BUDGET HISTORY: U of C administration trims payroll

By Stephen Bosch

To minimize impact on any single department, the University of Calgary is offering wage rollbacks to all its employees.

In April, those senior administrative and professional staff not covered under collective bargaining agreements accepted a five per cent cutback in their total compensation, saving the university approximately $1.3 million.

The direct impact on individual staff will vary. Aside from salary cuts of up to 3.85 per cent, the responsibility for contributions to Alberta Health Care, extended health care, life insurance, and the academic pension plan will be divided between the university and individuals. Previously, the university paid nearly all such costs.

Chuck Baker, president of the Administrative and Professional Staff Association, said staff have realized the importance of containing costs in light of provincial grant reductions, but emphasized that APSA’s acceptance of the rollback was not intended to put pressure on staff still in the collective bargaining process.

At the moment it is not clear how the rollback will affect students, but staff reduction due to attrition may occur because of the Voluntary Early Retirement package.

The Voluntary Early Retirement package was re-introduced last year with the five-year plan to bring the university budget into line with provincial post-secondary grants, a university spokesman said. Over a four-year period 179 support staff and 150 academic staff chose early retirement. No estimates of how many staff would accept early retirement in 1994/1995 were available.

APSA members must decide whether to stay on the job or accept the new severance package by June 30. Under the terms of the agreement, any full- or part-time administrative employee or professor may leave and accept severance, subject to approval by senior staff and a vice-president.

No one from the Alberta Union of Public Employees Local 52–which already has a severance agreement with the university in place–was available for comment. The union is currently negotiating a new contract with the administration.

The University has said it will take steps to reduce the impact of salary adjustments on staff that take early retirement, since salary scales affect pension payouts.


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