The association representing Canada’s academic staff is expressing concern over Cape Breton University’s decision to invoke the lay-off clause in its collective agreement.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) notes that the decision could result in the institution shedding 15% of its academic staff, something that is almost unheard of in the sector.
“Lay-offs of professors and other academic staff are extraordinarily rare, and only imposed when a university or college demonstrates a serious and on-going budget shortfall and only after consultation with the academic staff association,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “This announcement is shocking because Cape Breton University has run surpluses over the last few years, and has not clearly demonstrated that there is a financial crisis that would justify the job cuts.”
Robinson adds that CAUT will be fully supporting the Cape Breton University Faculty Association and its members in challenging the lay-offs and investigating the true state of the institution’s finances.