The Prairie South School Division is making a move that is expected to save it hundreds of thousands of dollars next school year, but will leave some without a job.
Twenty school assistants at seven Moose Jaw schools will be laid off at the end of the semester. The move could save the school division as much as $400,000.
Tony Baldwin, director of education for Prairie South, explained to News Talk Radio they currently have 27 school assistants. Three will stick around next school season, three are temporary, one is away on leave, and the other 20 are being let go.
School assistants in Moose Jaw work for several hours each day — somewhere between three and four-and-a-half.
According to a statement from CUPE Local 5512, which represents over 500 employees within Prairie South, school assistants provide recess and lunch time supervision and student support. They also provide support for teaching staff, office work, and the library.
Trish Mula, president of CUPE Local 5512, said in the statement, “our members care passionately about the work they do and the children they watch over. The loss of these jobs is so devastating because of how much heart our members put into their jobs. This decision is about Prairie South’s financial situation, but it is the students who are going to end up paying the price.”
Baldwin said it is important to note Prairie South is adding at least two new educational assistants in September. Depending on how much funding is available in the upcoming provincial budget, Baldwin said more educational assistants could be hired. Currently there are 139 within the division.