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With dozens of layoffs about to take place at the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, the union representing some 1,400 school board workers there says the Board Chair has left many questions about the cuts unanswered.

CUPE National Representative Kathy MacLeod says, “We have written Lorne Green requesting a meeting with the full board to get answers to these questions.  We continue to question the direction this Board has chosen to go in with these cuts to frontline staff.”

Says MacLeod, “For starters, the Board just finalized the full budget at the end of last week.  How could they make these decisions when they didn’t even have all of the details in front of them?” 

Other questions the union has for the Board include:

  • Why haven’t they made the one dissenting report, from Commissioner Stephen Parsons, available to the public and the union?  Parsons presented an alternative to the staffing cuts.
  • How can the Board justify the rehiring of five consultants through secondments after notifying the public and CUPE about the reduction of six consultant positions as part of the provincial government’s mandated reduction of 15% to administration?
  • How did the Board justify including a Head Bus Driver classification as one of their administrative cuts?
  • With the elimination of 45 Teaching Assistants, who will be looking after all of these children with special needs when they return in September?
  • With the elimination of 14 Lunch, Bus and Grounds Supervisors, who will be providing these services in the schools affected by these cuts?

MacLeod says, “It is hard for us to fathom how all of the other school boards were able to follow the minister’s directive, but not this board.”