Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
Toronto - Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) whose union represents about 50,000 educational support workers province-wide, will be available for media interviews today, shortly after 3:30 p.m. when the Education Equality Task Force Report is released by Mordechai Rozanski.

Since the provincial funding formula for education was introduced, CUPE has consistently maintained that public education funding is inadequate and that the formula perpetuates an artificial distinction between the ’classroom’ and ’non-classroom’, and that the funding formula should be scrapped.

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. They are defined as ’non-classroom’ under the government funding formula.

These important workers have told the task force that the work they do and the services they provide are an integral part of a quality education for Ontario students and the government’s narrow definition of ’classroom’ must be scrapped.

But inadequate provincial funding and the Tory-made artificial divide between ’classroom’ and ’non-classroom’ have meant that cash-starved school boards have diverted money that should go to support worker services into the ’classroom’. Over the past three years more than $215 million has been taken from the school operations budget to cover other shortfalls, says Ryan who will be among the ’stakeholders’ attending the Rozanski report lock-up briefing at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre beginning at 1:30 p.m. today.

In addition to calling for the elimination of the ’classroom/non-classroom’ distinction, CUPE is also seeking a substantial reinvestment in public education, realistic benchmarks for salaries and square footage formulas and adequate funding for special education programs.


For more information please contact:

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