UBC housing and dining staff laid off in November and April expected to return in late summer

Many housing and dining staff who were laid off in November will be invited back to UBC in time for the September session.

In November 2020, VP Students Ainsley Carry said that almost 350 UBC housing and dining staff would be laid off to offset the projected $80 million Student Housing and Community Services (SHCS) deficit.

Andrew Parr, the associate VP of SHCS, said in a November 2020 interview that the layoffs would begin on November 30 and could last up to ten months if in-person classes did not resume in September 2021.

An additional 155 housing and dining staff were temporarily laid off in April 2021 due to “a very slow summer 2021 conference / hotel / catering season,” and the end of Winter Session housing contracts, Parr wrote in a May statement to The Ubyssey.

In March, UBC announced its intentions to return to on-campus learning in the fall.

Parr wrote in an emailed statement that most residence, facilities, bookstore and dining staff who were laid off in November 2020 and April 2021 will be invited back into the workplace in late July and August to give the university time to reorient returning workers and hire new employees if needed.

“[UBC is] excited to welcome back our colleagues and look[s] forward to serving the UBC community this fall,” he wrote.

Employees were laid off by SHCS on a voluntary basis before moving towards a seniority-based approach.

During the layoffs, employees were eligible for up to 85 per cent of their wages at an absolute maximum of $350 per week. Laid-off staff were also still eligible for UBC’s employment insurance, professional development funds and the university’s Employee Assistance Program.

CUPE 116, the union that represents housing and dining staff at UBC, did not respond to comment before publishing.