‘Squeezed dry’ teachers call for better pay, work conditions

The New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation wants more for educators that officials say are being “squeezed dry” by high inflation, low pay and bad working conditions.

Roughly 9,000 teachers employed 295 New Brunswick schools have banded together to renew its calls for the provincial government to better support teachers.

“The government touts a ‘world-class education’ for its students yet expects teachers and school administrators to accept subpar compensation for their years of education, experience and expertise,” said Connie Keating, co-president of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation, in a statement.

“Now is the time for the government to invest in its teachers, whose core purpose is to educate and support children and youth.”

The federation says New Brunswick teachers earn less money than they did 11 years ago, despite one per cent wage increases every year over the last decade.

New Brunswick is also in short supply of French teachers and those willing to fill positions in more rural areas of the province.

Advocacy groups like the NBTF, as well as the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association, have made several pleas to the provincial government over the last 10 years to improve working conditions for educators.

Officials say teachers are still bearing the brunt of supporting New Brunswick’s youth despite the shortage.

“Teachers are building the foundation of New Brunswick’s long-term growth and prosperity,” said Nathalie Brideau of the NBTF.

“Why has the government chosen to sit on a surplus while making a deliberate choice to put the squeeze on public education?”

The federation says it hopes the government will offer teachers compensation and working conditions that are “reflective of today’s realities.”

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