Sherwood Park, AB. — Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) expects to temporarily layoff 189 permanent employees, and 128 hourly and short-term staff, as a result of the recent provincial funding cuts to education for the 2019-20 school year. The temporary layoffs will take effect in May and June for most positions.
“All staff within EIPS play important roles supporting the growth and success of students in our Division,” says Mark Liguori, the Superintendent of EIPS. “Regardless of the position they hold, each one is unwaveringly committed to providing the best education possible in the communities we serve. Unfortunately, the temporary layoffs are unavoidable as we all do our part to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.”
On March 28, the Government of Alberta announced funding cuts to manage the impacts of COVID-19—for EIPS, this means covering a decrease of $2.3 million for the balance of the 2019-20 school year. The Board of Trustees and senior administration have worked tirelessly to identify and redirect $1.1 million in funds from both schools and central departments. Despite the total savings, however, it’s not enough to avert staff layoffs entirely. Those who are receiving layoff notices include a wide range of non-teaching and support-staff groups.
“I want to assure families we will continue to do everything we can to support students through the duration of school closure,” says Liguori. “We know this is a difficult, stressful time for everyone, and we are in this together. I remain hopeful we’ll see a quick end to the crisis and EIPS staff can get back to doing the jobs they love. When it’s safe to return to school, we will be ready to work closely with students to ensure all learners have the knowledge and tools they need to grow and succeed.”
Permanent staff who are temporarily laid off will have their benefits covered by EIPS to ensure important health-care expenses are paid in the interim.
EIPS is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,400 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn. To learn more visit www.eips.ca.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902