A strong Laurentian 2023-24 budget that, unfortunately, does not address unfair faculty working conditions


(April 28, 2023) – The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) is pleased to see many positive points in the 2023-24 fiscal year budget, impacting both students and faculty, such as new hires, the retention of accredited programs, and the restoration of relationships with the three Canadian Government research funding agencies. It is extremely reassuring to see a budget with a large surplus as this represents a guarantee of financial stability for the institution. The work of the administrative team to achieve this result is impressive.

“However, we are disappointed that this latest budget downplays the concessions made by faculty members during the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) process,” said LUFA President Fabrice Colin.

“The budget does not lay a foundation for better working conditions for faculty members and fails to consider the impact on retention and recruitment. The Board of Governors must do more to improve the lives of faculty members who were unfairly made scapegoats for the reckless mismanagement of the university,” said Colin.

The Auditor General of Ontario clearly stated that faculty salaries and academic programs were not the cause of the university’s financial ruin. Faculty members, nonetheless, made several concessions during the imposed mediation of the CCAA process.

In addition to an immediate five per cent pay cut in 2021 followed by a salary freeze the year after, faculty members took five days of unpaid leave, without disruption of academic activities, during the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.

In increasing the number of professors (34.5 positions), the 2023-24 budget did not consider the 22 professors who resigned or retired after the April 2021 mass layoff, whose positions are still vacant in part, and who were not part of the calculations regarding the university’s financial viability.

“We need to see a plan that highlights recalling our unfairly terminated colleagues,” said Colin.

Laurentian University had a cash reserve of over $80 million at the beginning of the fall. This budget plans a surplus of $8.2 million. The previous administration sought deeper cuts than necessary. With a planned surplus of $8.2 million, this budget fails to correct concessions, which are no longer required, and provide faculty members with fair market compensation.

“LUFA was supportive and agreed to higher salaries for the interim President and to the interim Vice-President. It is time for the Administration to reciprocate that goodwill,” said Colin.

LUFA was founded in 1979 and, prior to the CCAA proceedings, represented over 400 full-time and 300 part-time professors at Laurentian University, the University of Sudbury, Huntington University, and Thorneloe University. Today, LUFA represents roughly 250 full-time and 200 part-time professors at Laurentian University. For more information about LUFA, visit: www.lufappul.ca.


For questions or to arrange an interview, please contact: Fabrice Colin at [email protected] or 705.698.6763