Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4400 (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4400 (CUPE)

March 11, 2009 15:02 ET

Balancing the TDSB Budget on the Backs of Children

150 Educational Assistants & 70-80 aquatic instructors at the TDSB to go

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2009) - In a bid to avoid a deficit of just about 1% of the TDSB total budget, the Toronto District School Board Trustees are preparing to terminate 150 regular program Educational Assistants tonight at their regularly scheduled Board meeting. Also on the block this year are 39 school pools which require 70 to 80 aquatic instructors to staff them. Closing these pools will mean hundreds of predominantly female employees will be laid off and forced into the poverty cycle.

"Every year we go through the same fight", said Local 4400 President, John Weatherup. "And every year the parents tell their Trustees to keep these valuable services. It is heart-rending to have hard working people go through this year after year after year."

Noting that Trustees, once again, have failed to adequately lobby the province for the funding, Weatherup explained, "We could keep at least 26 Educational Assistants with the close to $1 million outstanding in unpaid rent owed by only two of the private schools leasing from the TDSB. If all the outstanding rent was to be paid, we could keep lots more Educational Assistants without any more effort."

John Weatherup noted that regular program Educational Assistants are in French Immersion, or work with kindergarten and primary grade children who have not gone through testing for special needs but who require help for behavioural or learning issues. Others are assigned to children who do not yet understand English as a second language or dialect. As adults in elementary schools, Educational Assistants add an important element of safety.

"Chair of the Board, John Campbell, has demonstrated once again that he does not understand either children's needs nor budgeting for a big corporation, where plus or minus 1% of a budget is considered 'balanced', said Weatherup. "It almost seems like he is on a crusade to look fiscally good at the expense of children."

Attached: "In times of crisis" -- Advertisements from the Toronto Star,
March 10 & 11, 2009

Toronto District School Board Admin Centre
Mel Lastman Square, near 5050 Yonge Street

To view the ads associated with this release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information

  • CUPE 4400
    John Weatherup
    (416) 902-9266
    CUPE 4400
    Giselle Burton
    Vice President
    (416) 885-2054
    CUPE 4400
    Anna Hutchison
    Vice President
    (416) 885-4192
    CUPE 4400
    Katie McGovern
    (416) 885-5075