Staff reductions should include early retirement, says NAPE

Newfoundland Conservatives plan job cuts at School for the Deaf


Queen Elizabeth visited the School for the Deaf in Newfoundland during a visit to Canada in 1997.

St. John's (11 August 2006) - The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) says early retirement arrangements must be part of negotiations dealing with staff reductions planned at the Newfoundland School for the Deaf.

Union president Carol Furlong says the government's decision to cut 28 jobs will hurt both students and staff if implemented without fair treatment of those affected.

Only four of the 34 staff members will be kept on full-time. An additional two will be working part time, Furlong says.

She criticized the government for failing to inform workers in a respectful way that so many jobs are being declared redundant.

"There are a number of people at the School for the Deaf who are right now on summer vacation and have not even been notified of this because they couldn't reach them," she notes.

"They're going to hear this in the media, that their jobs are gone, and that is very unfair. I think they could have handled it in a far better fashion than they did."

Roland Butler, education critic for the opposition Liberal party, agrees. He says the cuts are being driven by a government desire to save money but they will harm both students or staff. Service levels cannot be maintained if the layoffs proceed as indicated, he said.

Education Minister Joan Burke says government will not make any final decisions without talking to the union. NUPGE