ULFA Press Release: University Board threatens layoffs for student employees.
Posted February 9, 2022 at 7:00pm
CKXU has received the following Press Release from The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA).
Below is a transcription of the letter for Screenreaders
Transcription for Screenreaders
University Board threatens layoffs for student employees. Faculty Association establishes fund to support students and others harmed by the Board’s actions
The University of Lethbridge Administration, on behalf of the Board of Governors of the University of Lethbridge, announced yesterday that it would refuse to accept time sheets from hourly-paid research employees in the event of a strike and would cease all payments to hourly paid employees as on February 21.
Hourly-paid research positions at the University are held almost exclusively by students. Most funding for these positions comes from grants brought to the university by researchers from external funding agencies. By laying students off in this way, the Board of Governors is undermining an important source of external support for its own students.
University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) President Dan O’Donnell condemned the Board’s move.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen the Administration lash out repeatedly at students and other employee groups who have nothing to do with the labour dispute between ULFA and the University Board.”
“ULFA understands that students are the lifeblood of any university and has worked to ensure they are harmed as little as possible by job action, should it occur.”
In response to the Board’s Announcement, O’Donnell said that ULFA would establish a support fund for the affected students and other University employees affected by the Board’s actions.
“We call on the University to work with us to settle this dispute and to minimise the harm to students and others if job action becomes inevitable,” he added.
“Working on research projects is important both as a source of student funding and of student training,” Health Sciences professor and Board of Governors Teaching Chair Olu Awosoga noted. “We regret that the University would withdraw this important source of funding from some of our most vulnerable students.”
O’Donnell noted that ULFA policy had allowed Members to “cross the picket line” in order to support student employees. “
We realise how important this is to our students,” he said. “Our strike policy encouraged Members to make sure there was a proxy in place to approve student hours should we be forced to go on strike.”
“It is difficult to see this move as anything but an attack on students and the experiential learning opportunities that are so crucial to our success as an institution,” he added. “In the long run, that hurts us all.” — 30 —
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