Students pay the price for Tory indifference

EDMONTON - The real extent of the classroom carnage caused by on-going government under-funding of education will become apparent tonight when the Edmonton Public School Board debates its budget for the next school year.

AFL president Les Steel will be at the meeting to hear what the trustees have to say - and respond to the massive staff reductions that have been forecast.

"Tonight the ax may fall in Edmonton, but this is really a province-wide story - and the villain is Education Minister Lyle Oberg and other members of the Klein cabinet," says Steel.

"We have huge budget surpluses and an almost non-existent level of public debt. Yet the provincial government keeps hoarding money while kids suffer and our school system crumbles. This is not prudent management. It's callous and reckless disregard for the best interests of our children."

WHAT: Labour leaders available to respond to education cuts
WHEN:  6 p.m., Tuesday, June 10, 2003
WHERE: Edmonton Public Schools Board Meeting, McCauley Chambers,  Centre for Education, One Kingsway Avenue

At its meeting tonight, the board will consider laying-off as many as 400 teachers and possibly hundreds custodians and other support staff. Similar cuts are under consideration in Calgary and other communities across the province.

Steel will join Doug Luellman, president of CUPE 474 (the union local representing Edmonton public school custodians) and other labour leaders at the EPSB meeting. They will be available to talk to reporters after the board has finalized its budget.

For more information call:

Gil McGowan, AFL Communications @ (780) 483-3021

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