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More jobs lost at Nipissing University

A university spokesman says it means contracts for 22 professors on limited term contracts with one exception, would not be renewed. There was one teaching employee who was laid off from a continuing position.
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A university spokesman says it means contracts for 22 professors on limited term contracts with one exception, would not be renewed.

There was one teaching employee who was laid off from a continuing position.

The contracts represent individuals teaching in each of Nipissing’s three faculties: Arts and Science, Applied and Professional Studies and the Schulich School of Education.

These changes are expected to save the university roughly $2 million, annually. 

An email to employees says, "Nipissing’s projected operating deficit for the 2014-2015 fiscal year is $11,865,864.  The 2014-2015 operating budget approved by the Board is $79,458,584.  Factors contributing to the deficit include a decline in enrolments over the past few years, inflation of costs relating to utilities and services, and personnel; the latter comprises almost 70 per cent of the university’s operating budget."  

Bob Pipe told BayToday that it was part of the effort to reduce the university's $12 million deficit.

"In some cases it was a sabbatical or maternity leave and with others there might have been the expectation that their contracts might be renewed but they were advised that that would not be the case."

"It shouldn't affect the (existing) students. Each one of these contracts runs until the end of the academic term, so these individuals will continue to teach as part of their contract until the end of this academic year. As far as next academic year goes, we'll have the faculty that remains to teach the courses," said Pipe.

"It would mean probably that there would be a slightly reduced choice in terms of courses available for students.

But Catherine Murton Stoehr, after teaching Canadian History and First Nations History on contract for nine years, calls them "firings".

"I am a full-time faculty member and I've been let go," she said.

"I find it troubling. One of the ways they're presenting it is it's 'only contract workers'. what they're saying is they haven't fired people with the good jobs, they fire the people who are doing 50% of the teaching and have been doing it with bad jobs for 10 years."

"I don't understand why they think it's more ethical to only fire the people they've been getting the most work out of for the least  money.

"We're talking about 30 highly skilled jobs leaving North Bay. And how many did we lose at the hospital? The leaders of our community are the president of the university and the president of the hospital. Why are we not standing side by side and saying 'you are under funding our universities and you are under funding our hospitals'. Why are we not working as a community to do this. Why do those executive elite see themselves as people outside of our communities."

"Why hasn't the university as a whole worked together with the union and the student union to hold a protest day together to say to the government that we aren't keep decreasing salaries, we can't keep making the students pay more. This is not the way to run a good society. We need to do it collectively at all levels of the university."

See related story: http://www.baytoday.ca/content/news/details.asp?c=70235



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Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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