Vancouver school board warns 800 teachers of possible layoffs

The Vancouver school board has advised 800 teachers that they could be laid off.

Today (January 19), teachers with five or fewer years on the job are receiving letters asking them to update their qualifications on file with the school board.

“The letter is not a layoff notice – it is the beginning of the process to prepare for possible layoffs,” a press release from the school board states.

School-board finance staff are projecting an operating-budget shortfall of $17.5 to $36.3 million for 2010-11, depending on provincial funding decisions.

“No decision has been made about layoffs at this time,” the release states. “If teachers are to be laid off, notices will be issued the first week of May when school-by-school staff allocations for the 2010-11 school year are confirmed.”

The school board last laid off teachers in May 2004 for the 2004-05 school year.

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Jan 19, 2010 at 2:02pm

A 33% reduction in funding? That's absolutely ridiculous. Especially considering that well...populations increase, thus resulting in more students, which in turn requires more teachers.

rollin sam the unemployed man

Jan 19, 2010 at 3:04pm

Too bad about union seniority.. they should get rid of all the jaded old fossils who are burned out.


Jan 19, 2010 at 4:17pm

If I took even a small percentage of the sick days that I have personally seen teacher's take in the past 10 years I would most likely not have a job. Get rid of the dead wood!

The funding cuts are a disgrace.


Jan 19, 2010 at 5:03pm

More goverment union busting (expletive deleted).

g unit

Jan 20, 2010 at 10:04am

the government has no problem funding 6billion for a 2 week party. when are the people of bc ever gonna unite and try to take back our province from the dictators in power. like him or not Gorden has to go, if you like a government that is in power for decades then move to North Korea.


Jan 20, 2010 at 10:15am

I think the ten votes for rollin sam's opinion says something about the majority opinion among Straight readers. Whatever the clientele may be, it's not labour.

More likely, it's made up of right-wing, pro-business, Hedy Fry/Joyce Murray Liberals for whom the carbon tax was red meat, a chance to celebrate urban chic and denounce suburban tackiness and rural backwardness at little or no cost to oneself. Similary, the contempt for unions had been a part of right-wing Canadian Liberalism for decades.

Rod Smelser


Jan 21, 2010 at 11:28pm

It is a shame that the government seems to value sporting events much more than the education of our citizens. I have always felt that education is undervalued in our society, and this just proves my point. While other countries are pouring their money into education to make their nations more competitive in a global market, we will fall further behind. I hope our priorities change before it is too late....

Paul Romani

Jan 23, 2010 at 6:41pm

Tough choice... 800 newly-qualified teachers (i.e. within 1-5 years), with relevant training, enthusiasm, and the ability to teach kids with disabilities, ADHD, ESL needs, technology, P.E., music, French!...

Or, 500 teachers that have been in the school system for 20-30 years, haven't updated their qualifications, have lost their enthusiasm, are ignoring the school curriculum, are still teaching using "alternative" styles from the 70s and 80s, and know nothing about the needs of kids with such diverse requirements. In fact, they are heavily critical of both the kids and the parents, because they don't fit the needs of old white middle-class ideals.

The school board should offer these older teachers early retirement or lay them off. But the elderly union leaders and school board won't lay off people like themselves. After all, they've probably got old buddies who fit the profile I've just described! Better to lay off the 800 younger teachers and put the expertise of our schools back 5 years.


Jan 25, 2010 at 10:43pm

I am confused as to why the VSB just made BCESIS (a computer program for attendance and grading) mandatory for all schools this year, and was able to fund new monitors to support this program but is failing to fund something actually necessary to education such as teachers. why? WHY!?

This is OUTRAGEOUS. The public and teachers should be disgusted at the priorities of our provincial government.

All over BC

Jan 26, 2010 at 7:06pm

I just learned another 50 in Chilliwack will also be laid off.