Brockville – The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has issued layoff notices to 25 para-professional employees. At the June 20th, 2019 board meeting, the Upper Canada District School Board approved a 1.3 million dollar decrease in funding for Para-Professionals. These professionals include child and youth workers and behaviourists (Student Support Partners). This position was eliminated. These front-line workers provided services that were critical in student suicide prevention, student mental health, student engagement strategies, and facilitating connections between families and outside agencies to support students.
These layoffs represent a 53% cut in Para-Professionals to the UCDSB.
“This is a shattering number of Para-Professionals at the Upper Canada District School Board who are losing their jobs,” said Jim Mulville, Professional Student Services Personnel (PSSP) Bargaining Unit President in District 26 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO). “With the provincial priorities around violence in schools and the rise of student mental health crisis, these frontline workers are critical in empowering youth and in resolving violent incidents. They create safety and behaviour plans that keep students and staff safe. Who is going to seamlessly step in and do this work?
“Despite government claims that it will be business as usual at Ontario school boards, there is absolutely nothing routine about the alarming number of Para-Professionals declared redundant today. This will be devastating to students, parents and communities.” said Adrienne McEwen, District Officer in District 26 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO). “While the Ford government is partly to blame for cutting education funding to frontline workers and student supports, we are shocked and dismayed that the Upper Canada School Board would make such deep cuts to vital services for students.