Teachers in Toronto public schools call in sick on Fridays more than other days of the week, data shows.
For Toronto’s substitute teachers, this is old news.
“Absences are always higher on Fridays. But then people drag themselves through four days and say, ‘I can’t do another one,’ you know? And I think that’s pretty much the same in any workplace, ’cause by the time you get to Friday, you’re done.”
There are some exceptions to the pattern: Fridays that are professional activity days, or PA days, see much lower absenteeism than other days of the week. Teachers rarely book off sick on the last day of school in December or June, whether or not it falls on a Friday.
The board released the data, which covers the five school years between 2008-9 and 2012-13, in late October under access-to-information laws. Global’s request was filed in June.
“Teachers receive 11 sick days per year and a doctor’s note is required when there are more than five consecutive sick days taken,” said TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird. “It is at the principal’s discretion, however, to request medical documentation for less than five days should there be concerns about the use of sick time … the TDSB will be piloting an Attendance Support Program in the upcoming year to improve staff attendance.”
With files from Anna Mehler Paperny
WATCH: Andy Lomnicki on why teachers take sick days on Fridays