The University of Saskatchewan is offering voluntary buyouts to its administrative staff to help cope with provincial budget cuts.
An internal memo distributed to members of the Administrative and Supervisory Personnel Association on Wednesday said the university had reached an agreement with the union to offer a “voluntary exit incentive program” to employees.
The ASPA represents 1,100 workers at the university.
“The president has been clear that attrition and voluntary options is where we will look first to find savings in salaries and benefits,” Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Cheryl Carver wrote, noting staff salaries and benefits made up 70 per cent of the university’s budget.
The memo was provided to 650 CKOM by the U of S.
Applications to accept a voluntary buyout are being accepted by the university between June 1 and June 30. Buyout recipients would leave the university by January 31, 2018.
Carver added the university is continuing to work with other unions representing workers to come to an agreement on a voluntary exit program.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach an agreement on voluntary options for our staff in CUPE 1975,” she wrote.
“CUPE executive required guarantees that we would not contract out any services as a result of exits. This type of guarantee is too restrictive at a time when the university must find savings.”
The U of S is trying to fill a 5.6 per cent budget gap left by the provincial budget in the spring.
Several departments have seen their funding slashed already, including an 11 per cent cut to agriculture and bioresources.
Carver said in the memo they are still in discussions with the USask Faculty Association on extending a reduced appointment program for positions opened up by retiring professors.
No-one at the university was made available for comment Wednesday afternoon.