The Province of Manitoba has declared the week of September 28 – October 2, 2020 as School Support Staff Recognition Week.
Because of CUPE, the Manitoba government has recognized the hard work of school support staff since 2013, and has set aside this important week to acknowledge the value of school support staff to our education system. CUPE is launching a radio ad to let parents, families, educators, and students know.
“Manitobans know how critical school support staff are for our K-12 education system”, says Abe Araya, President of CUPE Manitoba and a school support worker himself. “We help keep our schools safe and clean, get our kids to school safely, keep our schools running, and help our children learn, grow, and succeed”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of support staff, with thousands of support workers mobilizing to keep our classroom, buses and facilities as safe as possible. Support staff are also stepping up to ensure our community’s children are able to cope with the very different learning environment this year.
“Recognizing school support staff goes beyond a proclaimed recognition week – we need governments at all levels to step up and ensure stronger workplace health & safety, better working conditions, and improved workplace contracts so staff can have security and stability in their lives.”
Minister of Education Kelvin Goertzen wrote to CUPE, thanking school support staff and our union for encouraging Manitobans to recognize and appreciate the work of school support staff in Manitoba.
CUPE also calls on the Manitoba Government and Winnipeg School Division to immediately resolve the UFCW 832 school bus drivers’ strike by getting to the bargaining table and negotiating a fair deal for workers.
“Celebrating our members’ work is important, but we also need to stand in solidarity with these workers and support them in their efforts to get a fair deal,” said Araya. “An insult to one is an insult to all”.
CUPE represents school support staff, including education assistants, custodians, cleaners, school bus drivers, library technicians, intercultural & community liaisons, trades persons, office administrative staff, and more in 25 School Divisions across Manitoba.