Schools will need more staff, education union says

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The provincial government should pay for more staff, from custodians to educational assistants, to make sure schools are safe and students have the help they need when they return to class this fall, says a union representing support staff.

“Return to in-class learning will be labour intensive,” says a brief from CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, which represents 55,000 non-teaching staff, including custodians, administrators, IT workers, social workers and other professionals, educational assistants who help children with special needs and early childhood educators.

The Ontario Ministry of Education is asking for advice on how to safely reopen schools in the fall.

Students have been learning at home, mainly online, since schools closed March 13.

When schools reopen more educators will be needed to help students catch up, especially those with special-education needs, said the CUPE brief. “They will need supports for re-establishing routines and making up for learning loss due to the extended break in in-class learning.”