By Lethbridge Herald on December 10, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge is permanently laying off 13 workers due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Lethbridge has made the difficult decision to permanently lay off 13 employees because of lack of work, 10 of which had been on temporary layoff for the previous three months,” the U of L said in a statement.
“The university regrets deeply decisions such as these but must address the fiscal realities it currently faces. In all cases, the university endeavours to ensure departing employees are treated with respect and that collective agreement and employee manual directives are met. All employees have been given access to support resources to assist them during this transition.”
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents the U of L workers, blamed the province’s UCP government.
“This is not only bad news for these workers as they head in to the holiday season, it’s bad news for students, it’s bad news for local businesses and it’s bad news for the community,” says Karen Weiers, vice-president of the AUPE, which represents more than 95,000 workers, including more than 10,000 in education, in a news release.
“These permanent job losses are entirely the fault of the UCP government and its failure to support post-secondary education when Albertans need it most.
“The pandemic and collapse in oil prices have created a wave of mass unemployment in the province, but rather than helping out-of-work Albertans upgrade their skills, the government is inflicting painful cuts at colleges and universities.”
A total of 12 caretakers and one administrative support person will lose their jobs on Jan. 4.
“Albertans expect their government to be preparing to recover from the pandemic and economic crisis, not to be making it worse. With vaccines on the way, we should be investing in future and in education to help people find work, not adding to the unemployment lines,” says Weiers.