Education support workers are asking the provincial government to take immediate steps to stop the spread of the newest wave of COVID-19, including pausing in class learning.

“Jurisdictions across Canada have paused in class learning as the next wave of the pandemic hits. Here in Saskatchewan universities have delayed the start of the winter term, but students and staff in the K-12 education sector are back in full force with no additional safety measures,” said Rob Westfield, an education support worker and chairperson of the CUPE Saskatchewan Education Workers’ Steering Committee. “We know there has been classroom transmission of COVID-19 – now you are putting children in crowded classrooms while an even more contagious variant of the virus sweeps across our province. It is unacceptable. We have already lost too many people to this government’s inaction.”

Westfield also pointed out that decision makers are flying blind because of the lack of reporting on COVID-19 numbers.

“We have hardly heard a peep from this government about our current caseload. As residents in this province, we deserve a transparent and accountable government – this means regular reporting, including positive test results from rapid tests and breakdowns of transmission in schools,” added Westfield.

“Without any meaningful measures in place to prevent the spread of this virus, COVID-19 in our classrooms is a guarantee,” said Westfield. “This government needs to take immediate action to keep students and staff safe by delaying the return to the classroom or returning to online learning.

CUPE is the largest union in the province and represents over 7,000 education support workers in every corner of Saskatchewan.