Feb 16, 2021

K-12 Bulletin #53 - Progress on standardization of EA credentialling

We’re making exciting progress on standardization of credentialling for education assistants across the province!

Bulletin #39 on November 27 reported on some of the terms negotiated in the Provincial Framework Agreement to work toward these objectives:

  1. To standardize EA credentials and qualifications across the province, to prevent school districts from creating in-house EA qualification programs as short as two weeks in length.
  2. To increase EA hours, where possible and desired, to full-time.
  3. To increase classification and compensation of EAs in the public education system, ensuring that EAs are appropriately educated and equipped to provide high level assistance that will ensure the safety of students and EAs.

Negotiation and advocating for EAs

The provincial Job Evaluation Committee, Health and Safety Taskforce, and School Support Education Committee all have mandates to address these objectives. The Provincial Framework Agreement (Article 11 – Early Care and Learning Plan) was also negotiated, in part, to pursue opportunities to maximize EA hours of work.

In addition to these negotiated terms and the great work of the provincial committees, CUPE has been consistently advocating for standardization of EA credentials with the Ministry of Education. On behalf of CUPE education assistants, we will be continuing this dialogue in the months to come.

One of our key objectives is to have standardized provincial education requirements for EAs established, with credentials offered exclusively through public post-secondary institutions. Experienced EAs who are already working should have the
opportunity to participate in additional education, if desired, but this should not be mandatory for those EAs. This objective will provide the provincial JE Committee with greater ability to apply a standardized and increased classification and compensation structure for CUPE EAs across the province.

Working together with the Ministry

We understand that the Ministry of Education recognizes the need for these improvements to the education system and will work with CUPE on implementing these goals. This process will require some time to ensure that a system for standardizing EA credentials is well-structured. We will continue to pursue this as a priority for EAs and we commit to providing regular updates on this subject.

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