CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says a call from some former heads of school boards in our province for public consultations on merging boards is a reasonable and timely suggestion.
Says Lucas, “The call this week comes just as we have heard from our school board workers from across the province that merging the four English boards by September is a totally unrealistic goal.
“Like all of the other groups that are being affected by this unilateral decision by government – with zero consultation from communities, parents, students, teachers and other school board workers – we believe they need to step back and do their homework before such a massive restructuring,” says Lucas.
Meanwhile, CUPE National Representative Brian Farewell says, “Our union shares the skeptical view of the Retired School Board CEO Action Group which believes the government’s so-called transition committee will do little more than rubber stamp what’s already been decided.”
The group cited extensive broad-based public consultations prior to previous restructuring exercises, including two Royal Commissions, one in 1964, the other in 1990, as well as Referenda in 1996 and 1997.
“I simply cannot imagine that the provincial government will have any kind of support for this initiative from the voting public. You cannot centralize control and decision-making in St. John’s for literally hundreds of schools across the province,” argues Farewell.