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Teachers deserve benefits and safe working conditions, Main says

The recognition of teachers and their challenges was on the agenda at the legislative assembly on Monday.

Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main conveyed that "every" teacher in Nunavut is appreciated on Feb. 24.

“We appreciate your dedication as we are aware of the difficulties you face,” said Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main, adding that teachers deserve “great” and safe working conditions along with “great” compensation and benefits.

Main questioned David Joanaise, Minister of Education, about whether security and/or violent incidents are contributing to retention issues for teachers.

“It’s hard for teachers to remain due to many factors, but violence is included,” responded Joanaise.

Although the department of education does have exit surveys, teachers are not required to complete them.

Main also asked how Nunavut teachers’ salaries compared with teachers from the rest of Canada.

Joanaise noted that Nunavut teachers earn the second highest salaries after teachers in the Northwest Territories. The minister clarified he is referring to the base salary, thus not including any Northern allowance and other benefits.

The Department of Education is looking at recruiting teachers from outside of the territory for the upcoming fiscal year. Ontario is on the department’s radar as a source of recruitment for Nunavut teachers, Joanasie revealed.