(Edmonton) The University of Alberta’s General Faculties Council heard today that to date the number of staff who have received involuntary layoff notices, and were unable to be redeployed to other existing positions within the university, is 43.
University Provost Carl Amrhein says there will be more lost positions, but the total number of affected staff is expected to remain relatively low. “We do not yet have estimates of the number of contract positions that won’t be able to be renewed as a result of the budget constraints, and not all units have completed their budget calculations,” he said. “However, by the fall we will have a clearer idea of the total number of people who will be affected. Ultimately we expect between 50 and 75 people to lose their jobs.”
Stressing that any number of layoffs is very unfortunate, the provost told the General Faculties Council that the numbers could have been much worse, but for the university community coming together to find ways to minimize the impact budget cuts will have on jobs. He added that a great deal of work has been done, and continues to be done, in finding existing vacancies on campus for any staff facing layoffs. Among the programs aimed at reducing job losses is the university’s Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program. Amrhein reported that 181 university employees have opted to take early retirement under the program.
In March, the university’s board approved the U of A’s 2010–11 budget, which included an operating budget deficit of $14.7 million and a target of reducing expenditures by five per cent across budget units.
The university’s General Faculties Council is the legislative body of the U of A that deals with academic matters and student affairs issues, and is made up of members representing all areas of the university community. Monday’s GFC meeting is the last one until the fall.