"We can’t keep cutting social workers, highways workers, educators, and health care workers without putting public health and safety at risk,” says SGEU President Bob Bymoen.
Regina (25 Mar. 2011) - The Saskatchewan government is abandoning its responsibility to safeguard our most vulnerable children and families by cutting jobs in the Ministry of Social Services in the provincial budget, according to the Saskatchewan General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
“It is reckless and immoral to slash positions in Social Services given the crisis we face in the child welfare system and the problems confronting families who can’t find affordable housing or help for those living with disabilities or mental illnesses,” says SGEU President Bob Bymoen.
In the past two years, the government has cut 75 positions in Social Services. Fifty-seven jobs were eliminated last year. And, though there is a modest budget increase in 2011-12, another 17.7 positions will be lost this year.
Overall, 273.5 positions will be cut from the public service in 2011-2012. Many of the positions are to be eliminated from ministries that employ frontline workers who deliver direct services to the people of Saskatchewan.
“Saskatchewan is experiencing unprecedented population growth. With more families in our towns and cities, there is a growing need for the quality public services we all rely on. We can’t keep cutting social workers, highways workers, educators, and health care workers without putting public health and safety at risk,” Bymoen adds.
The government says the position cuts will be felt through not replacing retiring workers and those who leave the workforce.
The government’s plan to reduce the public service by 15% over four years, announced in last year’s budget, is a growing threat to the long-term stability of the province.
"Once you eliminate the programs and services Saskatchewan people have struggled to build, it will be almost impossible to get them back. We need a real Saskatchewan vision for the future – one that extends help and hope to all, especially those who are currently most in need,” Bymoen says.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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