TDSB to cut Educational Assistants

    TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - With no public consultation, the Trustees of the
Toronto District School Board are considering significant cuts to the number
of Educational Assistants during their March 5th Board Meeting.
    Regular Program Educational Assistants who work in kindergarten, French
Immersion and other primary grades provide extra time and support to students
who have not formally been identified as requiring special needs assistance
and who may have behavioural, learning or language difficulties. EAs spend a
high proportion of their work day performing the function of a "one-on-one"
assistant, while the teacher instructs the other students in the class.
    EAs should be increased, not decreased, even by attrition. For example,
if 27 EAs retired last year and only 10 retire this year, a MINIMUM of
74 classes will not have the help they need. Kindergartens are half day which
means 2 classes x 37 EAs or 74 classes. If the EA is assigned to two classes,
the number could be as high as 148 classes without any assistance
(2 classes x 2 a day x 37 EAs or 148 classes).
    If the TDSB cuts the number of Educational Assistants on top of attrition
(numbers cited have been anywhere between 204 through 282), the impact will be
substantially greater. Hundreds and hundreds of classes will be without the
assistance they so desperately need.
    Educational Assistants will be available to speak with the press:

                             Wednesday, March 5
                                   6:30 PM
                    Toronto District School Board - lobby
                              5050 Yonge Street

For further information:

For further information: Katie McGovern, Recording & Corresponding
Secretary, (416) 885-5075; Marie Coulter, Education Assistant, (416) 660-6004;
Giselle Burton, Unit C Vice President, (416) 885-2054

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Local 4400

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