Reacting to Wednesday's announcement of layoffs Randy Hall, president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 657 says Canadore has lost some very good people.
Following a lengthy budget process Canadore College officially announced today that they will suspend 11 programs which in turn will leave 13 faculty members facing layoffs.
At the same time the college announced that five new programs will be introduce for the fall; Civil Engineering Technician, Diabetes Education, Mobile Application Developer, Financial Services and Rural Recreation
Randy Hall, president of OPSEU Local 657 says it has been a very difficult process and the college has lost some great instructors, nevertheless the students remain the priority.
“There is some hope that with the new programs coming that some of those people will be able to fill those positions. To speculate how many at this time I don’t know.”
“Tomorrow after everybody’s sort of just let everything settle those that have been laid off actually they are still with the college and they will be assuming their duties. I mean these are professional people, we’re still concerned about our students, and we are just going to go on and finish out the semester as if … I don’t want to say as if nothing has happened, but these people that I work with they will make sure that the students will still get you know 110 percent from Canadore College.”
Hall says students enrolled in the suspended programs will not be impacted as they will phase out the programs as students graduate but no new intakes will be taken for those programs this fall.
Hall points out that the courses are suspended not cancelled and therefore faculty facing the layoffs have some choices.
“With the way the collective agreement is set up, and the collective agreement is not just for the union it’s for the union and the management, that there are provisions in there for an example that are laid off can choose up to a two year call back.”
“So let’s say next year a program is going to be revisited and in the fall of 2012 one of the programs has been suspended is run again well that employee if they have chosen that two year call back well they would be the first called back for that program.”
“Even if they’ve taken the severance package they are still qualified to apply to the program they just won’t have first kick at the can.”
He also says it is not over from the union’s point of view and they will continue to do all they can to save the jobs.
“As a union are we just saying okay that’s it let’s get on with the next process absolutely not.”
“We have 13 members that are professional that are still going to do the job that is expected of them, they’re still going to give 110 percent students and we have some time to look at the big picture and see what we can do.”