UPDATE: Deep job cuts announced at Holland College

Ryan Ross
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Holland College has announced job cuts. The deepest cuts come in adult education.

Ten term or casual positions in adult educational cut, two casual employees’ contracts not renewed, five employees will see their hours reduced, vacant positions will not being filled

Holland College is cutting teaching positions across the province and changing its adult education program because fewer students eligible for assistance through employment insurance were enrolling.

Michael O'Grady, the college's vice-president, said most of the funding for the adult education program comes from the Labour Market Development Agreement and is based on the number of EI eligible students taking part in adult education courses.

But over the last few years there have been fewer students who were eligible for EI, O'Grady said.

"The delivery model as it has existed was no longer sustainable."

As part of the changes to the adult education programs, Holland College is cutting 5½ full-time equivalent term positions and 4½ full-time casual positions.

O'Grady said the college will still be able to serve the same number of students and in the same nine sites across the province as it has in the past.

The current model allows students to start and stop their courses throughout the year, but O'Grady said that's going to change.

"The new model will have defined entry and exit points and there will be a much greater focus on student assessment and on managing student progress," he said.

"So some loss of flexibility, but I'm pleased to say we still feel we'll be able to accommodate the same number of students and deliver the courses in the same number of sites."

Along with the changes to the adult education program, Holland College is also suspending its applied degree in culinary operations, although it will continue for students who are currently enrolled in the program.

“Our first and foremost concern is always our students and staff," Holland College vice president Michael O’Grady

In other parts of the college there will be three vacant positions that won't be filled, two casual positions that won't be renewed for the new school year and up to five other employees who will have their hours reduced.

O'Grady said it's all part of the college's regular review of its courses.

"We look at enrolment across the college and these adjustments are related to enrolment levels."

He also said the decisions are difficult when they affect staff.

"We do have a very dedicated group of employees here and these are the most difficult decisions that one has to make," he said.

Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Al Roach said the college agreed to look at the adult education program again after one year and he's happy the school is focused on the students.

"I think that they've analyzed it very well," he said.

Roach said he isn't worried there will be any impact on the quality of the education students receive.

"I don't think we'll see a reduction in the quality at all."



Organizations: Holland College, Prince Edward Island community college, Employment Insurance Human Resources department

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Notice
    April 03, 2014 - 21:46

    Interesting that Clifford Lee still has his high paying fake job with Holland College.

  • Cuts in government
    April 03, 2014 - 12:27

    Wow quiet a shock for those job cuts,maybe government should be doing cuts to the inside crew being over staffed and over governed by far too many MLAs that would heal the 2 billion in debt we have now have on this small populated province.

  • don
    April 02, 2014 - 21:19

    i notice none of the big shots are not losing there jobs. but what else is new keep the big shots and the big pay and screw the little guy.

  • Friends & Relatives
    April 02, 2014 - 20:21

    Get rid of friends hired after 2 elections ago to "New" positions, MLA"s wives, neighbours & relatives and leave the hard working folk and the school will be fine.

  • Frank
    April 02, 2014 - 19:24

    DEEP JOB CUTS says the headline. Dramatic and fearful. In perspective , please. How many positions are being cut from a staff of how many in total ?

  • Drama Queens
    April 02, 2014 - 16:38

    The loss of jobs is always sad but really? "Deep Job Cuts"? "Slashing Staff"? Why not try to be a little less hysterical and fear mongering and report the facts in relation to the number of employees that Holland College has.

    • Sean Matty
      April 02, 2014 - 17:24

      There are a total of 21 staff in 6 adult learning centers, with 5.5 positions are being cut. That seems like a substantial reduction in resources to me, but then again I successfully completed grade 10 math...

    • Proud of You
      April 02, 2014 - 19:28

      What a smart little fellow. Grade 10. Your parents must be proud. There are dozens of other programs and hundreds of staff. Do the math on that. While you are at it show me the justification for keeping that staff on for that program.

  • Resident
    April 02, 2014 - 16:14

    With the rate of expanding of online education options worldwide, it would be difficult for brick and mortar edu institutions to sustain a traditional HR structure. Look for ways to specialize.

  • Leigh O'Brien
    April 02, 2014 - 16:11

    "In order to ensure that the quality of our adult education courses is not compromised by the changes, the delivery model of the adult education program will be adjusted." Adjusted how, one wonders. And how can one ensure these adjustments will not compromise the courses?

  • much ado about nothing
    April 02, 2014 - 15:55

    With greatest respect to The Guardian staff, cutting 10 positions (5.5 full time, 4.5 part time) does not warrant this type of headline. These are not ''deep'' job cuts. Nor is it a ''slash''. Holland College and UPEI as well as the school boards are all over-staffed. Unfortunately, difficult management decisions have not been taken in the last decade so you end up with situations like this where you can only carry over the salary for so long before you have to readjust the staffing levels to something that makes sense.

  • fred penner
    April 02, 2014 - 14:47

    I wonder how much of their Football budget will be cut? None, would be my answer. Lets keep people employed HC - obviously not the most important thing on your agenda.

  • Darcie Lanthier
    April 02, 2014 - 14:44

    EI cuts lead to a loss of educational opportunities and then job losses... Tell me again how Harper is building our economy and creating jobs.