"At a time when the government is professing to be making every effort to save every penny, moving this service to Corner Brook will come at a big expense. We just can’t figure it out.” — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
St. John's (28 Feb. 2017) — As a result of the reorganization of government departments, the Agriculture and Lands Branch is now under the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources. Consequently, the Crown Lands office and staff — approximately 40 people — are being moved to Corner Brook.
This move makes no sense from a service delivery or cost perspective, according to Jerry Earle, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE).
For a government crying poor, move is costly
“We have spoken to our members on the ground in the Lands Branch, particularly in Crown Lands, and we can’t understand how this move makes any sense,” said Earle. “Not only that, at a time when the government is professing to be making every effort to save every penny, moving this service to Corner Brook will come at a big expense. We just can’t figure it out.”
“A significant portion of real estate transactions in the province require some interaction with this office. This move will make it more difficult for professions that rely on the services provided by this office, particularly lawyers, real estate agents, title searchers, and surveyors. This has the potential to lead to increased costs and delays for the public,” said Earle.
“We are still trying to figure out the rationale behind this move and what the full scope of impact will be. To be honest, I think the government is in the same boat. I really don’t believe they thought this one through.”
Families uprooted due to office move
“On top of all of this, 40 families will have to uproot and move to the other side of the province,” said Earle. “Not only that, these workers have been given little to no information since the announcement was made. We are pressing the employer for answers to these workers' questions, but have had little luck at this stage. This entire situation and how it has been handled has created a significant amount of stress and strain on this group of workers.”
“We are calling on government to reverse this decision as we firmly believe that it will not be cost effective and may lead to a degradation of the level of service that is currently being relied upon by professionals and the public alike,” stated Earle.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE