Edmonton Public Schools lay off more than 1,800 employees

Apr 17 2020, 11:53 am

Edmonton Public Schools has issued layoff notices to 1,868 staff because of provincial funding reductions tied to COVID-19 school closures, the board said in a news release Friday.

The provincial government redirected funds to fight the pandemic, and that translated to $17.5 million less for public schools in Edmonton for the months of May and June.

“This is a significant amount that will have an impact on staffing across our division,” superintendent Darrel Robertson said. “While we looked at other funding sources to minimize the impact … reducing our staff was unavoidable.”

Support staff and custodial staff are the primary groups affected, according to Edmonton Public Schools. The last day of work for laid off staff will be May 15, 2020. Permanent staff will still have access to their health benefits for the duration of the layoff.

The board added it’s encouraging laid-off staff to apply for government pandemic relief programs such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

“These decisions were difficult. Every single one of our team members are valued,” Robertson said.

This news comes a day after Edmonton Catholic Schools laid off more than 700 staff members.

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