BROCKVILLE – The union that represents education workers at Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) is demanding to know why the board is advertising a new, high-paying management job just weeks after it slashed services for students by eliminating the equivalent of 140 full-time frontline jobs.
UCDSB claims the cuts – which affect 177 people in total – were needed to comply with Ministry of Education requirements for a balanced budget. The job posting for a “Manager, School Office” advertises a salary between $68,598 and $89,176 a year.
“The board cut help for children with special needs when it got rid of 62 education assistants. It virtually abandoned children with speech and language needs when it eliminated the job of every speech language assistant. It cut the equivalent of 22.5 school office jobs, reducing levels of services for students and parents,” said Carole Airhart, president of Local 5678 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents over 1500 education workers at UCDSB.
“This new management position does nothing to restore any of the services lost when the board cut education workers’ jobs.
“I can’t understand how, in order to balance the budget, the board can decide to eliminate frontline jobs that provide direct services to students, then try to justify creating a new management position to oversee the operation of school offices,” said Airhart.
She pointed out that as the result of other cuts, students have less access to school libraries due to the loss of 21 library workers and that there will be 27 fewer early childhood educators to care for children in full-day kindergarten classes.
“How can anyone, including laid-off education workers, see this hire as anything more than hypocritical on the part of the board?” asked Airhart.