College of New Caledonia budget approved

Family programs will be transitioned to other community agencies.

Several changes will take place at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) following the approval of its proposed budget by the board of directors on April 24, 2015.

One of these changes include the transition of family programs offered in Burns Lake to other community agencies. The community social service and health-related programs (family programs) such as healthier babies brighter futures and early intervention services have been delivered at the Lakes District campus for several years. These family programs are regarded by college employees and residents as one of the college’s most successful operations.

The college is now working with funders and potential community agencies to have these services transitioned prior to March 31, 2016.

While the college may receive revenue from these programs, they are not part of the college’s “core business,” explained Matt Partyka, CNC Spokesperson.

“The college will focus on its core mandate of post-secondary education in the future,” he said.

Henry Reiser, CNC’s President, said other agencies such as the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Northern Health Authority would be better suited to providing these programs.

“If we are not successful in transitioning these services to other agencies, we will re-look at them at that time,” said Reiser during his visit to Burns Lake on April 6, 2015.

Across all campuses, the college has issued 38 layoff notices this year – 21 for faculty members and 17 for operational (CUPE) employees. At the Lakes District campus, a total of 10 employees were given layoff notices, and some of these employees were hired back with reduced hours.

The notices of layoff were issued based on a collective agreement which allows only one layoff date, March 31. However, CUPE employee layoffs can occur at any point throughout the year.

According Partyka, the college expects several of these notices to be rescinded prior to their effective date of July 31, 2015.

“Historically, the majority of faculty notices are rescinded,” he said.

The changes following the approval of the college’s budget also include the restructuring of counselling services offered at the Prince George, Quesnel and Burns Lake campuses. Partyka said the college is working on developing a student services model that is “more equitable for students across all campuses.” However, the college did not release any further details of these changes by press time.

The college proposed these cutbacks due to a deficit of $2.8 million in its 2015/16 operational budget.