Red Deer College has announced the temporary layoff of 47 permanent employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The college said that additionally, since the start of the outbreak, 145 casual, part-time or term-certain employees have been issued records of employment due to a shortage of work so that they can access available benefits.
Temporary layoffs for the permanent employees come with the intent to recall the individuals back to work at a future date, the college said in statement.
The college said it currently employs about 1,400 people in full-time, part-time and casual positions.
“I appreciate the passion and hard work that all of our employees bring to their careers at RDC, serving our students and community members every day,” said college president Peter Nunoda.
“Having to temporarily lay off some of our colleagues as we navigate this unprecedented situation is especially hard, and this type of information is never easy to share.
“However, it is our responsibility to ensure the business of the college continues, even in times of challenge and uncertainty.”
Olds College recently announced it was temporarily laying off some of its staff and reducing the hours of others.
The decision, which will impact up to 100 workers, is in response to a decrease in revenue and an increase in expenses amid the coronavirus outbreak, said college president Stuart Cullum on Monday.
Red Deer College’s bottom line has also been affected.
“As a result of COVID-19, RDC has experienced revenue loss from a number of sources,” says the college. “Given his fluid situation, we are constantly assessing all of our operations, including revenue-generating opportunities.”
Nunoda had hoped to offset some of a 7.4 per cent cut in provincial funding by luring more foreign students. However, travel restrictions will likely undermine that effort.
The coming provincial cuts did not play a role in the layoffs, said the college, which are “specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the college’s spring-term credit courses, which take place during the May-to-June semester, will continue, but in online form.
How the college will handle its summer camps and arts school is still being worked out.
“RDC is determining our approach with regards to offering these courses to youth and adult learners.”
Information will be released publicly as soon as a decision is made.
Cullum said Olds College made a decision to keep its budget balanced and come out of the pandemic with a stronger financial footing.
“Our operations have had to adapt, and as a result of that, we’re facing a situation where our revenues have been impacted and we’ve also had expenses as well,” he said, citing expenditures resulting from moving to online delivery of courses.
With the virus, the college residences — traditionally a source of income – are empty. Other sources of income, such as retail sales and events, have been significantly diminished, added the president.