Kamloops teachers, staff who travel outside Canada may face mandatory unpaid isolation | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops teachers, staff who travel outside Canada may face mandatory unpaid isolation

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March 15, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Teachers and school staff across the province may face an unpleasant reality when returning from out-of-country spring break vacations.

Trish Smillie, assistant superintendent for School District 73, says the staff and faculty who leave the country for a spring break trip face a mandatory two-week self-isolation period.

She says there will be no paid sick leave to those who ignore the advisory from provincial officials, and says they may need to use up their remaining vacation time or face unpaid leave.

“We have heard the message from government and we’re advising our staff of this,” Smillie says. “This is provincial direction, it's not our school district’s direction… it’s for the full province.”

Smillie says staff who left before the announcement was made yesterday, March 12, will be able to use paid sick leave for the two week isolation period.

There should be enough temporary teachers to fill the absences expected after spring break but adds that could change, she says

“Based on our initial assessment, we feel we’ll have enough relief staff to support absences after spring break but you never know what’s going to happen,” Smillie says. “It’s an ever evolving situation. As we move into next week, we’ll assess but at this time we feel we’ll have enough relief staff."

A notice posted to the school district’s website states staff who must isolate, quarantine or fall ill may be eligible for employment insurance with less of a wait. The Canadian government has waived the one-week waiting period for people who are in quarantine or have been directed to self-isolate and are claiming for employment insurance benefits.

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