The National Research Council is laying off 86 people as part of cuts announced last year to reduce costs at the country's leading research organization.
The layoffs begin in April and will affect employees at the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI), the country's national science library and leading publisher of scientific information. By the time it is over, CISTI, which used to employ about 350 people, will be down by close to 70 per cent, union officials say.
NRC president Pierre Coulombe told employees in a memo last year that two research groups of the Institute for Information Technology and another in the Institute for Microstructural Sciences would be phased out in a major reorganization. CISTI would be downsized, and its publishing arm privatized. The cuts were in response to a program review ordered by the federal government to reduce costs in the public service. Coulombe warned at the time that the changes "will have significant impact" on jobs and some feared that up to 300 jobs would be lost.
But NRC and union officials say the number affected is 86.
NRC spokeswoman Leslie Meearburg said most of the people being laid off are information specialists and administrators.
"No scientists have been affected by the CISTI transformation," Meearburg said.
For "information specialists" read librarians. It's too bad we have a government that doesn't value science or information very much -- much less scientific information.
I'd also be curious to hear what the scientists inside the NRC have to say about what's happening at CISTI.