Approvals to be released April 1

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Approvals for Wilfrid Laurier University’s new voluntary retirement incentives program are to be finalized on April 1.

Announced in December, the retirement incentives program is aimed at encouraging Laurier employees to retire early. The date for retirement must be between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2017.

The 2011-2014 collective agreement between the university and staff lists that retirement after the age of 55 and before 65 is considered an “early” retirement. Employees must have worked at Laurier for at least 20 years in order to qualify.

According to Juanne Clarke, professor in the sociology department, a number of employees are interested in what the program has to offer, including herself.

“I’ve seen people in all areas of the departments in the university at these information meetings so it’s not arts really at all or sociology at all, it’s across the university that I’ve seen people express an interest,” she said.

Clarke said the university offered the program in the past to employees who thought about early retirement. She said she would not be surprised if Laurier tried to extend applications throughout the summer.

“I think if someone wanted to tomorrow say that they’ve decided to change their mind and wanted to retire and they had 20 years of service and they were 60 years of age or older, I suspect the university will be quite happy to look at the applications.”

Clarke also noted the program is a “win-win” for Laurier as they rely on contract academic staff and part-time faculty who do not make as much money for the number of courses they teach.

Clarke said it is cheaper for the university to hire people at $7,000 a course when employees start to retire.

“$7,000 a course is $28,000 a year and there’s nobody in the full-time faculty that makes even half [of that], so really it’s in the university’s interest to encourage people who’ve had long-term service to retire because it allows them to really rely on part-time faculty,” said Clarke.

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