HWDSB Chair of the Board makes statement related to teacher redundancies
The following is a statement from Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board:
“It is with sadness and concern that we informed 99 secondary school teachers that they have been declared redundant.
As you know, the Board of Trustees continue to work through a difficult and challenging budget as well as staffing process.
As an HWDSB family, we are working to do everything we can to ensure that our staff stay together. Trustees have made all attempts to reduce the local impact of the changes coming from the Ministry. We will continue to be a strong and effective voice as we communicate to the Province the local needs of our students.
Last Friday, April 26, the Ministry of Education announced the Grants for Student Needs (GSNs). These grants are how the Ministry provides the majority of operating funding to Ontario’s 72 district school boards.
This announcement followed prior Ministry statements on reduced funding for education programs, our local priorities, as well as increased secondary class sizes. Included in the calculations are local reductions that resulted from school consolidations and declining enrolment.
These changes negatively affect HWDSB, its employees, students, and families, through the loss of 99 full and part-time high school teaching staff announced on April 30. This is the equivalent of staffing of more than two high schools and impacts staff who have been working with us for up to six years.
We will actively pursue clarification on the Ministry’s attrition program and how it can be extended to all employee groups to ensure there is no job loss. We hope to recall our teachers back, but it is uncertain when we will be in this position.
Trustees are committed to working towards approving a final budget in June within the framework of our guiding principles, which are: Maintain a student focus; Maintain a focus on special education supports; Respect collective agreements; Maintain a valued workforce; and Implement a hiring freeze on additional management and executive positions.
As we move through this process, we will continue to keep our staff, students, families, and community informed as we receive more details regarding budget developments.”