Saskatchewan Polytechnic laying off 19 staff members

Herald file photo

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it is laying off 19 staff members.

In a media statement, the institution said the layoffs are part of its annual operational review “to ensure program alignment with current market demand, operating efficiencies and budget accountability.”

As a part of the review, 19 full-time and part-time employees received layoff notices, including seven academic and 12 professional services staff members.

While all campus cities are impacted, Saskatchewan Polytechnic did not share positions, departments or programs impacted.

“These changes represent a reduction of 15.85 FTEs, which is .94 per cent of Sask. Polytech’s workforce. It is critical that we remain focused on the future and on our mission to educate students, and provide skilled and successful graduates,” the statement read.

“In addition, careful management of vacancies, including out of scope positions, will be undertaken.”

Saskatchewan Polytechnic didn’t comment as to whether the provincial budget was a factor. Operating grants for postsecondary institutions was held steady in the 2019-20 budget passed back in March.

The decision comes two days after the University of Saskatchewan announced a 3.4 per cent tuition hike, a decision made before the budget was released.

According to the university, tuition rates are set based on comparisons to similar institutions, affordability and accessibility, predictability, transparency and consultation, and “enabling quality,” meaning the provision of programs and services.

In a prepared statement, the institution attributed this year’s tuition hike, in part, to rising enrolment and noted that decisions are made ahead of the provincial budget. Tuition rates are not raised to compensate for any budget shortfalls, the statement noted.