EN FR

Report: Thousands of university and college employees collect bigger paycheque during downturn

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2021/05/31

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is releasing documents showing more than 11,500 university and college employees in Alberta got a pay raise in 2020, costing taxpayers and students $29 million.

“One way for universities and colleges to help struggling taxpayers and students would be to stop handing out pay raises that we can’t afford,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “The government is right to look for savings at Alberta’s colleges and universities and it should push these employees to help share in the burden and take a pay cut.”

There were more than 11,500 employees at Alberta universities and colleges that received a pay raise during lockdowns in 2020, costing taxpayers and students $29 million. Pay raises since 2015, when the downturn in Alberta began, cost $218 million, according to documents the CTF obtained from post-secondary institutions through freedom of information requests. The findings are included in a report released by the CTF today.

While compensation paid to all workers in Alberta has declined by about 10 per cent from 2014 through 2020, total compensation paid to post-secondary employees has increased by nearly nine per cent, according to Alberta government budgets.

Alberta spends $36,510 per post-secondary student, according to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s finances. That’s $10,000 more per student than what the other large provinces spend on average.

“It’s not fair to force struggling families and students to pay a bigger bill so professors and bureaucrats can collect a bigger paycheque,” said Terrazzano. “All of these pay raises show that the cupboards aren’t bare at these schools and that there’s clearly room for savings.”

You can find the CTF’s report here.

Post-secondary institution

Number of employees that received pay raise in 2020

Cost of pay raises 2020

Cost of pay raises 2015-2020

University of Calgary

4,352

$10,523,109

$78,884,413

University of Alberta

4,130

$11,763,319

$75,544,311

SAIT

456

$1,737,431

$12,253,374

Athabasca University

504

$1,127,607

$10,733,382

University of Lethbridge

563

$1,377,334

$9,486,427

 

Bow Valley College

258

$846,698

$7,892,730

Mount Royal University

498

$728,924

$7,599,626

Red Deer College

151

$118,472

$4,091,837

Keyano College

72 (number of pay raises)

$205,618

$2,824,878

Medicine Hat College

46

$161,112

$2,454,646

Banff Centre

110 (number of pay raises)

$103,826

$2,298,858

Olds College

135

$161,056

$1,486,613

Portage College

50

$121,213

$1,476,928

Alberta University of the Arts

86

$194,266

$701,188

Northern Lakes College

57

$39,836

$451,904

NorQuest College

327

N.A.

N.A.

TOTAL

11,500+

$29,209,821

$218,181,115