Unions representing non-teaching staff in Edmonton Public and Catholic Schools will be rallying for increased funding at the Minister of Education’s Constituency Office 8207- Argyll Road, Wed. June 28 at 4pm.
They are inviting the publicly elected Trustees for both districts to join them.
“We know that the deficits faced by boards across Alberta are a direct result of the failure of the Klein government to fully fund education,” Says Doug Luellman President of CUPE Local 474 which represents custodial workers in Edmonton Public Schools. “The fact is that the Minister knows this as well, and we hope the Trustees would join us in sending a message to him: Share the Surplus.”
Alberta is reporting a record $8.7 billion dollar surplus yet, they are forcing school boards to cut staff in order not to carry a deficit says Luellman. “That deficit is a direct result of the miserly funding the government has given to school boards. Like poor little Oliver Twist school boards are being forced to come to the government with cap in hand and asking ‘Please sir can I have some more?’ Unfortunately, this has been the case every year for the past decade.”
Luellman says that when the Alberta Government took over control of education funding in 1995, they did so not to fund education but to cut back on education funding. “School boards were passing on funding increases directly to tax payers through increasing municipal rates. That power was taken away from them by the Klein government, and since then funding has declined.”
Luellman says that students are being directly affected by the funding shortfall. “It not only means less teachers in the class room, but dirtier classrooms, which directly impact on students and staff health and learning.”
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPE’s 26,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca
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