CSDM: the number of hours in lieu of emergency explodes

News 1 February, 2018
  • Pascal Dugas Drone

    Thursday, 1 February 2018 05:00

    Thursday, 1 February 2018 05:00

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    Overwhelmed by a lack of substitutes, teachers and specialists have been forced to take three times more hours of replacement of emergency in the schools of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) for the past two years, told QMI Agency.

    • READ ALSO: Exhausted after a month in the shoes of a substitute at the primary and secondary

    Established to 4700 hours in 2015, the number of hours of troubleshooting has jumped to 16 200 in 2017, the reveal of the data obtained through the law of access to information. It was no more than 650 in 2007.

    Thus, thousands of opportunities, teachers in primary and secondary school have had to put aside correction, planning and intervention plan, to supervise the class of a colleague, for which no substitute was available.

    Speech and language therapists, remedial teachers and technicians in special education, a rare commodity in the education system, have also been required to participate in the effort, without being able to intervene with students that are the most vulnerable.

    The increase in the number of hours of replacement of emergency is also a monetary cost difficult to evaluate, teachers will experience being better paid than the alternate typical.


    The union of professors of the CSDM, who deplores the situation, admit to being “surprised by the magnitude” of the phenomenon.

    “The replacement of emergency represents a greater burden for teachers, who are already in difficult conditions,” explained the president of the Alliance des professeures et professeurs de Montréal, Catherine Renaud.

    This overload of work would have an impact on the number of teachers who leave the school board, which, in the manner of a “vicious circle”, adds to the pressure on teachers who decide to stay.

    “Each school visit, we had a teacher who told us to consider changing the school board or leave the profession, explained Ms. Renaud. We see an expertise to leave because the teachers are out of breath.”


    The government Couillard has recently pledged to hire 500 professionals in the schools of Québec from September 2018, including speech therapists and remedial teachers. A “small drop of water” in the desert, has imaged Ms. Renaud.

    “It has declined during the past five years to more than $ 1 billion. We are still far from having all the necessary resources,” she said.

    Number of hours of replacement of emergency on the territory of the CSDM

    • 2010: 3327
    • 2011: 2888
    • 2012: 2409
    • 2013: 7555
    • 2014: 5719
    • 2015: 4774
    • 2016: 11 093
    • 2017: 16 218

    The CSDM offers “bonuses” to teachers for the schools difficult

    To compensate for the exodus of teachers of experience, the president of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) Catherine Harel-Bourdon, proposes to offer a “premium” to the teacher who works in a school that is more difficult.

    “If I have the choice between a multitude of schools, school boards, and that I can go to a school where there are no students with great needs, the choice is simple,” said Ms. Harel-Bourdon, in an interview with the QMI Agency, Wednesday.

    Photo archives Agence QMI, JOEL LEMAY

    Catherine Harel-Bourdon, president of the CSDM.

    A school could be considered difficult on the basis of the number of cases of disorders of behavior, for example, or depending on the level of poverty. A scale of “deprivation of the public schools,” which rates schools from 1 to 10 depending on the level of poverty, already exists. The CSDM obtained the palm of underprivileged schools.

    This premium would have the effect of encouraging teachers with more seniority, and therefore better equipped, to take charge of a class more difficult, according to the president of the CSDM.

    “Teachers who have more seniority will not necessarily choose to go to work for the same pay, in a school with students who have severe behavior disorder”, was shown in Harel-Bourdon.


    Already struggling with issues of recruitment and retention of staff, the CSDM has received about 1800 new students in the last year, in good part because of immigration.

    The manager would like to set up a “national table” on the job education.

    “The young people who come out of our universities do not have the same report about work than previous generations,” said Ms. Harel-Bourdon.

    “They say things like: “I want to work four days per week” or “I want to work close to a metro station”.”