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University of Lethbridge blames pandemic for latest layoffs

Alberta government failing workers and students, says AUPE

Dec 09, 2020

Alberta government failing workers and students, says AUPE

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The University of Lethbridge is permanently laying off 13 workers, blaming financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is not only bad news for these workers as they head in to the holiday season, it’s bad news for students, it’s bad news for local businesses and it’s bad news for the community,” says Karen Weiers, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), which represents more than 95,000 workers, including more than 10,000 in education.

“These permanent job losses are entirely the fault of the UCP government and its failure to support post-secondary education when Albertans need it most,” says Weiers.

“The pandemic and collapse in oil prices have created a wave of mass unemployment in the province, but rather than helping out-of-work Albertans upgrade their skills, the government is inflicting painful cuts at colleges and universities.”

A total of 12 caretakers and one administrative support person will lose their jobs on Jan. 4.

“Albertans expect their government to be preparing to recover from the pandemic and economic crisis, not to be making it worse. With vaccines on the way, we should be investing in future and in education to help people find work, not adding to the unemployment lines,” says Weiers.

“The government has cut hundreds of post-secondary jobs across the province already this year, as well as announcing plans to cut 11,000 front-line health-care jobs and up to 930 Government of Alberta jobs,” she says.

“Jason Kenney is killing jobs, not creating them. He’s giving billions of dollars of taxpayer money in tax giveaways to profitable corporations who are laying off thousands of their workers, but has nothing for Albertans seeking a way out of this economic mess.”


Karen Weiers is available for comment.
For more information, contact Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer, 403-831-4394 or

News Category

  • Media release


  • 053 - University of Lethbridge


  • Education

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