in that survey questionnaire. I suggest that the NTA run a survey, get the facts straight before drawing conclusions as to why teachers are leaving. The NTA is no better than the GN. Some, if not all, of the principals have no principal training and are less educated than Nunavumuits and the teachers they supervised. Let’s face the truth. The teachers who are smarter than their principals, superintendent and Director get dismissed under the shadow of the “dismissed without cause.”
    Is there any survey by NTA on how many teachers are dismissed without cause?
    NTA needs to do more work. Can the teachers go on strike?

    • Posted by QallunaatTeacher on

      The NTA already does an outgoing survey exactly as you describe each year. So Fanjoy can absolutely speak accurately as to the reasons why teachers are leaving. Obviously you are not a teacher… perhaps fact check before complaining about something you’re actually just lacking information on.

    • Posted by EEE on

      lol Nope, John is 100% accurate- I can attest to that.

  13. Posted by Reading from the south on

    There is teachers in Ontario looking for jobs… They are reading theses comments right now! Well, Yukon, BC, NWT, name it… They all look very attractives to them suddenly! Does the Premier got enough qualification to teach?

  14. Posted by Employees are disposable to the GN- especially teachers, according to the premier on

    37 minutes into the press conference yesterday the Premier is addressed by a reporter who brought up staffing/hiring issues for educators 37:34 minute mark the start of the smirk and flippant comments.
    If he dares to apologize, I would urge that people not accept his apology.

    Lets see if Joe drops this on the Education Minister to try to smooth over.

    The comments on Nunatsiaq’s FB page under this story are interesting, and I’m sure will take off (here too). Of course, Inuit teachers should fill schools in Nunavut: no one disagrees with this fact. A general NTEP grad doesn’t have the specialized training needed to teach a number of high school courses –someone would need additional university courses or specialized subject training. I don’t see a line-up of people willing to do that.
    Many NTEP grads only want to teach at the elementary school level: dealing with teenagers is too much to handle. Again, look how many NTEP grads leave the profession within in 5 years –yes, you can love the kids, but eventually that’s not enough –it’s exhausting, on-going issues with resources, inadequate support/mentoring for new teachers, tremendous social issues that negatively impact schools & classrooms –student behaviour and lack of consequences . . . this all takes a toll.
    Throw in abuse of teachers by students, parents and community members: who needs all that crap.
    DEA’s: I could write a book on them—members who are bootleggers, sexual predators, abuse their spouses, are convicted criminals or who are on power trips, grossly neglect the children for which they are responsible and others who sleep through meetings.
    All these factors result in huge amounts of stress . . . throw in a lack of support from the school boards or the Department of Education . . . and the premier’s comments yesterday is the icing on the cake.

    Thousands of hours of volunteer work that teachers do (but we’re expected to do it). What other group of employees the work for the GN are expected to volunteer in the way that teachers do. Wonder if someone might get the point if there was a directive from the union that teachers are not to engage in extra curricular activities the next school year—it happens in other places in Canada, so why not here?
    It’s time teacher’s put themselves first—not the community, school or kids.

    I was pleased to see that the NTA is speaking out. I hope the president is interviewed by other media agencies, perhaps cbc radio too.

    The school in this community was poorly run through the whole first semester—staff assuming responsibilities for a whole lot of things that they shouldn’t have to look after –people were run off their feet, increased aggressive behaviour by students towards each other and staff, little to no student discipline—kids doing whatever they want, parents who think that their child is an angel, police involvement multiple times . . . the list goes on and on. Vacant teaching positions filled by unqualified people. Then throw in the ransomware attack which just added more stress (yes, I realize everyone working for the GN was stressed dealing with ransomware). Staff did what needed to be done, but paid a price in many ways: many are burnt out, have been using a lot of sick days and there’s also a fracture amongst staff brought on by all the additional stress. A lot of mental health issues amongst students, but minimal community resources.

    I can’t be up here for 10-12 months with no real interaction with family or friends. As someone commented, I’m not going on some lavish holiday, I’m going to be with my family in southern Ontario. I had been thinking: if I have to pay $2000.00 extra to spend time with my family, I will . . . . it’s just one year. I wasn’t going to leave my job.
    The huge backlash against southerners( though I’ve lived in this community for 12 years, I’m still seen as a southerner), especially teachers and nurses has given me much to think about and was/is very concerning. It’s given me a lot to think about. The $2000 quarantine thing will be a part of the reason I’m going to leave—only part. The things listed above -the realities of teaching in Nunavut are huge factors. The responsibility for fixing all the issues of Nunavut get pushed onto schools.

    Premier Joe: your attitude and comments are damming and clearly have illustrated how both yourself, the GN and the Department of Education feel about educators, especially non-Inuit ones.

    You’ve taken us for granted for too long, you don’t support students, learning or schools struggling to meet the needs of students. You (plural) have no clue about the realities schools & educators face . . . year upon year, you inactions & BS show you don’t really care either.
    You definitely have cost your self employees across many departments and this will all play out over the next year and a half. Shame on you.

    I would resign now and leave next month, however there have been some students I’ve been waiting on to graduate –I promised them I’d be here for that day . . . but now their graduation won’t be till the fall at the earliest. I will stay till next spring (it’s called integrity).

    Good luck filling those positions: people research things like moving to a new province or territory to live and work: look at all the stuff they will discover about what it’s like to work for the GN.

  15. Posted by Sabrina on

    The issue that needs to be addressed expands larger than that of teachers. Teachers are undervalued because it is considered women’s work. There are few professions that are so heavily represented by women then that those in the education system.

    Premier’s condescending attitude that teachers are so easily replaceable undermines educators as professionals.

    If the teacher poistions were dominated by men would he be so anxious to direct the men to return to the schools to make photocopies?

    This is a battle that the GN teachers should not be having alone.

    • Posted by Teacher on

      Teaching isn’t women’s work. Elementary is largely female but high school is about 50/50 on the staff. This isn’t a women’s issue as much as it is a humanitarian issue that students are not getting the proper support, and because of people like big joe who think all of the magical teacher fairy is just going to come running out of the woodwork and bless nunavummait with an abundance of teachers. It’s the students who lose the most with that level or thought.

  16. Posted by Iqiangunaqma on

    Since I’m guessing almost everyone that has commented on this article is someone from the south paid to live and work here I understand everyone is “upset” about this whole situation, don’t act surprised about what happened. This was a single incident yes and there might be been more but how special is this single incident apart from the others? From what I know is that if a teacher wants respect they need to show the effort they’re willing to give, inuiitaimatukisiniaqtu how they’re will to commit. Yes student need to show respect and behave properly but it won’t happen when the teachers show the opposite.

    Maybe if we all start looking for a better future for Nunavut rather than complain about a single thing for months and months we nunavummiut might actually get somewhere rather than sit in a single place for the rest of our lives

    Another thing instead of looking down on us maybe try see us as equals, times have changed and the future won’t be bleak for the north, it’ll get better from here and we’ll make sure it will

    • Posted by Typical northerner on

      More of the prevalent attitude from Nunavut: you are complaining because you’re a southerner, not because it’s a legitimate issue.
      The comments here are legitimate, yet all you can think is that “this is a bunch of complaining southerners”. This is exactly the problem.

      • Posted by Iqiangunaqma on

        I’m not a southerner, I’m an inuk
        This case is nothing special apart from past cases so why is this so different from the others, it’s probably not the first time it’s happened, all I’m saying is that we need to show that not all educators and not all schools have this situation going on.
        All I’m just trying to say is that the students here showed the same attitude with what they were given at the high school.

    • Posted by What is the North? on

      You seem to be equating ‘north’ with Nunavut. The north has widely varying conditions and possible futures, you can’t generalize. Nunavut is much more poorly positioned than other parts of the north.

      The immediate future – next ten years or so – for Nunavut is dire. The demand for commodities is drying up, and don’t expect the jobs on furlough at the mines to come back.

      Expect to see the mines sharply curtail operations, and some even suspend them. Nunavut’s ‘tourism industry’ such as it was will take years to recover, and worrying about cruise ship fees is a problem years down the road.

      Discretionary spending is going to be way, non-essential infrastructure spending, etc. Many Nunavummiut are going to be more dependent on money that ultimately comes from southern Canadian taxpayers than we have now.

      These taxpayers are not going to be in a good position to continue to carry Nunavut at the level they have in the past.

      Get ready for lean lean times.

      Good news is that the importance of internet has been recognized and we will see it installed and developed.

      • Posted by Pinky on

        What is the North? really? Nunavut’s GDP growth was listed as the most robust in the country in 2018. They might be “carrying” us in the near future. Our whole economic system in the south is currently dead in the most elite schools for economics. We “taxpayers” are footing the bills for a lot of things, including corporate welfare handouts for energy companies. I know I didn’t vote for that. The World Bank’s corruption watchdogs have blacklisted more than 220 international corporations from bidding on its projects around the world, and 117 of them are Canadian. I think would be wise of Nunavummiut to develop their own economy and govern themselves without so many qallunaat advising them on how to re-create the corrupt mess we have the south.

  17. Posted by QaallunaatTeacher on

    As someone who has actually been mostly very happy teaching in Nunavut for over four years but increasingly frustrated and disgusted with Nunavut’s corrupt and incompetent government, this is pretty much the last straw. I love my students (and they are teenagers). But when you expect me to pay over $5k for my family and I to follow your territorial quarantine guidelines or stay put for almost two full years with no opportunity for my children to visit grandparents and other family you’ve lost me. I seriously doubt new hires will be forthcoming. Who would really want to work somewhere with the bare minimum of medical care at a time like this?

  18. Posted by Two Sides on

    Can the teacher’s union provide a list of every teacher and their current accreditation?
    Teachers seem to have trouble providing their required paperwork to the GN. Then they could get

  19. Posted by Juka Qqkkaakkaa on

    Will the premier be sending a portion of his statement to these Ontario teachers informing them how easily replaceable they are?

    Good luck hiring anyone. Good luck educating your children. If you could do it without southern teachers those positions would be filled with Inuit.

  20. Posted by J_Blo on

    Is anyone else amused by the publicly elected official telling a bunch of people that *they* are the replaceable ones?

    • Posted by I find this amusing on

      Politicians and diapers have to be changed often and for the same reason – Mark Twain. Here’s the kicker teachers… the question period is controlled and regulated; therefore he knew he was going to receive that question beforehand and answered with premeditation. Or with as much forethought as a smirking Premier can muster. So when he stumbles around trying to apologize and redact today – don’t fall for it. Also, legislative sitting canceled so that a certain Whale Cove MLA can’t grill everyone over this debacle perhaps?!

  21. Posted by Finally coming to the forefront on

    Teachers, collectively, have been silent on many issues over the 20+ years of NU’s history. The GN/Dept of Ed could not instigate a territorial curriculum other than borrowing from other provinces, they obviously could not put together any online learning options for high school students, and have been negligible in staff retention, staff recruitment and overall treatment of its employees. There will be a crisis as a result of this… I hope everyone is ready to look after their own kids once unsupported principals have no staff, no subs, and no options. Classes getting sent home… well, students will go to the Northern and Co-op stores to hang out. Future is bleak… teachers will wield power now that other jurisdictions are in need also. What does Educator Development do? What does the Coalition of DEAs do?

  22. Posted by New teachers on

    Should be easy to attract new teachers once they google Nunavut communities and education. Standoffs, current vacancies and an astronomical turnover rate, teachers getting dragged by their hair, Premier scoffing at how disposable you will become… anyone ever try to work in the Yukon? Nunavik pays vacation flights for their teachers while Nunavut teachers have to pay $2100 to spend 14 days in jail in Ottawa. Don’t have to be a teacher to figure a lot of this out. I do think the Premier may say that his latest statement about Ontario teachers replacing NU teachers was a false positive.

  23. Posted by No BS or apologies will be accepted from you Joe on

    3 pm today: the staff that will be in for the afternoon shift at the school will be having a ‘watch party’ while we staple learning packages together. We might even be having popcorn . . . and goose soup.

    Yes there are unfilled positions being filled by unqualified people (there does need to be a distinction between cultural & language instructors who are local hires and do not need formal qualifications, and those positions that should have people with B. Ed’s and only have a local hired sub). When was it 2 or 3 years ago (can’t remember if they did it last year too), that the GN was so desperate & short of teachers that for some communities they dropped the B. Ed. requirement: devaluing the training, qualifications & experience of Nunavut teachers. Notice the trend here folks?

    What the hell has been going on in Kimmiruit this year that they have had no principal, which has mean that the QSO director has had to fill in?

    I’m going to be researching teaching in the NWT & Yukon: teaching in remote indigenous communities is tough (ineffective admin, kids controlling the school, abuse towards staff, children who can’t learn because they are so exhausted from being up most of the night (big increase with this in the last 2 years) etc), for so many reasons, but one can also fall in love with a community and it’s people. I’m a northern teacher, and can’t imagine teaching in the south.

    The $2000 quarantine thing is not cool –and would only serve to cut people off from their families if they can’t afford that cost (which is steep).
    For sure, this will have pissed off people and people will leave because of it. Please know though, that there are likely many other cumulative factors at play too –the quarantine fee or being cut off from family will be the last straw for many people because of the things mentioned in the original article/interview with the NTA president, plus all of the other things identified by folks in the comments.

    To the Premier: It’s you, your attitude and your comments Joe that has more people pissed off: teachers taken for granted, undervalues and appreciated . . . and easily disposable/replaceable. Neither you, nor the Department of Education respect teachers or the work that they do—their time, effort, involvement & investment . I’m done with this stuff and leaving at the end of my term next year—I’ll miss our kids & my colleagues immensely.

    **** If he dares to try to back track or possibly apologize: I will not accept your apology.

    If you are a laid off Ontario teacher, do not come to Nunavut: read these comments, google search for other news stories about teachers, students, education in Nunavut: see for your self.
    Don’t say later that you were not warned.

    There are real & serious reasons why high numbers of teachers have and are leaving Nunavut and why vacancies can’t be filled. It’s not about the salary. There are other places it the Arctic you can go to where you will be respected & valued and face less racism from community members and the government.

    p.s. Dr Patterson you’re doing a fantastic job!

    • Posted by Ingrid Kaur on

      Your Kimmirut comment is telling. They did have a principal who had to attend to a family emergency and was denied time off. The Exec Director is said to have forced his resignation in the name of stability on the staff, did not let him return and the Minister and Deputy Minister of Education needs to know that Senior management has to learn how to support the staff that is here and willing to stay rather than terminating new hires made by colleagues and to keep favourites. Unnecessary vacancies are fully the responsibility of whims and do not benefit the students or the schools.

  24. Posted by Eastbound and Down on

    You know these teachers, right? Yeah, they’re the Premier’s Imaginary Teacher’s Army from Ontario who have been waiting and ready to come up here and show us all how it’s done. Good luck to them.
    If the Premier really understood and cared about the STUDENTS, he’d be thinking about those dedicated people here NOW who commit to their jobs and to those those they came to teach, those teachers who have been here a few years and know the north like few other whites do down south, yet are being told they’re expendable for wanting to spend time with family they don’t get to see the majority of the year, especially now in this pandemic, and having to pay thousands in prohibitive costs for isolation in a hotel before coming back. No one will be on a beach this summer, they will be with family. Note to NTA : Next round of negotiations should include a pandemic travel clause, no?

  25. Posted by NorthStar on

    The community should be given a chance to have a say, as to who they want (primary) teaching their kids. The government needs to get rid of inditerminant positions and be give the power back to the people most affected.

    • Posted by NorthStar on

      Or if you’re being politically correct “secondary” education.
      It looks like “big brother” is teaching (virtual) now with the new world order.

  26. Posted by asianik isumalik on

    As an Inuk Teacher with 25+ years experience, I have never seen a teacher that has said” Aren’t we lucky to be working for a government that listens to our concerns?” We are given a job that is producing illiterate people because all the programs are not teaching what the students need to know in the real world.
    Students are taught in Inuktitut first , a language that is not used by their parents, then at grade 4 introduced to English at a Kindergarten level and then they struggle all through school because they are way behind the level they should be. We don’t have the extensive resources that are available over the net and we are expected to make our own materials with no time provided to us for Inuktitut materials in our own dialect. The ‘educational dialect’ is a disaster when even the teachers don’t understand it. Just one example of the many things MLA’s wishful thinking and an incompetent government trying to make it work.

  27. Posted by Tomassi on

    It was a bad idea at first place creating Nunavut with these communities in control with all those problems in the same territory. Upside down flagship.

  28. Posted by Pinky on

    I’m a southerner and teacher in Nunavut. What I see are a lot of southerners (and Easterners) with jobs paying pretty decent salaries(and enrolled in an excellent public service pension plan). Why are they in Nunavut? It’s because Nunavut’s population is growing as are indigenous populations across Canada, and so is the need for teachers. Sometimes low economic growth, and therefore a lack of jobs, can be associated with corruption in government. And so, southerners I think are not always fully understanding why they come looking for jobs in the far north. Nunavut is not a bad deal for southerners in my humble opinion. On the other end of things, Joe’s comments were unfortunate, yes they were. Fanjoy has made some salient points on our behalf.

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