" Unjustified layoffs in School District 2
June 25, 2008 11:21 AM
MONCTON – The Union representing the teacher assistants throughout the schools in New Brunswick is asking the government to put an end to the practice of laying them off each spring.
“This practice shows a complete lack of respect for some dedicated women who have been working in the schools for many years. This is appalling,” said Sandy Harding, President of CUPE 2745 which represents more than 3300 members across the province.
“School District 2 in the Moncton area just laid off 37 teacher assistants. Contrary to the schools in the northern part of the province where families are moving because of the economic situation, this region has seen an increase in school enrolment. There is no justification for such a large number of teacher assistants receiving their pink slip in School District 2. This represents 12% of the TA in that school district”.
“Across the district, close to 115 teacher assistants will be affected simply because of the bumping process that will take place”.
“Parents of autistic children and other special needs children have been asking for more stability in the schools. Instead of creating stability amongst the staff, the school district is creating a chaotic situation. The movement of teacher assistants is bad for the kids, the teachers and the parents.
“This type of practice is not what Inclusive Education is all about. It creates disruption in many classrooms and there is no stability and consistency for children that badly need it,” explained Harding.
“It is also unacceptable that some women are losing their job because they have been unable to take the additional training required to work with autistic children, called “Applied Behavior Analysis”. If the government is asking teacher assistants to have this certification in order to work with autistic kids then it should make sure that the training is available for them”, added Harding.
“The school district should rescind these layoffs and stop these ridiculous processes that disturb the livelihood of mostly low-wage women", concluded Sandy Harding."
Further, the government has provided the training required. And many teacher assistants represented by CUPE Local 2745 have received that training. What Ms Harding objects to is the fact that UNB-CEL has entrance requirements for the training program and not all who apply are accepted. Some are unable to successfully complete the program.