Teacher’s ForumRegulation 274 in Ontario means teachers with the most seniority are first in line to be hired, regardless of their merit. Is this a fair rule?
SQECanadaSQECanada Staff asked 5 years ago
31 Answers
Best Answer
sara answered 5 years ago

This is an unfair, discriminatory rule that only benefits teachers that are afraid of merit-based hiring and merit-based pay. The government should be ashamed they ever allowed such a regulation to pass.
As a principal, I can attest that this regulation has led to a decline in education in Ontario. Principals are FORCED to hire from the top 5 candidates submitted by the board. These candidates are only in the top five spots due to seniority. There is ZERO incentive for teachers to work hard for the position that they want.
Another ridiculous aspect of this regulation is that teachers are forced to start over at the bottom of the supply list if they have to move for personal or professional reasons. It’s not a national or provincial list, as each board has their own list. Imagine for a moment that previous experience is not taken into account when teachers are placed on these ridiculous lists. Imagine a stellar teacher with multiple masters degrees and 15 years of experience having to start over at the bottom of a supply list due to a move? Only politicians and a union could have implemented something so obtuse.

Sasha answered 5 years ago

This is unfair to teachers, students and parents in Ontario. In what other career are individuals hired and paid based SOLELY on seniority? Even Kathleen Wynne admitted this regulation was a mistake, but she wasn’t about to make any amendments to it or agree to abolish it because that would be political suicide. As an experienced teacher and now principal I can honestly say that regulation 274 is detrimental to education in Ontario.

Holly answered 5 years ago

As a parent and a teacher, I can honestly say this regulation is a disaster. It’s 2017 and most educated adults recognize that there is nothing is more important than a child’s education. We owe it to the students in Ontario to ensure they have the best teachers teaching them, teachers that are hired based on merit not solely seniority. Seniority does not make a stellar teacher, and we have to trust that principals are experienced and qualified to hire the best.

Michael answered 5 years ago

A regulation that was meant to be amended or dealt with after the last round of negotiations but it was conveniently overlooked. Wynne, Mitzie and all other politicians are too afraid of the union to take this on. It’s both unfair and discriminatory but it’s here to stay. No one group is strong enough or brave enough to take on the unions in Ontario.

Peter answered 5 years ago

This regulation is an embarrassment to Education in Ontario. Imagine not hiring based on merit?  Why would we not want the best and brightest teaching our students? Why isn’t our premier doing something about this regulation? She might actually gain some respect if she focused on improving education and ammending or abolishing this regulation.

Brian answered 5 years ago

Seniority does not equal a top notch teacher. By only placing value on (board specific) seniority, we have lowered the professional bar and discouraged teachers from moving from one board to another. It is absolutely unacceptable that experienced teachers have to start over at the bottom of a supply list if they move from one board to another. 
Regulation 274 and the strength of the union are the reasons the general public doesn’t respect teachers. It takes 6 years and generally two degrees to become a teacher. Yet, Regulation 274 isn’t aligned with that professional mentality at all.
This archaic regulation needs to be abolished!
Teachers, parents and students should demand Kathleen Wynne to fix this!!! She should be disgraced she has allowed this regulation to continue. It only shows her lack of respect for education and her fear of the union, as well as the political curruptness of her party.

Bessie answered 5 years ago

It’s not about political parties or unions, it’s  about what is right and wrong. Eliminating regulation 274 is what’s best for the students and education in Ontario. Period. Only the best teachers should be teaching our students. Seniority has nothing to do with being the best. Principals being forced to hire from the top five candidates they’ve been sent from a board seniority list goes against everything we supposedly stand for in Education as Canadians. 
I agree with the above comments! Where is Kathleen Wynne and why isn’t she fixing this?

Angelo answered 5 years ago

It is stressful for teachers to get jobs and sometimes principals pick who they want. I had to wait 7 years until I was at the top of the list to get a job. Seniority seems fair. Why should merit matter? We are all paid the same regardless of the job we do. Teachers are typically less motivated each year that they teach. They get a raise regardless of their effort and performance.

Shannon answered 5 years ago

Why should merit matter? Are you kidding? Merit means a teacher actually deserves the position he or she is given! Regulation 274 went way too far and politicians are afraid of unions. Wynne is too afraid to alter or amend this. It’s beyond pathetic.

Doug answered 5 years ago

Regulation 274 is wrong on every level, but no one is willing to take on the unions or government to change this. Period. Yes, it’s unfair and discriminatory but this regulation will sadly remain. Our parent population is too passive to stand up to this and the teachers are handcuffed by the unions. 
This regulation is just another broken piece in Ontario’s education system. Unfortunately it’s impact is bigger than anyone is willing to admit.
As long as teachers are hired and compensated based on seniority and not merit our education system will continue to decline. Most principals and many teachers are very aware of this when they enroll their own children in private school where teachers are hired and keep their jobs on merit.

Sasha answered 5 years ago

Even teachers have realized that merit doesn’t matter. New teachers have stopped trying and instead just sit back and wait for their number (seniority) to pick the job they want.
This regulation is directly connected to math scores. Many young teachers with math qualifications aren’t teaching math because of this regulation. Teachers with seniority feel no pressure to change their teaching since “seniority” is all that matters and the union has guaranteed to protect them no matter what.

Lisa answered 5 years ago

This rule is unfair, but Mitzie, Kathleen, Justin and the rest of the politicians don’t care. They all ignore the elephant (Reg 274) in the room. They aren’t powerful or brave enough to take on unions to have this changed. Amazing teachers are turning to other careers or private schools because Reg 274 has harmed Education in Ontario dramatically.

Julie answered 5 years ago

A connection can be made between seniority and low math scores in Ontario schools. Teachers do not “have to partake in additonal qualification courses or work harder to teach/ learn” to improve their math teaching skills. Seniority is all that matters in Education in Ontario. We have a union that’s in charge of the political landscape to thank for that. Take a look at private schools and charter schools to see effective models. The unions have made it impossible to improve education. Reg 274 has got to go. Yet, sadly the damage it has inflicted is irreversible…

Doug answered 5 years ago

Regulation 274 is discriminatory in an age when discriminating against anyone is illegal and immoral. Politicians that sit on their hands instead of working to change this for the benefit of students and families should be ashamed of themselves. Teachers are afraid of the union and therefore under a gag order. This platform allows us to speak out. Is anyone listening? Will anyone help? Teaching is a noble profession, a merit based profession. We are not assembly line workers awarding the longest and best shifts to this that have been on the assembly line the longest. Children’s lives and futures are at stake. What is more important than that? 

Shannon answered 5 years ago

All of these teachers and principals commenting are under the assumption that education and Ontario youth are important to politicians. The politicians in Ontario have proven that teachers, students, School choice, and discrimination in schools DON’T matter. They only want votes and students can’t vote and teachers are bound to vote with the union. 
Private schools are growing for a reason. Public and Catholic Schools will only continue to decline with Reg 274, but guess what? No one actually cares enough to do anything about it. There is no group of parents or politicians that care enough to demand and follow through with change. Perhaps it’s our passive Canadian culture?

Frank answered 5 years ago

Wynne admits it was a mistake but doesn’t care enough to correct it. 
Imagine this Regulation being tolerated in any other profession. It is absolutely immoral and illegal.

Janet answered 5 years ago

I agree with the above posts. Regulation 274 is a disgrace to Education in Ontario. As a former teacher and principal I can say with absolute certainty that this was the beginning of the end of Education in Ontario. Merit and accountability go hand in hand. Seniority does not create a highly capable 21st Century Teacher with the skills to teach and lead today’s students. 
Never before in history has there been such a shift in education. Never before has a teachers merit been so important.
The fact that highly qualified teachers are unable to relocate and are forced to start over at the bottom of a supply list regardless of additonal qualifications, 21st Century training, glowing references or experience is absolutely absurd and an embarrassment in Ontario! 

Sabrina answered 5 years ago

Being a teacher is stressful and hard work. I’ve been teaching for 25 years and I don’t want to learn new technology or anything about 21st Century teaching. I do a fine job teaching the same way I’ve always been teaching. Period. As for the new young teachers that think they know everything, work longer / harder, and think merit is more important than seniority… you wait 27 years. You’ll thank god the union is there to protect your years of service and job. I’m thankful the union protects me from having to learn new anything and that my job will be there at a top salary no matter what.
I do however agree with the post about experiences teachers moving, because experienced teachers should not have to start over at the bottom of a supply list. That’s insulting and asinine!
But eliminating Regularion 274 will not happen because then we will have mayhem. Next, teachers will start demanding to be paid based on merit and older teachers like myself (the majority) will never vote for that. School choice will also be something we fight against. That will create competition and stress. We work hard. We just want to wake up and go teach the same way we’ve mastered over the last 20 or 30 years and then retire. So drop this nonsense. One day you’ll be old and burnt out and agree with me. I promise.

Adam answered 5 years ago

Older teachers are the perfect union minions. Even Wynne admitted it’s their vote that has kept Reg 274.
They should be thinking of what’s best for the students. Period. 

Samantha answered 5 years ago

We are a group of teachers sitting together wishing we could speak out about Education in Ontario, but we are afraid of our unions and being blacklisted. 
We can’t help but wonder… What if there was a #studentstoo movement? A push for students to be put first. Don’t they deserve that? That would involve eliminating Reg 274 to ensure that only the best teachers are teaching our students. These are the teachers that would take Additonal Qualification courses in math and be involved in decision making for the benefit of the students. These are the teachers that agree with merit based pay and merit based hiring. These are the teachers that the union lovers are afraid of.
Lastly, we can’t help but wonder how different things would be if teaching was a male dominated profession instead of a female dominated profession. 

Henry answered 5 years ago

Reg 274 is a joke. Everyone knows it and yet no one is willing to fight to change it. Any teacher worth their salt is against this regulation. 
Anotyer example of Wynne failing the education system in Ontario.

Maria answered 5 years ago

Seniority means something! In all industries seniority is important or at least it was and it should still be. What happened to respect your elders? 
I have been teaching 25 years and I have worked hard to earn my seniority and my paycheque. I don’t need to learn the “new way” to do anything. Reading, writing and arithmetic haven’t changed that much. My decades of experience have taught me how to teach and assess. You may think it’s old school but it’s what works for me and my students. 
Our union is powerful and they are their to protect the teachers, not the students. The parents are there for that!

Todd answered 5 years ago

There, they’re and their… look it up Maria.
Times are changing and we need to prepare students for a changing technology driven future. The way students learn, research, create and share is completely different than 10 or 25 years ago.

Toni answered 5 years ago

Young dynamic teachers are leaving to teach elsewhere or going to teach at private schools and Reg 274 is to blame. The shift is towards private schools as the teacher quality (due to Reg 274) decreases. 
More and more public and catholic school Teachers and principals are sending their own children to private schools. Why? Reg 274. End of story. 

Simon answered 5 years ago

I understand that there are a lot of amazing young teachers that are very tech savvy, but older public servant jobs and seniority need to be protected. If any police officer, fire fighter, or medical worker didn’t have job and seniority protection it would be a tragedy. These servant jobs are difficult and one dedicates their life to serve in these jobs. We pay into our own pensions and have zero flexibility with our jobs. The government and the union calls the shots and we have to fall into line and serve. We are soldiers of a different sort. Fighting for your safety, education and health. I think the best solution would be one that weighs experience, seniority, qualifications and ability. A combination formula of seniority and merit would be fair for everyone. Currently we are moving in a discriminatory manner. Those that can afford it are getting a better education in private school, getting better health care and living safer lives with paid security etc. Everyone deserves the same as everyone else regardless of your status. Let’s be fair to all teachers. 

Christopher answered 5 years ago

There are thousands of teachers waiting to hear Doug Ford say “only the best teachers should be hired based on merit!”

Mary answered 4 years ago

It is interesting to me that many older teachers feel it is okay to become complacent in their job and find no value in learning new skills. I believe they are likely just tired of teaching and burnt out. They do not want to have to keep up with this fast paced world that our students are caught up in. Can you imagine having a doctor who has not kept up with the new  medicine? We would still be putting people with depression in insane asylums! I believe that as educators we have an obligation and a responsibility to our students to continue learning and to provide them with a meaningful education that is not watered down by dispassionate and unqualified teachers. I myself have been hurt by Reg 274/12, but when your turn does come it can work for you. But the problems associated with hiring practices are complicated. Even with seniority, there are still administrators out there who practice nepotism and hire who they want, having found ways of manipulating the system and the language that defines it to suit their needs. The unions can also be both detrimental and helpful..it really depends on the situation. Moving up a seniority list is also not very complicated. It can be as simple as taking an additional qualifying course that instantly bumps out a teacher who has been waiting for years for their time to come. This is what is really wrong with Reg. 274. Why would an administrator hire a teacher who has an AQ in English over a teacher with a masters degree in Literature? This is where experience and education should count for something – but it doesn\\\’t!

Diandra answered 4 years ago

Regulation 274 has made it very difficult/impossible for good teachers to acquire well-fit and suitable positions, based on merit, qualifications and passion. As an experienced permanent teacher for over a decade, I am seeing new teachers hired without the drive or the qualifications, never mind the confidence or personality, put in crucial roles (such as early years kindergarten) or Gr 1 hoemroom, where teaching Literacy is key. It takes expertise, experience, and dedication to teach a child to read. I am horrified when I see teachers who would never have otherwise been hired, getting jobs AHEAD of others who may have additional qualifications, or the passion and knack to teach certain students. Without having to actually WORK to earn your position through merit and qualifications, we have created a system where teachers (no matter how suitable they are for the role) get to wait in a ‘first-come, first-serve’ line up in order to be granted one of the most important jobs to our society. 
It isn’t only the fact that newer teachers are not getting the opportunity to shine and work harder to earn their way into specific jobs, but what about the already permanent, experienced teachers?? With real estate as expensive as it is, relocation is a NEED among many new or growing families. If an experienced teacher, with amazing references, and with specialized additional qualifications, cannot MOVE to another board in Ontario and rightfully APPLY and be interviewed for jobs, then that is ridiculous! Permanent teachers are being made to completely sacrifice their position- and wait IN A MULTIPLE YEAR LONG LINE UP, behind just any person without half the experience or qualifications as them- and that is honouring seniority? I am a Reading Recovery fully certified and trained teacher with an AQ Specialist in Spec Ed and Reading, and I’ll be at the bottom of the LTO list unable to get full time, consistent work if I move cities in Ontario? So that Grade 1 class who could have a reading expert as their teacher will get someone way less qualified and experienced. That is unfair and not logical.
Ontario what are we doing? I’ll tell you what we’re not doing- we are certainly not hiring the best, most highly qualified or driven teachers for the teaching jobs available in our Ontario classrooms.
I hope this rule changes- it is a total detriment to the students- and a road block to having amazing, experienced, driven teachers, the freedom to move between boards. Seniority guidelines need to make sense.

Paul answered 4 years ago

With all due respect, some school boards are not hiring on merit.  They are hiring solely on diversity.  I have been looking for a job since I went back to school in 2004.  I have won awards for my teaching, but my chances of getting a full-time job are now zero.  Regulation 274 inhibited their ability to hire solely on diversity.

josh taylor answered 4 years ago

excellent article

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