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CUPE Says More Than 70 Educational Assistants And Custodians At Trillium Lakelands District School Board Given Layoff Notices For September

KAWARTHA LAKES-More than 70 custodians and Educational Assistants across Trillium Lakelands District School Board have been given layoff notices according to their union CUPE.

Our sources say locally, custodial hours will be impacted at Fenelon Falls Secondary School, LCVI, IE Weldon, Ridgewood, Grandview, Rolling Hills, Bobcaygeon, Parkview, Archie Stouffer, Lady Mackenzie, King Albert, Dunsford, Fenelon Township, and Jack Callaghan elementary schools as well as Central Senior.

Educational Assistants will be affected at Central Senior, Jack Callaghan, King Albert, Langton, Parkview, Rolling Hills and IE Weldon.

Today the board posted some itinerant EA positions so some of these staff may be recalled but the positions will still be lost to the schools according to sources. Itinerant EA’s travel from school to school.

Unions had previously warned significant staff cuts had been announced for the 2022-2023 school year starting in September.

“School boards are choosing to cut educational assistants which will lead to more students not having access to the supports they need to succeed, cutting early childhood educators that will lead to more crowded classrooms for our youngest learners, and cutting custodial and clerical staff which will reduce the cleanliness, safety, and security in our schools,” said Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Union (OSBCU

In 2021 dollars, per pupil funding in 2011-2012 (the last year before a decade of funding that did not cover the costs of inflation and increasing enrolment) was $13,285, compared to per pupil funding of $12,686 today – a reduction of $599 per student. If real per pupil funding had remained at the 2011-2012 level for the past decade, there would be $1.2 billion more in the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) funding envelope for school boards in the 2021-2022 school year according to CUPE.

“Whether schools across the province are provided enough money to stop damaging cuts is a political choice made by our elected representatives. Ontario is the richest province in Canada and the money controlled by only 59 billionaires has increased by more than $100 billion during the pandemic. There’s no excuse for this government or any political party to skimp on our children’s future.” said Walton.

We have contacted Trillium Lakelands District School Board for comment but have not yet heard back.

The Collective Agreement for EA’s and custodians comes to an end in August but funding for these positions could continue under the COVID-19 Learning Recovery Fund according to a memo from the Ministry of Education obtained by Kawartha 411 News.

The memo states:

“The ministry is providing $304.0 million1 in time-limited and temporary additional staffing supports to continue to hire teachers, early childhood educators, educational assistants and other education workers to address learning recovery, the implementation of the first year of a fully de-streamed Grade 9, the delivery of remote learning, supports for special education, and maintaining enhanced cleaning standards. As part of this grant, school boards will be required to provide the option for remote learning in the 2022-23 school year. School boards are permitted to establish one virtual school per elementary and secondary panel based on local demand, where the funding can support the hiring of principals, vice-principals, school-based administrative support and/or Information Technology support.

This funding can also be used to support staff previously funded under the Education Worker Protection Fund per the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ central collective agreement that expires on August 31, 2022. This support is key to meeting staffing needs for school boards so that schools can deliver stability for students and families. Funding must be spent on the priorities identified within this grant, but there is flexibility in how school boards may use the funds between any of these priorities based on local needs. Funded through a table amount, this funding is equivalent to the staffing portion previously provided under the 2021-22 COVID-19 PPF supports.”

The union is encouraging its members to attend a rally outside the board office in Bracebridge on Tuesday, June 14th prior to the start of the board meeting.

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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