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WINNIPEGA planned two-week layoff of 21 teaching assistants who work closely with students in the Fort Garry School Division is unfair to both the students and the workers says CUPE.

Our members, who work as general teaching assistants and with English Second Language students, bond with their students and help educate them throughout the year, CUPE Local 1112 President Irene Bernard said. It is really unfair to the students to lose this assistance for the last two weeks of school when TAs generally help with exams, field trips and other general education duties.

CUPE representative Steve Edwards said the pending layoff is scheduled to hit the teaching assistants on June 14th and that no other Fort Garry School Division staff are to be affected.

The School Division claims the teaching assistants arent needed, Edwards said. But we believe this is simply a cost-saving measure. Yet parents have already paid increased taxes supporting Fort Garry schools and it is their children, special needs and ESL students, wholl be feeling the loss.

Edwards said the teaching assistants who are scheduled to work between 3 to 6 hours a day stand to lose about $900 in wages, plus benefits and pension over the two-week layoff period. The CUPE workers are hired to work 198 school days.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child cares, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Irene Bernard, CUPE Local 1112 President
Phone: (204) 233-8240
Steve Edwards, CUPE Staff Representative
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex. 212, cell 771-2534