Over 60 UAlberta custodial staff to be laid off, work to be outsourced

July 20, 2021
The Edmonton Journal reports that over 60 University of Alberta custodial staff will be laid off in October, and that UAlberta will be outsourcing the work to a private contractor as a cost-saving measure. UAlberta has reportedly been increasing its use of outsourcing through attrition or voluntary severance but had not laid off custodial staff until now. The move is expected to save UAlberta $400K in its first year and $2.6M annually after. UAlberta VP (Facilities and Operations) Andrew Sharman issued a statement expressing appreciation for the custodial staff during the pandemic and assuring the public that outsourcing the positions will not affect cleaning standards. The Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA) has criticized the move, arguing that UAlberta is sacrificing vulnerable workers, who are “overwhelmingly women of colour and new Canadians.” “This is a slap in the face to the group that has kept our campus safe and clean through a pandemic,” said NASA President Jillian Pratt. “Thank you so much for keeping us safe. Here’s your pink slip.” Edmonton Journal | UAlberta NASA | CTV News (AB)