6 May 2020
We have just received some new questions and answers from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Here are the new elements most relevant to school support staff.
Daycares and emergency daycares during the gradual reopening (Q9 to Q14)
School daycare services are open to students attending school. If there is a gradual return to school, other students will not be able to benefit from the service, with the exception of children of parents working in essential services who have not yet resumed classes. So, there will be regular daycares and emergency daycares functioning at the same time.
Remuneration in the emergency daycares SDGU (Q21 to Q22)
People will be paid the salaries they normally receive based on the job they hold, for the number of hours stipulated in the contract.
Video on the wearing of masks (Q48)
Refusal to work (Q124)
For employees who refuse to return to work by virtue of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):
-Under the OHSA, workers have the right to refuse to perform work if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the performance of this work exposes them to a danger to their health, safety or physical integrity. Workers who exercise this right of refusal cannot be dismissed. They continue to receive their salary and no sanctions can be imposed on them. If the employer believes a worker is abusing this right, they must prove it.
Employees who refuse to return to work for any other reason:
– The school boards, as employers, are responsible for the management of human resources, in compliance with legal frameworks and collective agreements. It is therefore up to the school board to assess the specific situation of each person who refuses to return to work, depending on their circumstances.
Right of refusal process (Q127)
The school boards, as employers, are responsible for the management of human resources, in compliance with legal frameworks and collective agreements. It is therefore up to them to establish their assignment process. It is recommended that they consult their local unions on the process to be implemented.
With regards to the need for elementary school teachers, school boards will be able to call on secondary school teachers, substitute teachers and education program students and graduates. Health and Social Services Ministerial Order 2020-008 allows school boards to redeploy their staff where and when needs warrant. It specifically allows them to redeploy teachers from secondary to primary schools. The order requires that the unions and associations concerned be consulted before this measure is used, unless an urgent situation makes this impossible.
Remote meetings of school councils (Q156)
Videoconferencing or other ways to hold meetings of school councils are a possibility, but they must be publicized if a secret ballot vote is required.