SARNIA, Ont. – Cutting a quarter of the librarians and other staff reductions at the St. Clair Catholic District School Board will lower the quality of education in schools across Southwestern Ontario, warns the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing over 300 school board workers.
“Librarians play a pivotal role in helping students enjoy reading,” said Suzanne Mills, president of CUPE 4168. “The board’s library staff cuts mean there will only be one library technician to service three elementary schools – it’s simply unacceptable.”
In addition to purchasing, managing and processing books at local schools, library technicians act as resource specialists, providing vital research and other information to students and school staff. Following a school board decision to cut six library technician positions, the remaining 16 library technicians will be expected to service over 30 elementary and 3 secondary schools in the communities of Sarnia, Chatham, Wallaceberg, Thamesville, Wyoming, Port Lambton, Blenheim, Forest, Corunna, Tilbury, Bright’s Grove, Ridgetown, Turnerville, Watford and Perolia. The board also cut 2 program education assistants, 4.5 special education assistants, a computer technician and a secretary.
CUPE 4168 members are urging parents and concerned community members to contact school board trustees to voice their concerns over staff and library service cuts. “Laying off the staff who help students access library resources is a slap in the face for parents who are involved in local fundraising activities to support book purchases and other library expenditures,” said Mills. CUPE is also encouraging parents to question trustees and school board candidates in the November elections to make sure they won’t cut school services.
For more information, please contact:
President CUPE 4168
CUPE National Representative