More of sick leave among teachers

News 10 March, 2018
  • Photo Yves Charlebois
    For the first time this year, the trade unionist Francis Jacob observes to a shortage of teachers in the Commission scolaire des Appalaches, where the rate of sick leave is the highest in the province, according to the most recent figures from the ministry.

    Dominique Scali

    Saturday, 10 march, 2018 01:00

    Saturday, 10 march, 2018 01:00

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    Heart problems, cancers, burnout. Sick leave is on the increase among teachers, a trend that worries many teachers, and which could worsen in the coming years.

    “We will see more and more, teachers, the sick, and not just to us,” predicted Francis Jacob, the education Union Asbestos, in Chaudière-Appalaches.

    The approximately 500 teachers it represents had a disease rate almost two times higher than in the rest of the province, in 2015-2016, according to the most recent figures available from the department of Education.

    According to data obtained by The Newspaper, amounts paid in insurance salary of the professors were up 11 % compared to the previous year in all of Quebec.

    This insurance applies when an employee is absent between six days and two years, either to treat a cancer or a burnout, for example.

    The sad champion of this list is the Commission scolaire des Appalaches, with a rate of 9.4 sick days per teacher, while the provincial average was 5.8 days per year.

    Year ” exceptional “

    “This year [2015-2016] has really been exceptional,” said Jean Roberge, general manager of the school board, which has even led to a budget deficit because of the costs for salary insurance.

    However, this sudden rise is due to illnesses that are physical and have nothing to do with the job, according to Mr. Roberge.

    When the teachers are few in number, it is sufficient that some are sick for this to greatly affect the statistics, ” says one.

    Same sound of bell on the side of the human resources managers of two other school districts that had rates of more than eight sick days per teacher.

    The Commission scolaire René-Lévesque, in the Gaspé, this is the number of cardiovascular diseases has exploded, says Denis Gauthier.

    At the Commission scolaire Des Chênes, in the corner of Drummondville, 60 % of the diseases that lead to salary insurance, are of psychic nature, the majority linked with situations of family or domestic, says Daniel Dumaine.

    Not a coincidence

    The trade union side, we don’t believe in coincidence.

    “The task is made so difficult and complex, we arrive more quickly at the exhaustion,” says Josée Scalabrini, of the Federation of trade unions of education, which represents more than 65,000 teachers.

    The Newspaper published yesterday a report on the shortage of teachers that is rampant across the province and neither the ministry of Education nor the trade unions are unable to encrypt. This lack of staff is forcing some to do the mandatory replacement and contributes to the vicious cycle of exhaustion, said several teachers.

    “This is an isolated case, but it arrived as a concierge to make a replacement in a class, in the absence of alternate “, illustrates Mr. Jacob, who note that the shortage begins to be felt in its region for the first time this year.

    Large-scale, public health research show that the deterioration of working conditions can lead to all sorts of diseases, reminiscent of Simon Wells, a professor at the University Laval. Heart problems, back pain, mental health issues, various lists there.

    “It is difficult to decide on each case, but overall, the soup is hot. We know that teachers ‘ working conditions are difficult. “

    The situation may, however, vary according to the environments, the conditions are not the same for those who teach in private or in underprivileged areas, shade Umbrella Royer, also a professor at the University of Laval.

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