By Kuhl, Nick on March 7, 2020.
In response to the provincial budget tabled last week, Lethbridge College will be laying off staff.
No specific numbers were confirmed for the 2020/21 academic year, but the issue was addressed in a message sent to all Lethbridge College employees Friday morning by LC president and CEO Paula Burns, officials confirmed to The Herald.
“These discussions were honest and emotional, but ultimately, they were also very collaborative as we worked towards our goal of cutting $3.1 million from our 2020-21 expenses,” Burns wrote. “We are moving closer to that target, as we have found approximately $2.6 million so far and will get further clarity once all areas submit budgets by the end of next week. Our Board of Governors will review the budget plan when we meet in mid-March.”
The message also says LC staff worked hard to minimize the effect these cuts will have on students by focusing on their core mandates of teaching and learning, and of applied research.
“While we did the best we could to minimize the impact to people, we did have to make the difficult decision to eliminate some positions,” Burns wrote.
“Some of the eliminated positions are currently vacant, and some will be eliminated as a result of retirement. Sadly, there will be some layoffs. This is the reality of the new financial framework. The final number of layoffs is still being determined as LC members work to submit final budget numbers and we are still waiting for further information from the Government of Alberta on our three-year budget. The number of vacancies and retirements may still change, but we wanted you to have a sense of where we are at in our discussions right now. We anticipate having a final budget by March 31.”
“I am grateful to all employees for continuing to do the good (and still incredibly important) work of providing relevant, high-quality education in a changing world,” she continued. “These are challenging times, but we believe in our people and our ability to get through this.”