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SD43 cuts affect retirees’ health, dental coverage
During the ongoing discussions on the budget shortfall by the School District 43 board of education, superintendent Tom Grant and others, there was one forgotten group that was also affected by the cuts: 500 non-teaching retirees.
The board chose to cut the non-teaching retirees’ extended health and dental benefits. We do not receive these benefits for free; on the contrary, we pay a large part of the costs and we will now be paying more, which will be a financial hardship for many.
It is disappointing that prior to making their decision, the school trustees did not consult, meet or discuss with the retirees the impending cuts to our benefits.
The board, in all its wisdom, cut services to the most vulnerable in this district: the students who are starting out on life’s path and the retirees who are nearing the end of their journey. The children of SD43 are our most precious and valuable resource but we retirees are important, too. We have been good employees and concerned citizens, and some of us are the grandparents of students.
Although it seems some at the board would like to place us among the ghosts of Christmas past, we are still alive and kicking. With the help of our union, CUPE Local 561, we are far from finished fighting for the return of our benefits.
Elizabeth McKnight, Port Moody