CUPE reacts to more Prairie South School Division cuts

CUPE Local 5512 is disappointed that Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, SK and neighbouring rural communities, has decided to cut more frontline staff. The most recent layoffs include the remaining school assistants, two social workers, and the SIRS helpdesk technician position.

“It is shocking to us that Prairie South School Division is looking at more cuts to frontline staff before cutting administrative costs at all or freezing hiring for management,” said Dale Smith, president of CUPE Local 5512. “These workers make a difference in the day to day lives of students. Every position cut is a loss for our children.”

These layoffs come on the heels of an additional 25 workers who were let go last month.

“This is incredibly difficult for some of our members who just survived one round of layoffs,” added Smith. “They thought they had some job security, just to be laid off again a month later.”

CUPE Local 5512 is encouraging community members with concerns about what these layoffs will mean for students to contact the school board trustees. You can learn more and take action at

Understanding the layoffs:

School assistants are a position unique to Moose Jaw.  The two remaining school assistant positions had a different role.  These two were responsible for verification and documentation of student attendance in two of the high schools. They made direct contact with students, families, and teachers regarding student attendance. All 26 school assistant positions have now been cut.

The SIRS (Student Information Records System) helpdesk technician position was responsible for interactions with the Saskatchewan Student Data System, including submitting marks, student enrolment, demographic information, classes, and student registration in classes. This layoff eliminates all in-scope SIRS staff.

Two social worker positions are also on the chopping block. Social workers provide invaluable services to students who are experiencing challenges in school and at home.  In addition to assessing student situations and needs, social workers develop programs of assistance for students and their families, including referral to agencies that provide financial assistance, child protection, mental health services, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, and other human service agencies. They work with teachers to develop classrooms solutions to enhance learning. They develop and implement preventative programs aimed at all students.