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Nunavut education authorities to get more money for full-time office managers

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Their role is to help with student travel, discipline, language programming and hiring school staff


The Education Department is providing more money to Nunavut’s district education authorities starting this summer so they can employ office managers full time. (File photo)

By


Kierstin Williams

The Nunavut government is increasing funding to district education authorities across the territory so they can employ office managers on a full-time basis.

The government announced the change Tuesday in a news release. The funding will come into effect in July.

A district education authority is locally elected body composed of community members responsible for the administration of schools in Nunavut.

Office managers help carry out the functions of the authority, including assisting parents with questions and issues, student travel, discipline, language programming and hiring school staff.

The Education Department currently only provides part-time funding for the authority to fill this role.

More money will help with staff retention, said Doug Workman, manager of policy and research for the Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities.

“The office manager responsibilities are immense, and for the last few years there’s been a really high turnover for part-time DEA office managers,” he said.

“People would do the best they can and they can only do so much when you’re getting paid for three hours a day when you’ve got kids to feed.”

Workman said he didn’t know how much more money the authorities can expect.

The Education Department didn’t include the figure in its release and didn’t immediately provide it when asked.

However, Workman said the extra money could lead to the enhancement of full-time benefits for those already employed or the hiring of extra workers to help on a casual basis.

Jedidah Merkosak, who chairs the coalition of DEAs, said the stability of the DEA workforce is important and will allow the authorities to “better meet their obligations and responsibilities” under the territorial Education Act.

 



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