CUPE expects six to eight members to lose jobs
CUPE, the Nova Scotia School Board Council of Unions and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union are concerned with cuts announced by the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
TRURO – The union representing more than 500 school board workers with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board says the elimination of frontline positions will have a direct impact on classrooms and students.
"For us, the cuts announced this week will mean somewhere between six and eight people will lose their jobs,” CUPE Local 3890 president Ron Davis said in a news release on Friday. “In addition to the 31 teaching positions that are being eliminated, these job losses will have a direct impact on the classrooms and the quality of education that students receive.
"To be clear, we believe a big part of the problem is that the school board administration seems to be unable - or unwilling - to cut jobs in senior administration. I mean, they eliminated 1.5 non-union positions. What does that tell you?" asks Davis.
Along with the CUPE positions, this week the Chignecto board also announced cuts to full-time teaching positions, library service staff hours, buses, custodial supplies and professional development, citing a $2.5 million budget shortfall.
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia School Board Council of Unions chairman Wilfridine Crowdis said, "Education Minister Ramona Jennex and all of the school boards across the province must realize there is something fundamentally wrong with a budget process that for three years in a row now has seen cuts to frontline staff in our schools.
"The minister has tried to put a moratorium on school closures - I think it's time she put one on job cuts in our schools," said Crowdis.
The NSSBCU bargains provincially on behalf of seven CUPE school board locals and 3,700 CUPE school board workers outside of Halifax.
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union issued a news release saying for the third year in a row the number of teaching positions has been cut because of the underfunding of the classroom.
NSTU president Shelley Morse said 40 positions are being slashed between Chignecto-Central and the South Shore boards. She said the NSTU, the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations and la federation des parents acadiens de la Nouvelle-Ecosse have launched an advocacy campaign to encourage the public to stand up for education (www.StandForEducation.ca).
“Because of the loss of $65 million to public school funding and subsequent budget cuts to school boards, we are continuing to see a loss of teaching positions,” Morse said. “The loss of positions has an impact on student learning, and this concerns teachers. We have been hearing about the affects of these cuts from our members for the past three years. It’s not sustainable to gut public schools then lean on parents and teachers to stretch and make up the difference.”