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SAIT to eliminate 230 positions following Alberta budget cuts

Students study in an atrium at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary.
Students study in an atrium at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. Global News

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is laying off 150 staff and not filling another 80 vacancies in the wake of the UCP government’s post-secondary budget cuts.

In an emailed statement, SAIT spokesperson Chris Gerritsen said the decision was “hard for our institution.”

“The difficult decision was made to eliminate a total of 230 positions, beginning next week through the end of May, which includes 80 vacancies that won’t be replaced.”

READ MORE: Alberta budget 2020 winners and losers

The cuts will be across several departments, including administration, management and academic divisions, but didn’t say specifically which academic programs might be impacted.

Gerritsen said the staffing changes will be “accompanied by spending cuts in other areas such as capital spending and administrative supports.”

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He said right now, the school doesn’t expect to cut any further positions.

What does budget 2020 mean for Alberta education funding?
What does budget 2020 mean for Alberta education funding?

“With the impact of the government of Alberta’s budget cuts to the post-secondary sector announced last October, and reinforced in the government’s 2020 budget, our senior leadership has taken time to carefully review all possibilities to create a balanced budget that mitigates impact on the quality of instruction and student success,” Gerritsen said.

More cuts could come at University of Calgary

While the University of Calgary didn’t announce any job cuts immediately following Thursday’s budget, it didn’t rule out more could be on the way.

In November, the university announced the elimination of 250 jobs following the province’s interim budget tabled in October.

READ MORE: 250 jobs being eliminated at University of Calgary following 2019 Alberta budget

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On Friday, U of C president and vice-chancelor Ed McCauley said: “Given the magnitude of this cut, this could lead to… more positions being lost.”

“I can’t answer your question about where those cuts will be and what units, because we’ll be working with our board of governors on evaluating the extent of these cuts.”

Alberta budget 2020: Everything you need to know in 1 minute
Alberta budget 2020: Everything you need to know in 1 minute

McCauley said the university will try to “use all levers to grow our revenues through partnerships and things like that to try to minimize the impact” of the cuts on students, research and teaching.