The following advisory was issued to members last school year. Given that ETT continues to be made aware of workload issues for members in relation to the withdrawal of dedicated guidance support, we are reissuing this advisory.
In the spring, the TDSB announced that the Elementary Itinerant Counsellor (EIC) and Student Success Counsellor (SSC) roles would be discontinued and that these positions would be replaced with Middle Years Student Success Counsellors (MYSSC) beginning in the 2021/22 school year. ETT objected to this decision on the basis that the two roles serve very different functions and that any attempt to merge them risked diluting the level of service provided. In addition, we shared our concerns that this might result in additional workload for classroom teachers, particularly in relation to high school transitions.
ETT requested that the Board pause this process, and instead engage in consultation with us and our EIC and SSC members to agree upon a mutually agreeable way forward. While the Board did meet with us, none of our suggestions and requests were heeded and the Board announced that it was going to proceed as planned.
It would appear that we were justified in our concerns in relation to workload for our members. TDSB has announced that guidance support is now a “collaborative” effort between the MYSSC, classroom teacher, and principal.
We know what this means….
While our MYSSC members are doing their best to provide support in the areas of guidance and student success, classroom teachers are concerned at the prospect of additional workload resulting from a “collaborative” approach to high school transitions.
ETT members are reminded of their right to a 40-minute uninterrupted lunch. Teachers also exercise their professional judgement and autonomy over use of prep time for professional activities. Teachers cannot be required to perform guidance-related duties outside of the instructional day. If a teacher is asked to perform tasks that constitute additional workload during the school day, you may ask for release time or to be relieved of existing duties to accommodate any additional tasks that are required during the 300 minutes of instruction.
ETT Vice President & Grievance Coordinator