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Need EA advice!

Hey there. I am looking to get some advice from fellow Educational Assistants.

My principal is really abusing their power and is taking advantage of the fact that I don’t really ever stand up for myself. They’ve changed my job assignments so much because the tough kids wear other EA’s out so I am constantly with them year after year. I will be pulled out of a really good routine to be with someone else and then the whole class I was in has to readjust to a new EA. It makes for a lot of frustration for the students and the teachers. I understand we have to make accommodations if someone isn’t able to do their job but it’s always only me. I am the one being constantly switched. Last year I had to go to a behavior program as well as I was in 9 classrooms at the school. Makes it very hard to get in a groove and build relationships with the students.

So, it has now been suggested that since the one EA does not want to accompany her student to a special program at another location, that they will be putting her in my position and I will be made to accompany this student. I have been the only staff member on my team to have to travel to these programs. I had 1 in the Glenrose and 2 who went to a behaviour modification program. And we don’t get free parking at these places either, we have to pay otherwise ride the bus. And I’m on the south side so it takes a while.

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But enough is enough. I’m tired of being the only one they constantly switch. I never argue with them because I was raised to do what my boss asks of me.

So my question here is, if things work out the way they look like they are, how would I go about breaking my contract and going back on the sub list? I plan to contact the union but can’t right now, cause there’s no one there right now.
I am with catholic schools if it matters. If you have any help to offer please let me know!

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32 Responses

  1. Kelly Smith Kelly Smith says:

    contact the school board jfc you don’t have to bow down stand up for yourself and contact a higher up to help

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  2. Bobby Sam Bobby Sam says:

    First, I would recommend you discuss your concerns with the principal. Be open and honest. Try to use “I”statements and refrain from bringing others into the discussion. Focus on the issues and seek to resolve the situation together. The principal may not even be aware of your concerns. Second, you need to know that staff deployment is at the discretion of the principal. He/she is not abusing their power. Under the current School Act, they are responsible for the operation of the school. This is typically accomplished in consultation with staff however at the end of the day, they must make decisions un the best interests of students and staff. Having said this, they are required to adhere to CUPE Collective Agreenents and Board Policy. There may be factors that are influencing the decisions being made. He/she may not be in a position to share these. In terms of breaking your contract, you must read your collective agreement. There may be an option for a transfer. If not, typically, the person officially resigns and applies for the sub list again. Again though, before you take such a drastic step, discuss these things with the principal and ultinately with HR and potentially a CUPE rep. Hope this helps.

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  3. Talk to your union rep. They can help you sort out what’s expected of you and where the principal has gone to far.

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    • Wendy Peers Wendy Peers says:

      Yeah – guess you didn’t read the post.

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    • Wendy Peers I did. The principal may not be doing anything against her contact, and they should figure that out first. If they don’t like it the only other option is to look at the postings and move schools.

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    • Wendy Peers Wendy Peers says:

      Samantha Block you told her to contact her union rep. She says right in her post that the union is not available right now.

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    • Wendy Peers if it’s that important to them they can wait till the office is open. Send them an email at the very least. It’s not rocket science.

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    • Why isn’t the union available right now? I drive a school bus and am president of our union.. there’s always someone to call even if I have to call the national president himself. And what does your collective agreement say about job assignments..

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  4. Force their hand. Put the ball in their court

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  5. Adri O Adri O'Regan says:

    Go to your internal job posting website and apply to other schools…at least that’s what I did when I needed to leave my one position. But I am also on the public side too.

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  6. Nadia Frank Nadia Frank says:

    Wait until the January bulletin and apply to move. You just missed the October one unfortunately

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  7. If you have time to type this you also have time to type an email to your union rep. Sometimes just getting a bit of perspective will help you decide to make a change or not. It certainly sounds like you re valued efficient and needed. Those are all good things

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  8. I’m with ECSD and I encourage you to #1 have a talk with your principal and #2 email the union even if the president is away she usually replies to emails and would support. Good luck PM if you want to

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  9. Nicole M-c Nicole M-c says:

    Go to the union they can help hopefully! A good EA is worth their weight in gold! Hopefully you get some resolution!

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  10. Becki Kehler Becki Kehler says:

    Can they ask you to travel with a student in your own vehicle??? I was point blank told to NEVER allow a student into my car! And definitely if it is work related, they should be paying all costs involved… including parking.

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  11. Tara Boucher Tara Boucher says:

    Don’t break your contract
    Go to the union and get representation.

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  12. You have the right to refuse a job, contact the union they will guide you in the right direction.

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  13. Sheila Gough Sheila Gough says:

    Talk to Tim or Donna

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  14. Sheila Gough Sheila Gough says:

    Also let Kelly know in HR

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  15. Definitely contact your union rep. You can email or call. If you are uncomfortable talking to your principal your rep will do it for you.

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  16. I’m with EPSB, but aren’t there tons of EA postings all the time? Apply for a different position. I wouldn’t say what you’re experiencing is necessarily common.

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  17. Union rep I guess, since catholic doesn’t have EA mentors. I’d just apply to be on the sub list for the public system! My opinion. And I’ve worked in both, but I find we have more support in EPSB

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  18. Come over to Edmonton Public Schools. We are always looking for good EAs. You don’t need to be treated like that.

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  19. Aly Kaba Aly Kaba says:

    Talk to your union rep.

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  20. Maybe this is happening because the principal can thrust you to do your job. Maybe you are reliable, dependable and can adapt to whatever is thrown your way. Maybe your easy going attitude is an asset the principal is having to take advantage of because of the situations that arise. If nothing else, maybe these upheavals will only make you better at your job in the long term. Whatever the answer, I wish you the best and thank you and your fellow EAs and teachers for the amazing work you do.

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