May 3, 2019 7:36 am
Updated: May 3, 2019 12:25 pm

Upper Canada District School Board issues 104 layoff notices to teachers

Paul Soucy/Global News

More than 100 teachers have received layoff notices from the Upper Canada District School Board.

On Tuesday, 104 pink slips were sent out, mostly to secondary school teachers at the board.

READ MORE: Ontario government to put $1.6B towards ensuring no teacher layoffs due to larger class sizes

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The school board employs about 650 secondary school teachers, which means about one sixth of secondary school teachers within the board could lose their jobs.

While provincial budget cuts have been making headlines for weeks, Upper Canada board chair John McAllister tells Global News these layoffs have nothing to do with provincial funding, but rather an arbitration settlement between the school board and the Student Transportation Consortium of Eastern Ontario (STEO).

“We have a transportation debt as a result of an arbitration in the amount of $18 million in retro costs, as well as $5.2 million ongoing yearly,” McAllister said.

“That is something that is totally beyond our control, we have our own house in order very well.”

The teachers union is calling the cuts devastating, but board members say the notice doesn’t necessarily mean layoffs.

The board is waiting for technical details from the province so it can calculate funding, which may mean more or less teachers could be laid off.

READ MORE: Guelph’s Upper Grand District School Board issues more layoff notices to teachers

However, with funding, or funding cuts from Queen’s Park still unclear, McAllister says it’s likely that these layoff notices are just the beginning.

“This is the first round of job notices,” McAllister said.

Some teachers could be hired back, depending on funding, enrollment and other factors.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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