'I'm concerned about what this may foreshadow for other parts of the public service after the election. - BCGEU president Darryl Walker.'
Vancouver (30 April 2009) - The Gordon Campbell Liberal government has taken the unusual step of cutting 40% of B.C.'s seasonal parks rangers at the start of the busy summer season.
The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says the cuts follow a government pledge to take measures to limit public service cuts following the introduction of the 2009 budget.
"It makes no sense to cut back on tourism-related jobs at the very time when their services are most needed," says BCGEU president Darryl Walker.
"During this economic downturn, we should maintain services that attract visitors to our province, not cut services. Many of these workers have served the public faithfully for decades, and deserve much better treatment from this government," Walker says.
"These jobs are important to provide employment in small communities, especially during an economic downturn. Families and local businesses rely on the income from these jobs to fuel rural economies."
Government sources say the ministry of environment employed 145 parks auxiliary workers last year. The ministry plans to bring back only 87 seasonal park rangers in 2009, which represents a 40% cut. Auxiliary workers have no right to recall or placement in alternative positions in the public service.
"The Campbell government pledged to limit job cuts to the public service through voluntary measures like a shortened work week," notes Walker. "This move ... contradicts that approach, and I'm concerned about what this may foreshadow for other parts of the public service after the election."
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