April 25, 2017
To Chairperson Dixon, Superintendent Sheppard, Trustees and Staff,
Thank you for the opportunity to send this presentation in on behalf of CUPE Local 1091, Delta Schools Support Workers. My apologies for not being able to make this presentation to you in person.

Over the nearly 40 years that I have worked in this district I have seen firsthand how, time and time again, budget cuts and changes have affected the members of my Local. These are hardworking, dedicated, and loyal employees. They earn some of the lowest wages in this district, yet provide some of the most essential and critical services needed for students and staff to be successful. Yet every year and every budget these are the jobs that are always on the chopping block.

This year in particular, our Education Assistants are the largest cut in the entire budget proposal. 28 FTE’s are being pulled away from our District’s most vulnerable students. And 28 FTE’s isn’t 28 jobs – it’s more likely to be somewhere between 32 and possibly 40 positions because most of these important workers don’t get enough hours in their jobs to equal 1.0 FTE. Most elementary EA’s only work 26 hours per week or .867 FTE and some are even lower at 20 hours per week or .667 FTE.

What will these cuts do to the support in our classrooms? What will happen to the vulnerable special needs students who rely daily on the support of their EA? How will this affect the classroom teacher’s ability to give all students in their care a meaningful and enriching learning experience?

The Vision Statement of this District states:
Delta School District is a Leading District for Innovative Teaching and Learner Success

The Mission Statement of this District states:
To enable all learners to succeed and contribute their full potential to the future

When you make the kind of deep cuts to classroom support like this proposed budget is suggesting, I doubt that either of these District statements can remain true. In order for any child to succeed to his/her fullest potential, all the needed supports must be in place and that is especially true for our special needs students.

If the Delta School District is truly a leader in education then find a way to keep EA’s in the classroom with the children who need them most. Be creative and innovative and find another way to reduce this year’s budget.

Respectfully,

Patti Price
President CUPE 1091

If you would like to your thoughts and comments considered by the Board of Trustees, please email them at trustees@deltasd.bc.ca