As of Tuesday of this week, 111 faculty and support staff have been laid off at the College of the North Atlantic across the province since the provincial budget came down on March 26, according to the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE).
The layoff numbers are due to budget cuts and the privatization of Adult Basic Education (ABE), the union says.
“The negative social and economic impact of these cuts will be felt province-wide, not only in the short term, but into the foreseeable future,” said NAPE President Carol Furlong in a news release.
“Not only are we concerned about the individuals being laid off; we are concerned about the impact on communities, on students, on our public post-secondary education system, and the province as a whole.”
Furlong says that in addition to the proposed privatization of ABE, over 25 programs were cut as a result of the recent provincial budget. Some campuses and communities were hit hard, including 21 instructors laid off at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay campus. Until Thursday, that campus had 42 instructors.
Eleven instructors have been laid off at the Burin campus, a large portion of their faculty contingent.
Another 13 were laid off in Corner Brook.
“Government also announced a ‘comprehensive’ government review for CNA in 2014 and we are fearful, after what we have seen to-date, that the worst is yet to come,” Furlong said.
On April 25, NAPE forwarded a letter to Premier Kathy Dunderdale on behalf of concerned faculty at CNA. The letter outlined the group’s concerns regarding the cuts to CNA as well as the proposed privatization of ABE) To date, despite public comments made by the premier that a formal response to the letter was forthcoming, no official response has been received by NAPE.