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News Flash: Teaching Is Not a Work-from Home Job



by Kerry Dougherty

This is rich.

Some Chesapeake teachers – you know, people who went to college to learn how to teach kids — are balking at orders that they return to the classroom in early November.

They don’t feel safe, apparently.

While it was initially expected that the first semester would be entirely virtual, a sharp downward trend in COVID-19 infections means that schools are reopening faster than expected. As high school kids return, more teachers are needed.

This does not include teachers with medical exemptions, by the way. They can continue to work from home.

Chesapeake was the first local school district to bring students back to the environment where they learn best: The classroom.

Study after study shows children falling dramatically behind in academics due to virtual learning. In a June article headlined “The Results Are In For Remote Learning. It Didn’t Work,”  The Wall Street Journal documented just how far behind students fell during their four-month rumspringa. It’s alarming.

A story in Sunday’s New York Times, “Private Schools Hold New Attraction For Rich Parents,” showed that admissions at pricey boarding and private schools are booming as wealthy parents remove their kids from online classes and put them in private schools. Until public schools reopen, middle and working class children will be left behind.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, some of these disgruntled Chesapeake teachers apparently believed that they were going to teach from the comfort of their homes for many more months.

“This may sound dramatic, but I feel like I’m going through the stages of grief,” one of the teachers whined.


Because she’s going to be back in class with students? This teacher insisted on remaining anonymous, of course.

The Pilot quoted another unnamed educator who moaned that she’d planned to teach from home for many months and had bought a TV to use as a computer monitor and upgraded her internet.

“I felt like all of the efforts I’ve been putting in to make this work were not valued,” she complained.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Kids are supposed to sit in their bedrooms and stare at computer screens all day because some teacher upgraded her home internet and bought a TV monitor?

Look, study after study, including a new one from Yale, show that young children are rarely vectors for the virus. Even teenagers are at little risk from Covid-19. And youngsters don’t seem to spread the virus to teachers either.


We’re often scolded by Team COVID that the U.S. has done a terrible job of handling the virus and we should look to Europe to learn how to behave in a pandemic. Well, Europe is experiencing major outbreaks, yet schools remain open. In a story headlined, “Europe Stays Committed To In-Person Classes As School Outbreaks Remain Rare,” The Washington Post reported that most countries on the continent have open schools and surprisingly few problems.

In fact, many European countries have dropped mask requirements for students because they’re seen as a distraction.

If we’re truly a nation that values education and understands risks and rewards, our goal should be to get the kids back into class as soon as possible, as our European counterparts have done.

 That means teachers have to be there too.

Frankly, if a teacher decides she wants a work-from-home job, she should apply for one. Teaching, like many other professions, requires workers to leave home.

They simply need to develop the bravery of Harris Teeter baggers.

This column was published with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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Indian Oil Recruitment for officers, engineers based on GATE 2021




By: Careers Desk | New Delhi |

October 31, 2020 3:17:36 pm

jobs, jobs for gate 2021, gate 2021, inidna oil jobs,,, education news, employment news, sarkari naukri, govt jobsIOCL is hiring based on GATE 2021 (Express Photo By Praveen Khanna/Representational)

Indian Oil recruitment 2021: Indian Oil is looking for engineers and officers through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2021 score. The exam is scheduled to be held on February 5, 6, 7, and 12, 13, and 14. Students will be shortlisted based on GATE score. Shortlisted candidates will have to undergo group discussion, group tasks, and personal interviews.

Hiring will be in five streams — chemical, civil, electrical, instrumentation, and mechanical engineering. Students who clear GATE in these exams will be eligible for the job. The application for IOCL, however, will begin as soon as the GATE 2021 admit card is released, as per the short notice by IOCL. The detailed notification will release then.

A total of 8,82,684 candidates have applied for the GATE 2021, which is a slight increase from 8.59 lakh applications last year. A total of 14,196 students have applied for newly introduced humanities subjects. This year, IIT-Bombay, the exam conducting institute, has allowed students in third-year as well as in humanities to apply for GATE. Through GATE, qualifying candidates can seek admission to MTech and PhD courses across IITs, IISc, and other colleges as well as be eligible to avail of government scholarship and apply for jobs at PSUs.

As reported by earlier, every year 15-20 per cent of M Tech seats across Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) go vacant. The IITs unanimously blame the unsynchronised admission process by the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) as the major reason behind the dropouts in MTech courses. To battle this issue, the IIT-Madras created a Common Offer Acceptance Portal (COAP) in 2017 under which IITs, IISc and Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) were expected to recruit at a common platform. However, only the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) participated in the process.

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Putting Marshall on tap | News, Sports, Jobs




Photo by Deb Gau
Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes was invited to pour some of the first pints of Cultivate Pale Ale, a new variety of beer from the Brau Brothers Brewing Company. Brau Brothers created Cultivate by working together with Marshall’s city branding initiative.

MARSHALL — When they rolled out Marshall’s branding initiative earlier this year, committee members said they were focused on working together. There were a lot of ways to “cultivate the best” in the community, they said — and local residents and businesses stepped in to do just that.

The Brau Brothers Brewing Company joined the efforts by doing what it does best.

On Thursday, Brau Brothers celebrated the tapping of a new variety of beer to go along with the community brand. Representatives of Brau Brothers, the city of Marshall and the branding committee gathered in the taproom in Marshall as Mayor Bob Byrnes poured a glass of Cultivate Pale Ale.

“The recipe is kind of tried and true,” said Dustin Brau, of Brau Brothers. He said Cultivate is brewed with American west coast hops and malt to create a “classic style” pale ale.

The idea behind Cultivate was about growing new collaborations.

“Collaborations in brewing are really common right now,” Brau said. But then there’s also the spirit of collaboration that goes along with the Marshall brand slogan “Cultivating the Best In Us.” Brau said Cultivate Pale Ale was the first ever collaboration Brau Brothers has done.

Collaboration is also important from the city’s perspective, Byrnes said. The city needs to work together with its business and hospitality community, he said. Marshall’s branding initiative was launched early this spring, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic closed down bars and restaurants, and affected the hospitality industry.

Cultivate Pale Ale was on tap at the Brau Brothers brewery in Marshall, but Brau said in the future he also plans to bottle it and make it available to buy at locations like Tall Grass Liquor in Marshall. He said he’s currently working on designing labels.

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RCMP’s pension violated job-sharing officers charter rights – Kelowna Capital News




In Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of Canada recently held that the RCMP violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) for women who job shared.

This case involved indirect, or adverse effect, discrimination. This occurs when, instead of explicitly singling out and treating differently those who are members of a protected group or analogous groups, the law or state action indirectly places them at a disadvantage.

The three claimants were regular members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). They took maternity leave the in the early-to-mid 1990s.

Upon returning to work, they experienced difficulties combining full time work with childcare responsibilities.

At the time, the RCMP did not permit them to work part-time.

In December 1997, the RCMP introduced a job-sharing program. It allowed members to split the duties of one full-time position.

As they had childcare responsibilities, the claimants participated in the job-sharing program to temporarily reduce their hours of work.

RCMP members pay into a retirement pension plan. The amount of the pension increases as service and earnings grow.

Legislation governing the RCMP allowed members to treat certain gaps in full-time service as fully pensionable.

However, regulations classified job sharers as part time workers. This denied them the option of buying back their pension for the time over which they did not work.

Other members, such as those who were suspended or took unpaid leave, were allowed to “buy back” their reduced pension contributions, thus increasing the pension they would ultimately receive.

The claimants alleged that the regulations, which denied them the opportunity to buy back their pension, discriminated against job-sharers — who were mostly women with children at home. They had a discriminatory impact on women, and this infringed their rights under section 15(1) the Charter.

Section 15(1) requires the state to treat everyone equally, without discrimination based on certain protected or enumerated characteristics.

At the Federal Court, they were unsuccessful. That judge did not find a violation of s. 15(1), stating that if the claimants were disadvantaged, it was not because they were women or parents. It was because of their own choices.

The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal.

A 6:3 majority of the Supreme Court of Canada agreed with the claimants, finding that the RCMP’s policy created a distinction based on a protected ground (gender/sex), and that:

Full-time RCMP members who job-share must sacrifice pension benefits because of a temporary reduction in working hours. This arrangement has a disproportionate impact on women and perpetuates their historical disadvantage. It is a clear violation of their right to equality under s. 15(1) of the Charter.

Section 15 cases involve a two-step analysis:

  1. On its face or in its impact, does the law or state action create a distinction based on enumerated or analogous grounds?
  2. Does the law or state action impose burdens or deny a benefit in a manner that hast he effect of reinforcing, perpetuating, or exacerbating disadvantage?

Those claiming an infringement of s. 15(1) need not prove that the protected characteristic “caused” the disproportionate impact. They need not prove that the law itself was responsible for creating the background social or physical barriers which made a particular rule disadvantageous.

They are not required to show that the problematic law or state action affects all members of a protected group in the same way.

In dismissing the claim because the claimants “chose” to job-share, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada said that the lower courts misapprehended its s. 15 jurisprudence. It has consistently held that differential treatment can be discriminatory even if it is based on choices made by the affected individual or group.

In the majority’s view, the association between gender and fewer or less stable working hours was clear. The RCMP’s use of a temporary reduction in working hours to impose less favourable pension consequences plainly had a disproportionate and adverse impact on women.

This adverse impact “perpetuates a long-standing source of disadvantage to women: gender biases within pension plans, which have historically been designed for middle and upper-income full-time employees with long service, typically male.”

The RCMP’s pension design is based on assumptions applicable primarily to men. It perpetuates a long-standing source of economic disadvantage for women.

There was a prima facie breach of s. 15 based on the enumerated ground of gender.

Section 1 of the Charter allows the state to justify a limit on a Charter right as “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

To start with, the state must identify a pressing and substantial objective for limiting the Charter right.

Job-sharing was clearly intended as a substitute for leave without pay for those members who could not take such leave due to personal or family circumstances.

The majority saw no reason for treating the two forms of work reduction differently when extending pension buy-back rights. It held that the government failed to identify a compelling objective for this differential treatment.

Pension plans are only one example of workplace situations which perpetuate disadvantages women face. It is encouraging that Canadian courts are recognizing this and gradually upholding women’s rights to substantive equality. Decisions such as this are an important step, though much remains.

In case you missed it?

Changes for B.C.’s worker’s compensation system

About Susan Kootnekoff:

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. Photo: Contributed

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. Photo: Contributed

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. She has been practicing law since 1994, with brief stints away to begin raising children.

Susan has experience in many areas of law, but is most drawn to areas in which she can make a positive difference in people’s lives, including employment law.

She has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1994 and a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2015. Susan grew up in Saskatchewan. Her parents were both entrepreneurs, and her father was also a union leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of workers. Before moving to B.C., Susan practiced law in both Calgary and Fort McMurray, Alta.

Living and practicing law in Fort McMurray made a lasting impression on Susan. It was in this isolated and unique community that her interest in employment law, and Canada’s oil sands industry, took hold. In 2013,

Susan moved to the Okanagan with her family, where she currently resides.

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