CUPE: Cuts to EAs, school supports ‘irresponsible’

BROCKVILLE – The president of the union representing front-line educational workers says the Upper Canada school board budget cuts are “an irresponsible act.”

Sue Hanson lashed out at the Upper Canada District School Board’s decision on the $345 million operating budget Wednesday night, which cuts half a million dollars in educational assistant (EA) time and ten teaching positions.

“They didn’t have to make these cuts in one fell swoop; this is just the start of a three-year plan,” Hanson said. “Trustees could have and should have managed the process properly and avoided harming the communities’ children and the vital services they rely on.”

UCDSB Board Vice President David McDonald has told Cornwall Newswatch he is comfortable with the budget as it stands and doesn’t believe the 15 minutes trimmed from every educational assistant with a current seven hour day will make a noticeable difference.

CUPE Local 5678 also chastised the school board for not holding consultation with front-line workers.

An open letter had been sent to trustees asking them not to make decisions around cuts until they knew the ramifications, the union said.