Kitchener-Waterloo

Wellington Catholic school board expects to lay off 22 teachers, 7 support staff for September

For the third time in a week, a local school board has said it will have to layoff teachers and staff ahead of the next school year.

Board director says they hope to 'recall most, if not all, employees'

The Wellington Catholic District School Board says it anticipates staff reductions of 22 teachers and seven support staff for September. (Syda Productions/Shutterstock)

The Wellington Catholic District School Board expects it will need to layoff teachers and support staff before the next school year starts, due to funding reductions by the province.

"We are forecasting a reduction of 22 teachers and seven support staff positions for September 2019," Tamara Nugent, director of education for the board, said in an email to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo on Friday.

The number may be reduced by people leaving the board or retiring.

"It is our sincere hope that we will be in a position to recall most, if not all, employees," Nugent said.

She said complete funding details from the Ontario Ministry of Education are expected at the end of April, but "it is clear that there are funding reductions in a number of areas and further funding reductions pending."

The latest news of teacher and staff cuts comes after the Upper Grand District School Board said it has issued 54 layoff notices to teachers in Guelph and Wellington county.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board says it has sent out surplus notices to some teachers. The board wouldn't say how many of those notices went out but did say they're not layoff notices.

Instead, the teachers and staff are warned their current position at their current location may no longer exist in the next school year. It may mean they'd be moved within the board rather than laid off.

Alana Russell with the Waterloo Region District School Board said no layoff notices have been issued yet.

"We are optimistic that we will not have to issue any at an elementary school level and are awaiting further funding information about secondary schools before we will make any decisions there," Russell said in an email.

'Reverse these job cuts'

The news of layoff and surplus notices comes the same week as students walked out of their classrooms to protest changes to education being made by the provincial government.

It also comes as CBC News reported on a memo that laid out a plan to cut 3,475 Ontario teaching positions in four years.

Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner says the cuts are a direct threat to quality education in Ontario.

"No wonder students walked out in protest," he said Friday. "I hope the premier listens to them and reverses these job cuts. I mean, the premier promised no job cuts, and I challenge him to keep that promise."

Schreiner says he'll be watching the budget, which is due out April 11, to see if the government will change its mind on the cuts.

He said if the "public pushes back hard enough the government will have to listen."

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