EDMONTON – The Edmonton Public School board is allowing the provincial government to walk all over education – and children are suffering as a result.That was the message given today from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3550, which represents 2,000 support staff in Edmonton schools.
CUPE 3550 President Trudy Grebenstein slammed school trustees for cutting teaching, classroom, and custodial staff while ignoring the issue of provincial under funding.
“The school board is reducing class room resources because the provincial government funding has failed to keep up with rising costs,” said Grebenstein. “Yet the school district has no plan to move the government or even to seriously comment on the issue.”
Grebenstein said Edmonton’s inaction and silence contrast greatly with Calgary.
“In Calgary, the chair of the public school district has been very vocal about the problems caused by government under funding,” said Grebenstein. “But in our district, trustees keep silent and students suffer.”
According to Grebenstein, trustees who won’t speak up against funding cuts should find another line of work.
“Some trustees claim privately to be aghast at under funding,” said Grebenstein. “But they lack the courage to say anything.”
“If they can’t find the courage to ‘walk the talk’ and create an action plan to speak up to support increased funding for public education, I have to wonder why they are school trustees.”
Contact: Trudy Grebenstein
President, CUPE 3550
For more information about CUPE Alberta, visit www.alberta.cupe.ca