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WAINWRIGHT, AB – At the same time as the Buffalo Trail School Division is cutting staff and services, Trustees have voted for big increases for their wages and expenses.

And after bearing the brunt of reduced hours due to cutbacks, school workers are crying foul.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says that last month, school trustees raised their per diem by 6.7%, their meal allowance by 25%, and their mileage rate by 12.5%.

Margaret Templeton, President of CUPE Local 1606, says the move is wrong. Templeton says that while trustees have been cutting back hours for Teaching Assistants and Library staff, they shouldn’t be raising their own allowances.

There are fewer Teaching Assistants this year than there were last year, and still every TA has seen their hours reduced,” said Templeton. “Enrolment is stable but still some TAs are being asked to go home for the last two periods of every day.”

Library services have been scaled way back. I went from 1,330 hours in 03/04 to 1,000 last year, 600 hours this year,” said Templeton. “Teaching Assistants, Librarians, and other school support staff are more important than meal allowances for trustees.”

At a time when government funding is increasing, the trustees have been cutting back on everything but themselves,” said Templeton. “They should rescind their increases until they have restored the services they cut back.”


Increases approved on October 19th:

Increases approved on October 19th:

Per Diem: $150/day to $160/day 6.7% increase
Meal allowance: $20/day to $25/day 25% increase
Mileage: $0.40/km to $0.45/km 12.5% increase

For more information, visit: www.alberta.cupe.ca