EdCan Network

What you need to know about B.C.’s teacher shortage saga

B.C. is training more teachers and recruiting Francophones amid teacher shortage

February 2018

The B.C. Ministry of Education has been investing $571,000 to offset teacher shortages for in-demand subject areas, following a Minister’s task force report indicating that 54 B.C. school boards experience teacher, librarian, educational assistant, and counsellor retention challenges.

Glen Hansman, President of the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF), had said that the shortage has led to teachers without proper certification being hired, and to qualified Vancouver-based teachers leaving to fill positions in rural communities due to financial incentives put in place by the former Liberal government.

B.C. school districts take teacher shortage crisis into their own hands

February – March 2018

The shortage comes after a 2016 Supreme Court decision, which affirmed the right of the BCTF to negotiate class size and composition.  

B.C. boards, and in particular the Vancouver School Board, have targetted Montreal and other parts of the country to recruit French immersion teachers. Burnaby School District has also launched its own training program for education assistants: in-demand professionals that are being hired faster than post-secondary institutions can produce them, according to this district. The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District had also reported hiring non-certified individuals in view of the shortage.

In a recent CBC article, a number of current teaching assistants claimed that working conditions – and not lack of training – is the real reason for this crisis. At the BCTF national convention in March, president Hansman stated that union members want a wage hike, citing teachers in other provinces as making upwards of $20,000 more than those in B.C.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation files a grievance over this educator shortage

June 2018

Last week, the BCTF filed a grievance over the matter, which is now in arbitration. President Hansman highlighted the impact of taking specialist teachers away from their students to fill teaching vacancies and criticized what the federation sees as a failure by the province to have extra teachers.

Education Minister Rob Fleming is reporting, however, that 3500-3700 teachers have been hired this year, accounting for 97% of hiring. Minister Fleming also underlined that the province has been funding teacher training spaces, with 1800 new teachers set to graduate in September.


Want more? Check out last night’s conversation on teacher shortages

The EdCan Wire Live Podcast: June 5, 2018


Photo: Designed by Freepik

Meet the Expert(s)

André Rebeiz

André Rebeiz

Research Manager for the EdCan Network - Responsable de la recherche pour le Réseau ÉdCan

André makes research fun and exciting through creating knowledge and awareness-building tools including infographics, fact sheets, videos, podcasts, and marketing campaigns that advance evidence-info...

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