Temporary educational assistants contracts haven't been renewed with the Saskatoon Public Schools and other members within the CUPE local that represents support staff are also dealing with challenges.
President of CUPE Local 8443, Scott Barrett, says the problem is under funding of schools and education in general from the provincial government. Twenty-three educational assistants in elementary schools had their last day just before the holiday break and six more working with secondary schools will be done at the end of the first semester on January 26th. Barrett says that although there were no layoffs for custodial or building operations workers, with the 4 new P3 schools, there is a lot more work, with no extra hires. Along with more square footage to take care of, building operators now have to work a split shift with a 2 hour split in the middle of the day, so the work day is extended. These are all topics to be discussed at the general meeting coming up on the 13th, along with contract bargaining. Union members have been without a contract since the end of August 2016. A statement from Saskatoon Public Schools about the contracts for the educational assistants not being renewed says that while the completion of the contracts help the division remain on budget, it is normal to have a reconciliation of staffing at this time of year. Barrett lists layoffs from earlier in 2017 that include 10 permanent educational assistants, along with the equivalent of 11.9 full term secretary positions and 1.5 library technicians.