Earlier this month, the Toronto union voted in favour of strike action, if necessary. The union is currently embroiled in contract negotiations with the library board, hoping to secure a wage increase and address this increasing precarity. Libraries are not the only impacted workplace. Newly certified teachers have been struggling to get a foothold into school boards for years in Toronto, said Sachin Maharaj, a teacher working towards his PhD in educational policy at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. In 2012, Ontario introduced legislation requiring public school boards to fill vacancies based on teacher seniority. New teachers must usually complete some supply and contract work before applying for full-time positions.
"This is a very stressful way of leading a life."
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Coupled with teachers' colleges churning out more graduates than teachers needed and declining school enrolment, "it's just a really bad picture for teachers," Maharaj said. When Maharaj graduated with a teaching degree some eight springs ago, he started a full-time teaching job the following fall. Now, that would never happen, he said. A 2015 Ontario College of Teachers survey on transitions to teaching shows some of the employment pressures easing, but overall a teachers' college graduate's job prospects appear grim. Many teachers starting their careers still experience months or years of under-employment, according to the report. More than half of first-year teachers in the province supplement their teaching income with other jobs like tutoring or retail work. Universities, media organizations, hospitals and governments have also increasingly moved toward more precarious contract employment, Lewchuk said. This new normal is hurting the businesses and employees alike, he said. Corporations that don't commit to their employees can expect similar loyalty from their workforce, he said, resulting in higher labour turnover. In the long run, the company is likely to have less skilled workers since firms don't tend to provide substantial training to short-term employees, said Lewchuk. Eventually, that will make positions higher on the corporate ladder difficult to fill. Employees without stable jobs and consistent income, on the other hand, he said, can be anxious and delay life's milestones, like marriage, home ownership or starting a family. "This is a very stressful way of leading a life," he said. Like HuffPost Canada Business On Facebook
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