EDMONTON – Applying hiring restraints at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions would have a damaging impact on student learning province-wide, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) President Guy Smith said Wednesday.
In a letter sent Dec. 1, Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt asked universities and colleges to submit spending cut proposals to the province by Dec. 15. The letter included implementing hiring restraints as an example of how to reduce expenses.
“More students are attracted to Alberta’s post-secondary institutions than ever and with that comes an increased demand on services front-line staff provide,” Smith said. “These services are fundamental in the student-learning process.”
The province’s tuition freeze, which helps more people access higher academic learning in Alberta, is attracting more students. The freeze is now extending into its fourth year.
“Post-secondary support and technical staff are already stretched to capacity. Any restraints or reductions to hiring will harm the services students rely on and there is no compassion in that,” Smith said.
AUPE is Alberta’s largest union representing 93,000 members. More than 11,000 work as non-academic staff at 16 universities, colleges and technical institutes province-wide.
For more information:
Guy Smith, AUPE president: 780-265-2294
Tyler Bedford, AUPE senior communications officer: 780-930-3406