'The process has been slow in large measure due to the very small number of vacancies available - about 100 across the entire public service.'
Vancouver (17 Nov. 2009) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says the placement of employees in alternate jobs due to budget cuts in the provincial government is proceeding slowly.
"It's been two months since seven government ministries issued layoff notices to BCGEU members under Article 13.1 of the public service collective agreement," the union says in an update posted on its website.
"During this time there have been ongoing joint labour-management Article 29 meetings in the affected ministries, and several meetings of the Joint Workforce Adjustment Steering Committee (JWASC)."
Ministries issued notices impacting 91 BCGEU members in early September and a number of employees in other government agencies were added subsequently to the list.
BCGEU says a 90-day process in the collective agreement is intended to facilitate and coordinate the placement of surplus employees on a voluntary basis.
"While the process is intended to apply to junior regular employees, many ministries have failed to issue concurrent notification to the junior employees where the identified employee is senior," it notes.
"BCGEU believes that refocusing placement efforts on junior employees will assist in identifying placements. At this point, junior employees not yet notified are entitled to their own 90-day Article 13.1 notices."
So far only 12 employees have been placed, the union says. Six have left voluntarily and several notices have been rescinded.
"The placement process has been slow in large measure due to the very small number of vacancies available - about 100 across the entire public service," BCGEU adds. "The recent decision to restart a limited posting process may help create new placement opportunities. Theses postings will only proceed if there are no impacted employees who can fill the position."
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