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Support staff at the Marie-Victorin School Board are dismayed to learn that five of their jobs will be eliminated in July 2012. Two are full-time positions in housekeeping and the other three are in building maintenance.According to their union, these cuts are sure to have an impact on the condition of the schools.

Six other full-time positions were already eliminated in July 2010, namely plumbers, certified tradesmen and an electrician.

“After these cuts, it will be no surprise if the buildings are in disrepair and even unsanitary. Look at what’sjust happened at the Montreal School Board.Are we going to sacrifice the health and safety of our children?” asked René Séguin, president of CUPE Local 1538.

For the 2011-2012 school year, the Marie-Victorin School Board projected a deficit of $4,060,106. The sources of this deficit include recurring cuts of $4,816,289 imposed on the school board by the provincial government in April 2011. Contrary to what Education Minister Line Beauchamp said in April, the union does not believe that these cuts can be made with a surplus and that they will not affect services to students.

All these positions are necessary for the proper maintenance of facilities. We believe that the school board should reverse their decision; if not, we are afraid that in the end they will turn to outsourcing. Ultimately, that would cost a lot more than having their own employees internally. They would be back at square one but exacerbating their budget problems,” noted René Séguin, who represents the school board’s blue-collar workers.