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Education Minister Jody Carr says only those who have lost their job will be able to bump over the next few weeks. (CBC)

Education Minister Jody Carr says his department has been unable to reach an agreement with the union representing education support workers on how to fill available jobs next fall.

That's why job placement sessions scheduled to take place Friday have been cancelled, he told CBC News.

But very few jobs will be lost, he said.

"We will actually have a net reduction of only seven and we've really worked hard to minimize that reduction and to provide support. So we have seven less positions across the entire province, 14 school districts."

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees said the union was saddened and upset by the last-minute cancellation.

The union, which represents teaching assistants, secretaries, library assistants, and clerks planned the special sessions so its 2,300 members would get available jobs according to seniority.

But Carr says they couldn't decide on how to test to make sure those bumping into a new job had the necessary qualifications.

Widespread changes are taking place for school workers due to the consolidation of school districts, cutting the number to seven from 14, as well as new measures to help students with special needs.

Carr says the government will follow the collective agreement and only those who have lost their job will be able to bump over the next few weeks.

No one from CUPE was available for an interview.