Eleven support staff positions are being eliminated at the Abbotsford school district.
The layoffs come as the district hires dozens of more teachers to comply with re-instated 2002 contract language following a Supreme Court of Canada ruling. Those hires include non-enrolling learning support teachers, making the support staff jobs unnecessary, secretary treasurer Ray Velestuk said.
Velestuk said several library technicians will lose their jobs, as the district is required to hire more BCTF-represented librarians. Some education assistants (who work with special needs students) may also be laid off.
There are approximately 360 education assistants currently working in the district and any reduction for next school year will be minimal, he said.
The cuts may result in reduced hours from employees, rather than full job losses.
The individuals losing their jobs probably don’t know yet, Velestuk said, because schools and district departments have not yet received their final budget allocations.
The cuts will save the district approximately $380,000, but the layoffs were not prompted due to money concerns, according to Velestuk. He said there is simply less need for these employees now that there are more teachers being hired.
“The budget is essentially balanced,” he said. “So there’s no huge need for the district to be making budget cuts, but we’re just responding to managing the work with reasonable staffing allocation.”