SAIT bookstore falls victim to UCP privatization scheme
CALGARY – The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) campus bookstore is the latest casualty of the UCP government’s cuts to post secondary funding and ongoing efforts to privatize as many services as possible.
June 24 is the last day for the 11 Alberta Union of Provincial Employee (AUPE) members working in the bookstore, who have ranged in service from one year to 20 years. A third party contractor takes over the bookstore on June 25.
“Premier Kenney may be re-opening the economy, but his government is still treating post secondary education as something to defund and privatize,” says AUPE Vice-President Kevin Barry.
“Privatized services cost more. Now the campus bookstore will have to make money for its owners on top of what operations normally costs. That’s going to result in more expenses for students and reduced wages, hours, and benefits for new staff. It’s that simple.”
SAIT already went through a round of layoffs and position abolishments in May of this year. As a technician at the University of Calgary, Barry worries how Alberta’s post secondary institutions will continue to operate with cuts piling up.
“I truly believe the UCP government’s agenda is to destroy post secondary education in Alberta,” he says. “They talk a big game about wanting to create jobs and get the economy going, but how are Albertans supposed to train for good jobs when universities, colleges, and trade schools are being cut to the bone?”
AUPE is western Canada’s largest union. Approximately 10,000 of its 95,000 members work in post secondary education.
Vice-President Barry is available for interviews.
Please contact: Alexander Delorme, AUPE communications officer, 780-264-9274