Winnipeg School Division lays of 330 staff amid COVID-19 school closures

The Winnipeg School Division is laying off 330 staff as closed schools across Manitoba tighten budgets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Winnipeg School Division, layoff notices were given to 279 temporary workers, which includes educational assistants, crossing guards and staff who help students care for their babies while they’re in class.

In addition, 51 bus drivers were given layoff notices.

Winnipeg School Division joins several divisions in Manitoba laying off employees.

They layoffs are temporary, Winnipeg School Division spokesperson Radean Carter said.

No full-time, permanent staff are being laid off at this point, including full-time educational assistants, she said.

“We really wanted to find meaningful employment for all of our staff, so it’s disappointing that we do have to go the route of temporary layoffs for some,” Carter wrote in an email to CBC News.

Other non-teaching staff have been given new jobs providing home learning packages and food hampers, and helping the division stay in daily contact with students, Carter said.

“Our priority through all of this planning has been to support the home learning needs of our students,” she said.

Pembina Trails, Hanover and Brandon school divisions have laid off hundreds of employees in the last number of days, including educational assistants, custodians and bus drivers.

Schools in Manitoba were closed indefinitely in March, but students have been learning at home with teachers providing learning material.

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