Sixty-nine educators with the Simcoe County District School Board will receive layoff notices by end of day today.
The School Board has sent out these notices amid talk on the provincial level of increased class sizes. School Board Associate Director John Dance says that was a factor in the decision. “The provincial changes to class size, the ramifications are in the budget. We have a competing interest in the sense that we have the Ministry telling us certain things, but we also have dates that we have to abide by in our collective agreement. We’ve been holding off waiting for more information from the Provincial Government, up until this point.” He adds that those going into retirement this year are not counted in this tally.
Dance says the layoff notices went out based on experience with the board. “We have a number of teachers who have been given County redundancy letters. It’s made up of two groups basically: the first group are those with less than one year’s seniority, that’s 23. And we have another 28 who have a little more seniority, but not too much more. That’s a total of 51.” Dance later pointed out that the 23 layoffs represented jobs done, while 38 people were served notice. He adds the latter group, 28 jobs done by 31 people, may still have a place with the Board in the Fall.
This comes on the heels of layoff notices at the Catholic School Board. At the time, Premier Doug Ford said at that time this a routine practice at school boards in the Spring, and not in relation to education cuts.