Media Advisory - Fix provincial funding for special education to increase EAs' hours, deal with job-related violence and workload

    NIAGARA FALLS, ON, April 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Stretched too thin to complete
competing tasks and not enough in-classroom time to adequately support special
needs students, Niagara area educational assistants (EAs) say they are
stepping up their campaign to address provincial underfunding for special
    EA staff at both Niagara school boards, represented by the Canadian Union
of Public Employees (CUPE), will join CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan at a
media conference in Niagara Falls on Thursday, April 19, 2007, to release the
findings of a survey of EAs' working conditions.
    They will highlight survey findings specific to Niagara, including a
costing of how much funding is needed to increase EAs' hours of work to seven
hours a day.
    The survey, part of CUPE Ontario school support staff initiative to "fix
the education funding formula," was completed by nearly 4,000 EAs-one-quarter
of the total number of EAs represented by CUPE.
    "The provincial Liberals have failed to address or even acknowledge the
concerns of EAs. Now we have research showing that overwork and violence are
key areas the province needs to address to improve the working conditions of
these vital special education workers," says Ryan.
    The results of the survey will be shared with Liberal Minister of
Education Kathleen Wynne this Friday at 4:30 p.m. when she addresses more than
300 delegates attending the annual CUPE Ontario School Board Coordinating
Committee (OSBCC) conference.
    No new dedicated funding for special education to increase EAs' hours of
work was announced in the Liberal's provincial budget released mid-March.

    WHO:      Niagara Educational Assistants with CUPE 4156 and CUPE 1317
              CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan
              Frank Ventresca, President, CUPE 4146 and OSBCC Chair

    WHAT:     Media Conference - Release of EAs' working conditions survey

    WHERE:    Sheraton Hotel - Fallsview, Niagara Falls

    WHEN:     Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 1:00 p.m.

For further information:

For further information: Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, (416)

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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