“Sask Polytech cannot continue to lose support staff and instructors. These are the workers who make student success possible.” — Bonnie Bond, Professional Services Bargaining Unit Chair
Regina (03 May 2018) — With the announcement of a new wave of job cuts at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) is calling on the provincial government to stop the loss of the school’s academic and support staff.
More layoffs and attrition hit campus
Twenty-two staff members of the Sask Polytech were given layoff notices last week, including 5 members of SGEU/NUPGE, who are in the Professional Services Bargaining Unit (PSBU). This bargaining unit represents the school’s non-academic staff. Twenty more employees were lost to voluntary buyouts. This follows the layoff of 23 staff in April 2017, and the loss of 43 more to buyouts earlier that year.
“Sask Polytech cannot continue to lose support staff and instructors. These are the workers who make student success possible,” said Bonnie Bond, Chair of the PSBU. “For years, we’ve seen in-scope staffing levels minimized or cut back, while out-of-scope managerial positions increased rapidly.”
From 2010 to 2017, the number of professional services jobs fell by 9.5 per cent. Over that same period, out-of-scope jobs increased by a staggering 41.7 per cent.
Students need academic and support staff, not managers
“Students don’t need a top-heavy institution overflowing with managers. They need an institution that prioritizes hiring the best professional service workers to provide support to our students,” adds Bond.
SGEU/NUPGE also rejects the notion that this newest round of layoffs and buyouts is being driven by shifts in the labour market, as Sask Polytech management and the Minister of Advanced Education claim.
“The tough economic times Saskatchewan is facing mean our citizens need more opportunities to advance their skills and increase their employability — not less,” says Bond. “After cutting Sask Polytech’s funding by 5 per cent in 2017, and offering no real increase in this year’s budget, our provincial government is just looking for an excuse to cover their unwillingness to invest properly in post-secondary education.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE