The CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers’ Steering Committee (EWSC) has launched a new campaign to highlight education support workers and to renew the call for adequate funding for K-12 education.
“This year has been incredibly challenging for all of us in the education sector,” said Rob Westfield, an education support worker and chair of the EWSC. “COVID-19 has turned the lives of our children upside down. Education support workers have repeatedly put their health on the line to give our children the quality education they deserve.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the importance of well-funded public education.
“Despite the Government of Saskatchewan bragging that its education budget was the ‘largest in history’, school divisions are facing another year of funding shortfalls,” added Westfield. “The budget only provides a meagre 1.1% increase to school divisions’ operating costs, which does not even fully cover the costs of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation contract.”
In addition, five school divisions that employ CUPE members are receiving a reduction in operating grants from the provincial government: Holy Trinity RCSSD No. 22, Living Sky School Division 202, Prince Albert RCSSD No. 6, Saskatchewan Rivers School Division No. 119, and South East Cornerstone School Division No. 20.
“I am deeply worried that the funding shortfall will impact front line supports for students,” said Westfield. “This is why the EWSC has launched a province-wide radio campaign and video. We are asking concerned community members to share the campaign on social media and to contact their elected representatives.”
CUPE represents 7,000 education support workers across Saskatchewan. Learn more at www.wheresthefunding.ca.