Nine permanent positions axed in latest round of cuts
Nine more AUPE members at Bow Valley College learned this week that their jobs will disappear at the end of this month.
These permanent job losses are a result of the the budget cuts being imposed on the college by the Alberta government. They follow the temporary layoffs of 22 AUPE members announced on May 15 that were blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alberta government has demanded that the college reduce expenditures by 4.5 per cent this year, in addition to the 9.9-per-cent reduction to their Campus Albert grant funding.
Which jobs were cut permanently?
The jobs affected are in External Testing Services, School of Health and Wellness, School of Community Studies, Learner Success Services and Campus Services.
Seven of the positions were full-time, continuous jobs and two were in projects being ended before completion.
Which jobs were cut temporarily?
Last month, Bow Valley College announced that 25 positions were being cut because of the reduced volume of work and changing operation priorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of these, 22 were AUPE members. Positions affected include library services, student awards, facility services and additional administrative positions.
Are similar job cuts happening at other post-secondary institutions?
Yes. Colleges and universities across Alberta have been announcing job cuts, both temporary because of the pandemic and permanent because of budget cuts imposed by the Alberta government.
We fear the government will push for even more cuts in the coming years.
What is AUPE’s position on job cuts?
AUPE is opposed to both temporary and permanent job cuts.
The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global oil-price war and a world becoming increasingly concerned about climate change has been a triple whammy for Alberta workers.
This is not the time to be cutting jobs to add to already immensely long unemployment lines.
This is the time to invest in post-secondary education, not slash it. Traditionally, when Alberta suffers economic downturns and workers lose their jobs, they turn to post-secondary education to upgrade their skills, to find new careers – to better position themselves and their families for life after the bust.
Bow Valley College and other post-secondary learning centres have a vital role to play in helping Alberta recover and helping Alberta workers build a better future. Cutting budgets, jobs and programs will make the recession deeper and longer.
What’s the latest bargaining news?
The last round of bargaining included a provision to re-open the issue of wage increases with the employer this year. An arbitration hearing on this is scheduled on July 29, 30 and 31.
We have also served notice to the employer to begin bargaining for the next contract. We are waiting for the employer’s response.
What can we do to fight back against job cuts and prepare for bargaining?
AUPE members from across the province are expressing concern and dismay over the cuts to budgets, programs and jobs. Members are looking for ways to fight back and to make their voices heard.
A grass-roots campaign is under way to unite post-secondary workers and to push back against austerity measures that are bad for workers, bad for students and bad for Alberta.
Stay tuned to the AUPE website and your emails for more information this month.