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Toronto -Finally, after five years of strikes, cutbacks and walkouts in the education sector, today’s release of the Education Equality Task Force report by Mordechai Rozanski clearly proves that the province’s education funding formula was fundamentally flawed, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The report says the system is under funded. Rozanski calls for an injection of $1.8 billion in new money over three years, updates benchmarks, calls for new investment in addition to immediate money for this year’s wage increases for support and teaching staff.

While the recommendation by Rozanski, of an influx of dollars into our public education system is welcomed by the province’s 50,000 educational support workers, the report fails to recognize the money is needed immediately and not phased-in over three years, says Ryan, who adds the report also does not do away with the artificial distinction between ’classroom’ and ’non-classroom’ funding.

CUPE has consistently maintained that the education funding formula is inadequate and that the formula perpetuates an artificial distinction between the ’classroom’ and ’non-classroom’.

It is this very thing that has triggered strikes by support workers. The report’s failure to address this key aspect will mean that school boards will still be able to divert funding for operations and support staff. And, while Rozanski has increased the square footage allowance from $5.20 to $5.85 for custodial services, the initial $5.20 figure was always considered a flawed and arbitrary figure. Again, this is a failing of the report that must be addressed, says Ryan.

CUPE members work as secretaries, custodians, music teachers, and educational assistants and make up about one quarter of the employees in the province’s school system.

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For more information please contact:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario, (416) 209-0066
CUPE Communications, (416) 578-8774