In the wake of a June 1 decision by Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) trustees to pass a budget that includes cuts to vital assistance to children with special needs, education workers have promised to explore every avenue that will allow them to preserve the services they provide.

Trustees voted 7-3 to defeat a motion that would have allowed the board time to investigate the consequences of slashing $5.5 million from the board’s budget and find other ways of dealing with its deficit. Instead, trustees opted to implement ruthless cuts that will hurt vulnerable children and leave schools dirtier and less secure places for students.

Education workers at UCDSB are represented by Local 5678 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE); their president expressed her shock and dismay at the trustees’ decision.

“This is an irresponsible act on the part of trustees,” said Sue Hanson, president of CUPE 5678. “They didn’t have to make these cuts in one fell swoop; this is just the start of a three-year plan. Trustees could have and should have managed the process properly and avoided harming the communities’ children and the vital services they rely on.”

Hanson pointed out that there was no consultation with frontline workers over the impacts of the cuts or any impact assessment on the effects that the cuts will have on children with special needs.

Prior to last night’s meeting, CUPE 5678 sent an open letter to trustees, urging them not to make decisions around cuts without knowing the ramifications, including possible contravention of the recent collective agreements that the union reached with UCDSB, the province and the Council of Trustee Associations (CTA).

For more information, please contact:

Sue Hanson
President, CUPE 5678

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications