NDP calls for support for education staff during COVID-19 pandemic

The provincial NDP is pushing the government to provide more clarity when it comes to Sunday’s release from the province about keeping schools open.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili says it’s not clear yet from the government whether or not a single case of community transmission of COVID-19 would be enough to close down schools.

The official opposition leader says it’s only a matter of time before schools close given the way the virus has been spreading around the world.

That’s why the opposition is also on the province to provide supports for schools workers and staff is they have to self-isolate and for families who choose to keep their kids home now or if schools do close in the future.

At the moment, that includes ensuring adequate cleaning supplies and staffing levels for schools and allowing any staff needing to self-isolate because of illness or travel to do so without drawing down sick days.

Meili says if you miss school because of COVID-19, he would like to see teachers not mark that student down as absent whether if that’s because of a voluntary withdrawal or if you’re ill and are self-isolating. He also believes any school staff who are also missing work for the same reason, shouldn’t have their absence recorded as a sick day.

The NDP is also calling on the province, in the event of school closures, that teachers, support staff and daycare workers continue to be paid. In addition to school supports, the official opposition is calling on the SaskParty to push back the budget which is set to be introduced later this week.

The Saskatchewan government announced Sunday that schools will remain open for now. The province’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab says everyone needs to ensure they are taking measures to maintain social distancing which include staying home if you’re sick.

Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec have all announced that they’re closing their schools for sometime over the coming weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.


More from 620 CKRM