CUPE Alberta President made the following statement today in response to Danielle Smith’s education mandate letter. CUPE represents over 10,000 school support staff across Alberta. 

“Danielle Smith’s mandate letter to the Minister of Education does almost nothing to address the biggest concerns of Albertans. The UCP has already stepped away from their promise to hire almost 1,400 Educational Assistants. Now, their refusal to address stagnant wages will only make the situation worse.

The average wage for Educational Assistants in Alberta is just $27,500 per year. These dedicated workers are falling further behind every day and need an immediate, meaningful and sustained increase to their wages so they can keep working in public education. School districts are already losing staff due to underfunding and wages that fall further and further into poverty levels.

The dedicated, and vastly underpaid school workers are suffering. The people who keep our kids safe, on track, and learning need help to allow them to do what they love.

We work for Alberta kids. Danielle Smith should recognize that and work to treat our members with dignity. Kids are counting on it.”