Layoffs Loom at Malaspina University College

    NANAIMO, BC, March 27 /CNW/ - Significant layoffs at Malaspina
University-College are about to happen. Earlier today senior management at
Malaspina University-College met with representatives of the Malaspina Faculty
Association, the B.C.G.E.U and C.U.P.E., the three unions, representing close
to one thousand employees at Malaspina. The news is that Malaspina is facing a
budget crisis and that significant layoffs are inevitable.
    "In spite of recent stories about the Liberal government providing money
to Malaspina University-College, the truth is that they are forcing Malaspina
to make cuts that will affect students' ability to access programs in their
own community," said Dan McDonald, President of the Malaspina Faculty
    Dominique Roelants, a Computer Science instructor at Malaspina and second
Vice President of the British Columbia Federation of Post Secondary Educators,
said that these cuts are happening across B.C. "It is clear that the B.C.
Government has lost interest in post secondary education. The cuts being made
now will mean that the B.C. Post Secondary Education System will not have the
capacity it needs as the economy starts to cool."
    Typically the demand for post secondary education increases significantly
in poor economic times. Recent shut downs in the lumber industry and the
financial troubles facing Harmac pulp mill suggest that our economy is
slowing. Despite the slowing economy, there is plenty of work for people with
post-secondary education and a shortage of those very people.
    "Given this situation, it is impossible to understand why the Liberal
government chooses to cut the very means of solving the skills shortage," said
Roelants. "This short sighted approach will further damage our economy. These
cuts mean we will lose our ability to solve the skills shortage. The legacy of
this government's decisions will be the same problem of long waitlists the
Liberals campaigned against in 2001".

For further information:

For further information: Dominique Roelants at (250) 755-6477 or Dan
McDonald at (250) 714-6775

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