May 31, 2021
More than 11,500 employees at Alberta colleges and universities got a pay raise during the pandemic last year, costing taxpayers and students $29 million, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).
The CTF released documents Monday showing the raises at individual locations.
“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.”
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.
While compensation paid to all workers in Alberta has declined by about 10% from 2014 through 2020, total compensation paid to post-secondary employees has increased by nearly 9% 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.