School board support staff voice concerns about restructuring of the Saskatchewan education systemThis week, families across Saskatoon learned that the Sask. Party’s refusal to properly fund Saskatchewan’s classrooms is again causing more support workers to be taken out of their children’s schools and thrown out of work.

On top of cuts to teacher-librarian and other teaching positions, 16 secretaries in elementary schools across Saskatoon Public Schools are being laid off and will apparently be replaced by “absence reporting software.”

“The people who work in and out of classrooms are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet.  They’re committed members of the school community and an important part of our young people’s education,” said Scott Barrett, President of CUPE Local 8443, representing 1,100 support workers in public schools across Saskatoon.  “When you take these people out of our schools, all students suffer.  Workload becomes an issue as well.  The work to support classrooms doesn’t just go away when you take away crucial support staff.  It inevitably means all students get less support in the classroom.  All our support reinforces the classroom in one form or another.”

The planned cuts aren’t scheduled to be approved by the Saskatoon Public School Board until their meeting on June 4th, but layoff notices have already started to be handed out to staff in Saskatoon schools.

“These cuts will affect how well all children in Saskatchewan are prepared for the future,” said Barrett.  “Instead of accepting the Sask. Party’s underfunding and moving ahead with more layoffs, we’re calling on Saskatoon Public Schools to reverse their cuts and join us in calling on the government to make the investments our students need to make sure they get the education they deserve.”