“In a news release published yesterday, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO, Larry Rosia thanked his dedicated faculty and staff for helping the institution in being named one of Saskatchewan’s Top 100 Employers. This is the same institution that continues to fill additional and new management positions while permanently laying off support staff.
The SGEU Professional Services Bargaining Unit (PSBU), which represents non-academic staff at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, is very concerned about how staffing levels are impacting services being provided to students.
Since Rosia took over as CEO/President in July 2012, the number of out-of-scope positions increased from 96 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to 158 in 2019-20, according to Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s annual reports. That represents a 65% increase in out-of-scope FTEs, while positions in the PSBU have increased by only 6%, and the school’s total workforce has increased just 3%.
“The employer served permanent or temporary layoff notices to 80 PSBU members at the end of June 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said PSBU Bargaining Unit chair Debbie Zawada-Wiebe. “They have now moved 17 of these members to permanent layoffs while continuing to expand management positions.”
The number of out-of-scope positions at Saskatchewan Polytechnic has continued to grow throughout the pandemic: tallies kept by PBSU indicate there are as many as 191 out-of-scope staff, up from roughly 175 a year ago.
“It’s a growing concern that money saved by laying off in-scope employees is simply being diverted to pay for more management,” Zawada-Wiebe added. “The members of our bargaining unit have worked tirelessly to support the academic staff so we can help students reach their goals. We’re forced to take on heavier workloads to compensate for the layoffs and are met with criticism from management because work isn’t getting done. We can only do so much.”
Yesterday’s Saskatchewan Polytechnic news release included a list of criteria that helped it earn “Top Employer” status. Many of the reasons are benefits that PSBU has bargained for, that not only benefit its members, but the students that attend the institution.
Over 500 SGEU PSBU members work in non-academic positions at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina, and Saskatoon providing crucial support to students and other staff.
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