Prairie South School Division has announced plans to start the 2020-21 school year off with a reduction in custodial services at six Moose Jaw schools and two other school board facilities.

“A pandemic is the wrong time to be cutting these services in our schools,” said Jackie Christianson, Chair of the CUPE Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “Our collective experience is showing us how important sanitation and cleanliness is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Prairie South is cutting corners on our schools hygiene, which will leave students, staff and the community at risk.”

The total reduction equals 2.53 full-time staff and is equivalent to 20.3 daily hours of custodial services. 

“Our members will have significantly fewer hours and people power but will have the same area to clean with more stringent guidelines in place,” said Judy Henley, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “We need to ensure proper staffing levels to keep students safe.”

Impacted schools includes AE Peacock, Riverview, Central, Prince Arthur, Westmount, William Grayson, and the 9th Avenue Board Office and Maintenance Building. These reductions will take effect August 15, 2020.

“This is a sad day for the community of Moose Jaw. CUPE Saskatchewan is urging the provincial government and the school board trustees to intervene and stop the cuts to cleaning,” added Henley. “Anyone who is concerned about what this means for our students and community are encouraged to contact your school board trustee and MLA.”

CUPE represents over 7,000 education support workers throughout Saskatchewan, including 350 members at Prairie South School Division. From education assistants to library assistants and technicians, custodians to tradespeople, school secretaries to bus drivers, social workers to computer technicians – CUPE members support Saskatchewan students each and every school day.