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University lays off staff to cut costs
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:57AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:39PM CST
News of the University of Saskatchewan’s projected deficit first broke on Friday, and the first round of cuts was announced Monday.
The financial trimming began with laying off forty people, and there will be more to come as the university works to slash up to $25 million. Dozens of employees will receive pink slips in the next three weeks, and the school says they will effect both unionized and non-unionized workers.
According to the union representing U of S employees, four of their members have already received their notice.
“Quite obviously we’re very disappointed. I mean, this is devastating obviously to the individuals that are affected,” said Wayne Foley, president of CUPE 1975.
Salaries and benefits make up 75 per cent of the university’s operating budget, and the layoffs are expected to save $2.3 million per year. However, the university said they have no plans to put on a hiring freeze.
The university asked the province for a 5.8 per cent increase in the school’s operating grant for this year, but only received a 2.1 per cent increase.
Two task forces will consult with the campus community before cuts are officially made.
The students union plans to fight to protect student services.
"Regardless of the financial situation we find ourselves in, universities are notorious for adding programs and new services and very bad at pausing and asking whether the programs we've had for many years still giving us the value that we want,” said university president Ilene Busch-Vishniac.
More job cuts are planned for April, and a report on the possible program cuts will be submitted to the university’s board of governors by November 30.