42 Catholic high school teachers in Hamilton given surplus notices

42 Catholic high school teachers in Hamilton could be facing layoffs after surplus notices were handed out today.

While the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board says it will work to keep these educators employed, the head of the teachers union says layoffs are inevitable.

“These are layoff notices. These people will not be coming back if we cannot resolve the issue with the Ford government.”

Enrollment, uncertainty around funding and larger class sizes come september are all issues contributing to the surplus of high school teachers in the the Hamilton Wentowrth Catholic District School Board.

Chair Patrick Daly says the educators who were notified today are fairly new hires; people who have been with the board since 2017 or later.

“We are going to do everything we can to minimize the impact and out hope is and prayer is everyone of them will be continued to be employed with our board.”

Daly says he hopes the surplus will be absorbed by teachers who retire or by higher enrollment, but there is not guarantee.

The union president Sergio Cacoilo says the board has a young staff.

“Normally we have about 15 people retiring. We do not have enough teachers to allow for the absorption of this through attrition or through retirements.”

The board blames the Ford government’s new education plan, that cut a grant previously funded by the Liberals that paid the salaries of some teachers, and the PC’s move to increase high school class sizes from 22 students to 28 on average.

Cacoilo says the last time a system surplus was conducted was in 1993, 26 years ago under the Bob Rae government.

At that time 9 teachers were considered surplus.

“What we have here is unprecedented. This is the beginning of a very very bad scene coming up.”

The board says the Ford government has promised to fund the salaries of teachers deemed surplus because of larger class sizes if there aren’t enough retirees to replace.

Daly says the board has yet to receive provincial funding for the next school year.