Apr. 09, 2020
PDF of Media Statement
On April 9, about 1,900 part and full-time Calgary Board of Education (CBE) employees received temporary layoff notices as a result of a
provincial reduction in our 2019-20 budget of $21 million. These funds are being redirected by the government to the COVID-19 response.
Before considering any staff reductions, CBE Administration looked first at reducing other costs in the organization. We found significant savings from dollars that will no longer be spent due to the cancellation of classes. School budgets were also decreased, and our central offices were able to reallocate funds from projects that have been stopped or delayed.
These savings significantly reduced the number of temporary layoffs required - by about 1,000 people. Retaining school-based staff that provide the most direct support for student learning and that can continue to do so in a remote learning environment was our priority.
Approximately 1,030 of the 1,900 affected staff are part-time breakfast and lunch supervisors. The other staff members include part-time cleaners, library assistants, CTS instructors, psychologists and speech language pathologists as well as other administrative and support staff.
For most of these employees, their last day of work will be Thursday, April 30.
Contract staff like substitute teachers will not receive layoff notices, but there will be limited work for them between now and the end of the school year.
CBE employees affected by the layoffs will be able to apply for federal income assistance after the notice period.
The budget savings we were able to find means that all 880 of our education assistants will keep their positions through to the end of June. We know this support is very important to our schools and families.
Also important to our staff and families is that we will be retaining the majority of our cleaning and facilities staff. Although classes are cancelled, school buildings remain open for staff, and learning is continuing for students. Cleaning protocols have been enhanced to ensure the health and safety of all individuals who may be required to be present in a school building.
The CBE has never had to contend with layoffs of this magnitude. Each and every employee plays a valuable role in supporting our schools and students. We know that those employees who received layoff notices will be missed by their colleagues, and especially by our students and families.