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VANCOUVER, December 21, 2006 –– School Board trustees should be congratulated for listening to parents and for their unanimous support of workers in finally making the right decision to maintain special education services in Vancouver.

We are really pleased that students will continue to have access to the services of student support workers (SSWs) whose jobs were on the line,“ said Donalda Greenwell-Baker, CUPE 15 Secretary Treasurer. In addition to maintaining the 10 positions that were slated to be cut 3 additional SSWs have been added for a total of 13 FTEs along with 25.6 FTE teaching positions.

Greenwell-Baker said, “everyone is relieved to see the end of a process that has been very stressful for students, families and the CUPE workers whose futures were in jeopardy“.

The process has really put a spotlight on the critical role that Special Education Assistants (SEAs) play in the school system. We are hoping that CUPE can continue the dialogue with parents, teachers, the school board and the Province to ensure that the necessary resources are maintained in this area.”

CUPE 15 includes approximately 1,450 support workers in the Vancouver School District. The union gave a written submission to the school board on December 18. Among its concerns the union argued that further cuts would only intensify the problems already facing school boards across the province in attracting Special Education Assistants (SEAs).

It’s very clear that a completely new, more flexible funding formula is required which isn’t based solely on enrolment so that appropriate resources are provided for the entire district on an on-going basis,” concluded Greenwell-Baker.

CUPE 15’s presentation is available at www.cupe15.org.

For more information, please contact:

Donalda Greenwell-Baker
Secretary Treasurer
(604) 879-4671