Red Deer College hit by job cuts

RED DEER – The wave of job cuts sweeping through Alberta colleges and universities has hit Red Deer.

Workers at Red Deer College were told on Tuesday and Monday that some jobs were being permanently abolished, others were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic and more were going to see their full-time positions reduced.

“It is so frustrating to see these unnecessary job cuts damage colleges and universities, just when Albertans need post-secondary education more than ever,” said Bobby-Joe Borodey, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), which represents 95,000 workers, including about 10,000 in education.

“Rather than adding to the already massive unemployment lines and cutting education services, this government should be investing in colleges. Post-secondary education could be used to help workers retrain or upgrade their skills to help this province out of a recession,” she said in a statement today.

“Instead, this government appears hell-bent on its ideological drive to slash and burn, to impose cuts on post-secondary budgets no matter the damage this will have on local economies and communities.”

Red Deer College informed AUPE members that 14 full-time positions would see their hours reduced and that three workers would see their jobs permanently abolished. Two more layoffs were blamed on the pandemic.

The positions affected are in a number of areas including Advising and Recruiting; Information Technology; Library and Student Supports; Facilities Management; Marketing and Communications; Office of the Registrar; Print Centre; and the School of Health Sciences.

Red Deer College’s Campus Alberta operating grant will be cut next year by 7.4 per cent or about $3.6 million. This is in addition to the 2.4 per cent or $1.2 million cut this year.

In a message to staff, the college said: “This is much more significant than we anticipated – our worst case planning scenario was a reduction of 3.0 per cent for next year.”

Red Deer College photo