Sue Ross, president of the Yukon Teachers’ Association, on Jan. 17, 2019. Ross said the Department of Education erred when it did not post two teaching jobs publicly. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

YTA president says YG handpicked teachers during the last round of hiring

A letter from the association suggests nepotism

The Department of Education erred when it did not post two teaching jobs publicly, said the president of the Yukon Teachers’ Association.

The department handpicked teachers as a result, said Sue Ross.

A letter was sent to the department in mid-October about the problem suggesting nepotism. Formal grievances were filed a few weeks later, Ross said.

“I think it speaks to recruitment and retention of teachers. If people feel that they are not being treated fairly in terms of their ability to apply to much-sought-after jobs, either in Whitehorse or wherever, and they don’t see an opportunity to move, then they’re gonna go elsewhere. There’s lots of jobs in B.C. There’s lots of jobs in Alberta.”

The letter, which is dated Aug. 23, says the terms of the collective agreement were disregarded.

“Hopefully moving forward it will be followed,” Ross said.

A spokesperson with the department said comments specific to the matter won’t be provided because it’s proceeding through the grievance process.

“The Government of Yukon continues to work with the Yukon Teachers’ Association to ensure hiring practices are fair, transparent, and consistent with the requirements of the legislation and the collective agreement, and the needs of schools,” Jason Mackey said.

“In the majority of cases, posting a position is the preferred course of action, and this will continue to be the case. In some unique circumstances, transfers may be carried out in accordance with the YTA Collective Agreement and the Education Labour Relations Act.”

Ross said hiring protocols should be respected, that everyone is entitled to a fair shake at permanent employment.

“We consider it an issue because we’re not confident that the Yukon government will openly and transparently post positions during the next hiring season coming,” she said.

“We need to know that’s going to happen. Every member is affected if they don’t have an opportunity to apply to a job that they may be perfectly well qualified to do.”

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Yukon Teachers Association

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