Secretaries facing the chopping block at Saskatoon Public Schools may be replaced by software.

On Monday, the school division announced schools may be forced to scale back their budgets and dozens of staff and specialty programming could be facing cuts.

Sixteen secretaries from elementary schools across Saskatoon Public Schools are expected to be laid off. According to CUPE, the union representing support workers, the secretaries will “apparently be replaced by ‘absence reporting software.’”

“When you take these people out of our schools, all students suffer,” Scott Barrett, President of CUPE Local 8443, said in a press release. “It inevitably means all students get less support in the classroom. All our support reinforce the classroom in one form or another.”

Layoff notices have already started to be handed out to staff in Saskatoon schools, the release said.

The school division said the cuts are not yet finalized and still need to be approved by the Board of Trustees.