ELSB integration will see 32 jobs cut, says minister

There will be 32 fewer administration jobs within P.E.I.'s school system, according to new details announced Wednesday by Education Minister Doug Currie.

There will be no cuts to teachers, educational assistants or youth service workers

Education Minister Doug Currie said cutting 32 jobs is part of streamlining P.E.I.'s English school system. (CBC News)

There will be 32 fewer administration jobs within P.E.I.'s school system, according to new details announced Wednesday by Education Minister Doug Currie.

Currie said the positions will be eliminated as part of the English Language School Board integration into the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

"To more effectively support teaching in 21st century classrooms, we are renewing our approach to the administration of education," Currie said in a written release.

"Moving from two levels of administration to one will reduce duplication and create efficiencies. More importantly, it will result in one strong departmental team supporting administrators, educators and students, leading to more effective use of education resources."

Of the positions being cut, 22 will be senior positions, curriculum positions and coaches, as well as an additional 10 support staff positions. 118 staff will remain in the new integrated department.

"Some of those positions of the 32 will be through attrition, through retirements," Currie told CBC News.

"But certainly as the minister, I'm excited about the direction and the opportunities that are from this, because really what today's announcement was about was continuing to focus on our frontlines and making sure that we continue to improve the overall quality of the learning experience for our children in our public system."

The number of teachers, educational assistants and youth service workers will not decrease in the upcoming school year, Currie said.

The structure of the new department will be fully outlined in a new Education Act, which is expected to be introduced in the spring session of the legislature.

Union reacts

The Union of Public Sector Employees, which represents some government staff in education, met Tuesday to discuss the changes, and the union president calls the cuts disappointing. 

"[It's] going to affect the education system with less services available to the kids," said UPSE president Karen Jackson. 

"But we're working with government to hopefully make sure that these services are still there for the education system."

The integration of the ELSB was announced last November, and is expected to be complete by the start of the September 2016 school year.


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