Government funding cuts to post secondary education are now being felt directly by staff and students at Red River College (RRC).

The RRC President told staff last Friday that they will be laying off three instructors and not renewing contracts for three term instructor positions, while reducing hours for several part-time term positions and hiking up tuition by $250 for every program.  This is all a result of the 2018-2019 Manitoba Budget which cut post-secondary education funding by 0.9 per cent, or $6.3 million.

“Red River College plays an important role training young Manitobans and ensuring Manitoba’s growing economy will have the skilled workers it needs to keep growing. It’s a real shame that government ordered cuts are now costing college instructors their jobs and weakening programs for students,” said Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President. 

These job losses are due to RRC closing two programs – Geographical Information Systems and Greenspace Horticulture – as well as the rural intake of Primary Care Medicine. RRC will be reducing seats in Nursing, Health Care Aide, Business Administration and Pre Employment Trades Programs. Industrial Networking Technology and Technology Management will also be converted from being subsidized to a cost recovery funding model.

“Cutting education programs while driving up tuition is not how you create a bright future for young Manitobans to stay here and build our province,” she said. 

RRC says they have approved this 2018/19 budget and were working with a $3.2 million dollar shortfall – with the 0.9% provincial funding cut representing $953,000 and $2.3 million representing funding they did not receive for the new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

The MGEU represents over 1,585 members at Red River College. They include instructors, and those that work in IT, food services and administration to name a few.