The recent 20 per cent cut to the U of L’s budget is not the first of that magnitude. In 1994, Ralph Klein imposed a 20 per cent cut to operating budgets of all government departments including Advanced Education which included all post-secondaries. In addition, he brought in a five per cent rollback in pay for all public sector staff, which also included all university employees. Pay cuts ensued for everyone, from profs to admin support and from the senior administration to cleaning staff. Punishing layoffs followed across all groups with the exception of tenured professors.
One major difference between 1994 and 2022 relates to process. In 1994, the government imposed its will directly and salary cuts were “part of the package.” Nobody could go on strike seeking higher pay from their employer and internal dissension regarding pay was avoided. It is possible that sewing dissension in the post-secondary community is one objective of the UCP. One last point: The President, Vice-President Academic, and Vice-President Research are all professors in their own disciplines with extensive experience in teaching and research.