News of the educational assistant strike in the Hanover School Division is eliciting some strong reactions in the Southeast. 

Paul reached out to us via the Xplore Talk and Text Line noting there is a huge discrepancy between the highest and lowest-paid employees in the division. 

“It comes down to honesty and I know for a fact that HSD is not being honest. It's about the allocation of funds. I wonder how many people know that the Superintendent of HSD last year gave herself a 20% raise.” 

Similarly, Kyle brought up the wages of Hanover School Division administration. 

“The superintendent of Hanover is making 180-some-thousand dollars a year, and I did the math and that's 475% above minimum wage. She isn't going to give her EAs any raise, and the EAs are making 34% above minimum wage. I just thought those numbers were pretty interesting.” 

With that said, it is worth pointing out that though Superintendent Shelly Amos works closely with the HSD Board of Trustees, it is the board that is negotiating with CLAC, the EA's union

According to InfoMB, a provincial government website, Amos made $183,875 in 2022 which is up $31,043 from the $152,832 she was paid in 2021.  

For some additional context, the average pay for a principal in the division was $125,464 in 2022 and the highest-paid principal brought in just over $145K. Over 130 teachers in the division made over $100k with the highest paid teacher making $125,780. The lowest-paid teacher in the division listed on InfoMB made just over $75K. 

Kyle adds he is worried good EAs will go to surrounding school divisions that pay better. 

“They're going to lose good EAs because they're commuting to other areas and they're going to get 18 or 19-year-olds who have just graduated and this is better than a minimum wage job but it's not a career for them.” 

Karolyn Rempel reached out to SteinbachOnline noting she believes EAs are simply not being treated fairly. 

“Less than 40k per year is in the poverty range. How does Hanover think their staff can support themselves with the wage they are paying? They cut teaching positions because of the budget and the EAs are picking up the extra work with no extra pay.” 

Sherry Unrau notes she received an email asking for parent volunteers to help with jobs that would normally be done by EAs.  

“Some parents work full-time, others have other littles at home. If you're not already working in the school, there's likely a reason, it's not for you. Parents shouldn't pick up the slack, if the division sees they can, it will go against the fight EAs have. I support them. I won't and can't volunteer. Let it be seen how important their jobs are!” 

Cheryl has a similar view of volunteering in place of EAs. 

“Volunteering does not support higher wages. They are crossing the picket line. This should not be encouraged.” 

On the flip side, Apryl Harel does not support the strike, though she does support the fight for higher wages. 

“I do believe in fighting for what you believe in but strikes remind me of toddlers having a fit cause they don't get what they want, it inconveniences everyone else around them. I do agree that EAs do so much more than they get paid for. I just wish there was another way to get what they deserve. Our children have had enough interruptions to their education the last few years.” 

Paul says he understands money is tight, but believes there are places the division could find the funds needed. 

“There's a lot of money that HSD spends in tech within the division for students that could be looked at. At the end of the day, you can't not pay some of your most valuable people that are working with your students each and every day. EAs have to be compensated fairly. This isn't even about being overcompensated. This is about them being compensated.”