New Brunswick Tribune

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Staff shortages are rising as a result of the N.B. vaccination policy

Key takeaways:

  • Due to a driver shortage, several bus services in New Brunswick were cancelled Monday morning.
  • Almost 800 individuals are unemployed in New Brunswick, according to the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association.

Several bus lines in New Brunswick were canceled Monday morning due to a driver shortage, forcing some parents to drive their children to school.

And, as numerous districts have acknowledged CTV Atlantic, the province’s mandated COVID-19 immunization policy has exacerbated the current shortfall.

All government personnel must get at least one dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and produce proof of a second appointment as of last Friday.

Also read: Municipalities in New Brunswick are preparing to merge as sweeping reforms

Parents in the Anglophone West School District were advised that one bus would not be running, affecting five routes in the Hanwell and New Maryland communities.

“We’ve witnessed an uptick in bus driver absenteeism this school year,” Jennifer Read, a representative for Anglophone West, said. 

“This could be due to personnel on leave for various reasons, including those who have been placed on leave without pay beginning today by the provincial mandate for all public servants who have not produced proof of vaccination,” says the statement.

According to the reading, the industry has “historically struggled with hiring and retaining employees for this type of work, and is currently experiencing a scarcity.”

Six buses will not be running indefinitely, according to the Francophone South School District.

Staff shortages increase as a result of the N.B. vaccine policy.

“Labor shortages are a typical occurrence, but one that has an especially negative impact on the school community. “We’re doing everything we can to replace absent employees and get services back up and running as soon as possible,” said spokeswoman Jean-Luc Thériault. 

“The government of New Brunswick’s immunization policy, which requires school workers to be completely vaccinated and has been in force since November 19, influences the availability of human resources.”

According to the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association, almost 800 people are out of work across the province.

“After so many pauses and disturbances this school year, teachers and administrators are questioning the government’s ability to stabilize the system,” said NBTA President Connie Keating. 

“Although an adult may be in front of our pupils today, the question is whether or not they have the expertise to ensure that our students receive a quality education?” “Who’s filling in the blanks?”

According to the Education Department, recruiting and maintaining supply teachers, bus drivers, and other casual personnel was difficult before the pandemic, but “pressures have subsequently risen.”

“Due to staffing challenges linked to GNB’s vaccination policy requirements, logistical demands, isolation requirements, or illness, several school bus routes have been canceled this morning,” a department official stated. 

“Several school districts have had issues since the beginning of the year, and we appreciate families’ patience as districts attempt to remedy these concerns.”

Source: Global News

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