Coming on the heels of an arduous collective bargaining exercise which ended in the recently released report by a government appointed Industrial Inquiry Commission, District No. 5 school trustees have decided to reduce 82 hours per year of support by Teaching Assistants, First Nations Support workers and school clerical staff.
“Im utterly amazed,” said Ms Kent, Chair of the Negotiating Committee of CUPE Local 4165, “that the school board goes after those who provide the direct support to the most vulnerable in our system. We have just been through an extremely difficult bargaining process in which the broad insensitivity not only of this, but of many school boards, in regard to school support work became apparent.”
Kent and her members are questioning why front-line support workers are being cut, while administrators, particularly in small schools in close proximity with one another each have to have their own senior administrator.
“The resources in our system may need to be stretched,” said Kent, “but surely starting by removing help where it is most needed seems less than acceptable.”
Information: Joan Kent, Chair of the Negotiating Committee of CUPE Local 4165, (250) 426-2446