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Edmonton Support staff are partners and contributors to the educational team that make it possible for teachers to deliver the best possible program to each child in their classroom, says CUPE 3550 president Trudy Grebenstein.

The union president representing 2,000 support staff at Edmonton public schools outlines the impact of inadequate staffing levels, staff burn-out and overwork on teachers and students in presenting recommendations to address these issues along with a recommendation to continue to resist the provincial governments push for public private partnerships in making its budget recommendations to Board Trustees.

Over the past year, budget shortfalls resulted in the lay-off 112 FTEs and caused increased work overload on support staff, limiting their ability to support the education of our students, said Grebenstein. Student achievement soars, and teachers do their best work, when adequate numbers of support staff are on the job, as part of the educational team that supports teaching and learning, regardless of whether support staff work at a school or central services site, she said.

Grebenstein is calling for improved professional development programs, equal access to training programs, improved staffing levels and a mentoring program for support staff who include teaching assistants, administrative support and clerical, library technicians, food preparers and technicians in Edmonton Public Schools.

Grebenstein also offered her unions support to Trustees pushing the provincial government for increased funding from the provincial government.

We must all continue to stare down this government and demand that infrastructure and education funding is restored to acceptable levels, for Alberta’s children. The role of school trustees is an important one. The present and future education of Albertas children depends on school trustees that are prepared to represent the interests of parents, students and community members in the governance of our schools, in spite of any government resistance. Local 3550 continues to support the efforts of the board, said Grebenstein.

Grebenstein makes the annual budget presentation at 7:15 this evening, January 13 at the Centre for Education, One Kingsway Ave.


CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 26,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca

For further information:
Trudy Grebenstein, President CUPE 3550 (780) 455-1455