CUPE News
Also in this section:

June 20, 2012

   |   Share This Story   

Aboriginal Education Assistant Report released

VANCOUVER–The Canadian Union of Public Employees has released a new report outlining the challenges facing Aboriginal Education Assistants in BC. The report follows CUPE’s groundbreaking Respect & Recognition survey of EAs first released in 2008. 

Aboriginal EAs voice many of the same concerns as their non‐Aboriginal counterparts – unpaid work, lack of scheduled work hours, lack of opportunity to plan, prepare or consult, and inadequate training.  There are also areas where Aboriginal EAs face unique challenges. The report finds that:

• Most Aboriginal EAs surveyed live and work in northern BC or Vancouver Island areas where there are higher concentrations of Aboriginal people and students. Fewer than 20 per cent were from Metropolitan Vancouver.

• Aboriginal EAs are much more likely to work in alternate and non‐standard school programs. Despite the fact that most Aboriginal EAs report working in  special education, a high percentage are also found in programs and services geared to supporting the specific needs of Aboriginal students. 

• Aboriginal EAs are less likely to be involved in the development of Individual Education Programs than their non-Aboriginal counterparts.  This could reflect fewer IEPs for Aboriginal students and/or insufficient acknowledgement of what Aboriginal EAs could contribute to the process. 

• Close to one third of Aboriginal EAs report work-related travel time - three times the overall average for all EAs. More than 40 per cent of those Aboriginal EAs who travel report not being compensated.  At the very least, this reflects significant inconsistency and disparity amongst school districts. 

• Unpaid work issues for Aboriginal EAs are similar to the larger survey population with an average of more than two hours every week. They work unpaid hours before, during and after the paid workday to prepare assignments, travel, consult and provide student coverage. 

Report author John Malcolmson says that “while Aboriginal EAs share many common work experiences with their non-Aboriginal counterparts, there are distinct differences.

“Many of the Aboriginal EAs feel they work more closely with their communities when dealing with students and families. This includes spending more time working with people who feel alienated from the system and working more closely with local community groups and agencies.” 

The complete report is available at:  www.cupe.bc.ca/campaigns/education-assistants/reports-research.

cope491

 

Related News

Township of Langley Arenas brought back in-house

Apr 13, 2016

TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY- CUPE 403 is proud to announce that after nearly 20 years two arenas in the Township of Langley will once again be operated in-house. more...

CUPE 15 urges public to stand up for public education

Apr 12, 2016

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver School Board is considering permanent closure of 12 to 13 schools in order to balance their budget. The BC Liberal government more...

Community Social Services: New agreement on portability and retention reached

Apr 08, 2016

Earlier this year, an agreement was reached that could allow union members covered by the Community Social Services (CSS) General Services, Community Living more...

Sooke Wastewater Services to be delivered in-house

Apr 08, 2016

SOOKE – The District of Sooke has voted unanimously to end their contract with for-profit contractor EPCOR and bring wastewater services in-house. Sooke more...

Click here for the archive