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Indigenous teachers get a boost in New Westminster job hunt

Teachers who self-identify as Indigenous can get preferential consideration, thanks to a new agreement between the school district and the teachers' union.
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Teachers applying for jobs in the New Westminster school district will be able to self-identify as Indigenous when applying online as part of a program designed to give preferential consideration to Indigenous applicants.

Teachers who self-identify as Indigenous will get a boost in applying for jobs with the New Westminster school district.

School District 40 and the New Westminster Teachers’ Union have reached an agreement that will enable the district to give preferential hiring consideration to applicants who self-identify as Indigenous, according to the district’s executive director of human resources.

Robert Weston told trustees at the June 7 operations committee meeting that the district is signing the agreement with the NWTU on Wednesday (June 8).

“The human rights commission has given us the approval to move ahead with the preferential hiring program without fear of any human rights challenge on the basis of discrimination,” he said.

He said the district has had conversations with Make A Future – the central hiring website for jobs in B.C. schools – so applicants who want to identify as Indigenous can do so with the click of a button. That will enable the district to give them preferential consideration for any jobs for which they are qualified and meet the standards, he noted.

“That’s something we have been working on for some time,” he said.

The change will be in effect this summer.

Weston said the district is also hoping CUPE Local 409, which represents support staff, will agree to a similar program so it can be implemented district-wide.

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