On Tuesday, March 31, the Minister of Education informed school services that schools would be suspended indefinitely and that school services should decide how to ensure that students and families receive the support they need. Louis Riel`s teaching contract is arguably an important decision, ahead of time, since the first agreement in Manitoba is traditionally the benchmark for dozens of contracts. According to Manitoba Education, „Current knowledge indicates that employees and students can return to school while protecting individual health and minimizing public health risks.“ Our primary goal is to optimize people`s health and well-being while reducing risk. CUPE Manitoba`s K-12 school wants additional funding: the arbitrator`s report says no teacher contracts have been entered into since Bill 28 was passed in 2017. In the last round of teacher negotiations, the 38 agreements were concluded in two years. School trusts say they are in a difficult situation when their next collective agreement with teachers reflects the two-year contract in the Louis Riel School Division. All students are expected to take their courses fully, even if distance learning is necessary. Students are evaluated on the basis of their work, which reflects their performance and learning. School departments and schools will ensure that all students involved in distance learning have access to technology (see page 4 of the Manitoba School Plan). CUPE Manitoba is calling on more than 100 school trusts across the province to do the right thing and continue to employ school support staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. The provincial government announced the suspension of all publicly funded schools in Manitoba for three weeks, starting March 23 and through April 6. This is being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
A provincial spokesman said last week that the province had no plans to enact the legislation immediately. „The government continues to urge all employers and public sector unions to negotiate constructive collective agreements,“ he said in the email. Winnipeg`s division will pay $7.8 million retroactively to its teachers, according to its superintendent – money for which they have never been budgeted. „The recognition of school staff goes beyond a week of proclaimed recognition – we need governments at all levels that strengthen and strengthen workplace health and safety, better working conditions and improved employment contracts so that employees can have security and stability in their lives.“ To ensure a physical distance of two metres for all students and staff from kindergarten to Grade 12 in learning groups, music rooms have been redistributed for teaching in some schools.