Northwest Community College still moving ahead with job cuts

Northwest Community College is still going to lay off instructors to cut a threatened deficit approaching $2 million.

Northwest Community College is still going to lay off instructors to cut a threatened deficit approaching $2 million but how it does so has now changed.

What had been a mass notice of potential layoffs issued in January has now been withdrawn, says a union official following two days of informal hearings conducted by the provincial Labour Relations Board.

Instead, individual instructors and other affected employees – ones who have already been told they will either lose their jobs altogether or face reduced hours – will get those notices in a different fashion.

At the same time, college officials will be meeting with instructors and other affected workers belonging to the Canadian Union of Public Employees to review options such as early retirement packages and severance packages that could cushion or otherwise alter final layoffs.

Cindy Oliver, the president of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, an umbrella group made up of unions such as CUPE which represent  post secondary instructors in B.C., said she was pleased with the results of the two-day session held by labour relations board vice chair Ken Saunders here March 27-28.

“It was worth filing,” Oliver said of a request made by the instructors to the labour relations board for a cease and desist order to stop the layoffs. “It is a very large victory for the faculty.”

Instructors who had already received layoff notices teach post secondary academic courses.

The college has been facing declining academic enrolment in its university credit courses for several years now.

Oliver said the college also needs to spell out how its programs will be changed or affected because of the layoffs.

If Oliver was satisfied with the results of the two-day session, so was the college.

“It is an agreement that defines how CUPE and NWCC will move forward with the processing of any cuts that may impact CUPE employees,” said college president Denise Henning in a release.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this process and will continue to move forward with CUPE to ensure that the consultative process set out in the CUPE collective agreement is followed.”

Last week’s agreement does away with the need for a formal labour relations board hearing.

CUPE members had not been taking part in talks with the college about how to reduce its deficit.

The union has also asked the province to audit the college’s finances.

Last week’s session did not involve college employees who are members of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union. Individual employees who will lose their jobs have already been told and the college and the union are working through provisions of their collective agreement.

The college earlier this year said it had to cut the equivalent of 32 full time positions to balance its budget which last year ran a deficit of $1.6 million on a budget of approximately $30 million.

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Hydaburg makes it three in a row

Hydaburg came back from 10 points down in the second half to beat Aiyansh

Break-in at Prince Rupert BC Liquor Store

A man was arrested by RCMP after a break-in on Feb. 18

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Beverley Clifton Percival joins Port of Prince Rupert’s board of directors

The newest board member worked as a negotiator for the Gitxsan Treat Society

MVP of the Week: Liberation in swimming and skiing

Prince Rupert’s 17-year-old Kobi Franes has a passion both in the pool and on the slopes

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Shop Prince Rupert winners

In the past years, more than $250,000 has been spent at Shop Prince Rupert merchants

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

B.C. Ferries aims to improve passenger perceptions

CEO acknowledges corporation is sometimes seen in a negative light

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Most Read