EAs deserve recognition from school district

Re: Students first, Ed. Assistant told (Letters, July 6),

Despite a stated wish not to sound disrespectful, School District 69 Assistant Superintendent Gillian Wilson, in her interview with The NEWS, shows disrespect for the contributions of education assistants (EAs) to the learning and growth of students in the district.

Ms. Wilson condescendingly dismisses concerns presented by Julie Fowler, blaming “a lack of communication on proper procedures, or the realities of the job.”

If there is a lack of communication here, it is because of the district’s failure to listen. Our local has been trying for years, through the labour-management process, to raise the district’s awareness around the plight of EAs while seeking ways to work better with school staff to assist kids. Having failed in those outreach efforts, CUPE 3570 was left with little choice but to take those EA issues directly to the trustees.

Ms. Wilson and board chair Eve Flynn both seem to accept 20-hour work weeks as a consequence of budget realities and do not regard what EAs do as full-time work. Our union’s position is that the needs of students should not be driven by budgets but the very reverse.

The need for full time EA positions has been demonstrated.

Otherwise the provincial government wouldn’t have initiated the Learning Improvement Fund, which in part was to recognize ongoing unpaid work by EAs.

Ms. Wilson’s inability to grasp this reality, or to link the contribution of EAs to the success of students, is unfortunate. That the assistant superintendent instead prefers to isolate the needs of students from the direct provider of services to address them is mindboggling.

Our union believes that EAs matter and are important to students. We only wish the board chair and assistant superintendent felt the same.

Troy Forster

CUPE Local 3570

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach to use RDN services for trash collection

Council says outsourcing waste pickup will be more efficient

Parksville’s Corfield Street to be partially closed March 28

Northbound lane to close for sewer main installation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pair arrested after ramming stolen vehicle into police car in Qualicum Beach

Suspects remain in custody on multiple charges pending court appearance

Flood risk assessment funding granted to RDN and QB

Federal government pitches in $70,000 while province to fund $80,000

Qualicum Beach rejects elimination of strata age restrictions

Councillors raised issue of town’s lack of housing strategy

Response mixed to Parksville homeless housing project

BC Housing staff answer questions during open house

SurvivorPQB supports local charity

Readers vote for the favourites and are eligible to win $250 in groceries

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Suspect arrested and charged for assault on autistic man

Parmvir Chahil has strong B.C. ties; two others charged with accessory after the fact

Uber self-driving crash video calls safety, rules into question

Experts say footage shows that vehicle’s sensors should have spotted pedestrian, initiated braking

Capital Region gas prices at their highest since 2008

Filling up is cheaper north of the Malahat

Greens’ Elizabeth May, NDP’s Kennedy Stewart join B.C. anti-pipeline protest

The two politicians could be arrested for violating a court injunction

B.C. man shot by police in 2017 pleads guilty to string of offences

Kaymen Winter gets two years, opts for trial on two charges related to Salmon Arm car wash shooting

Are you going to turn off the lights for Earth Hour?

BC Hydro report says fewer people in the province are taking part, but feel it’s still important

Most Read