Edmonton Public Schools issues temporary layoff notices to 1,868 employees

Edmonton Public Schools issued temporary layoff notices to 1,868 employees (1,740 full-time equivalent) this week.

The decision was made after the province diverted money from education towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board said that means, for the months of May and June, Edmonton Public Schools’ budget is reduced by about $17.5 million — $13.78 million from the Base Instruction Grant and $3.7 million from transportation.

Staff impacted by temporary layoffs includes a range of roles in support, custodial and exempt staff groups, the district said Friday.

The layoffs will take effect May 15.

“While we looked at other funding sources to minimize the impact across the division, in schools and in our central departments, reducing our staff was unavoidable,” Supt. Darrel Robertson said.

Impacted staff have been provided information about the federal and provincial income assistance programs. Permanent staff impacted by temporary layoff will retain their health benefits, which the division said it will cover for the duration they are laid off.

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“These decisions were difficult. Every single one of our team members are valued,” Robertson said. “Together, our team has an unrelenting focus on ensuring students are successful. That focus has never wavered.”

The EPSB chair Trisha Estabrooks and Supt. Darrel Robertson are going to be speaking to reporters about “staff layoffs” at 1 p.m. Friday.

Edmonton Catholic Schools announced on Thursday that is would temporarily lay off 708 employees as a result of the provincial funding cuts during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Staff were informed of the change on Thursday and the layoffs come into effect on April 30.

“On March 28, the provincial government announced funding cuts and divisions were asked to layoff educational assistants, replacement staff and other staff who are deemed non-essential while students are out of school,” the board’s statement read.

— More to come… 

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