Kids return after huge cutbacks in support staff, with more to come
EDMONTON – When Alberta children return to school tomorrow, they will be in schools and classrooms with far fewer support staff, according to CUPE 3550 (Edmonton Public Schools) President Carol Chapman.
“Our school district laid off record numbers of staff in June to make up for Alison Redford’s funding shortfall,” said Chapman. “The reduction in funding will result in larger class sizes with less educational supports and programs for all of our students.”
Chapman said that the Progressive Conservative government has put schools into a situation where they must offer “less with less.”
“This is not what our students and their parents deserve!” said Chapman.
CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts said Edmonton public schools will have 350 fewer Educational Assistants, Custodial workers and trades people than it had last year.
“In almost every school division across the province, trustees are laying off teachers and staff to make up for Alison Redford’s broken promise to provide stable education funding,” said Roberts.
Roberts says her union, which represents almost 9,000 support workers province wide, saw substantial cutbacks across the province in the spring, and expects more this fall.
“Schools don’t make final staffing decisions until enrollment numbers are in, so our members are bracing for more.”
“Without these employees, schools will be dirtier, less safe, and will provide fewer supports for students and teachers - who will also be fewer in number. This is an issue that goes far beyond the lives of the laid-off educational employees. The state of our education is crumbling, and everyone pays for it.”