“Government must be accountable for both the quality of services delivered to Saskatchewan families, and the cost of providing those services." – Bob Bymoen, SGEU President.
Regina (22 March 2013) – Cuts to public service workers in this year’s Saskatchewan budget will hurt families and communities as frontline services are eroded, and costs escalate as work is contracted out to private companies, says the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
Approximately 600 positions will be lost over the next year, leaving gaps in service and forcing government ministries to contract out work that still needs to be done – but at a higher cost to taxpayers, according to SGEU President Bob Bymoen.
“In highways, parks, information technology services, and other areas, we have seen government contracting out work to private businesses. Costs will be higher because companies need to make a profit to stay in business, and it’s Saskatchewan families who are paying the price,” says Bymoen.
“Children at risk and vulnerable families will be hurt by the loss of 43 staff in Social Services. There will be 89 positions eliminated from Highways, 45 positions cut from Agriculture, and another 148 jobs will be lost in Central Services,” according to Bymoen.
The job cuts will be carried out throughout the 2013-14 fiscal year. No layoff notices have been issued at this point. SGEU/NUPGE will work with members who are affected by job cuts in the months ahead to ensure that they have access to their rights.
“Government must be accountable for both the quality of services delivered to Saskatchewan families, and the cost of providing those services,” notes Bymoen.
“Government does not disclose the cost of paying external engineering companies to design new roads and bridges - work that used to be performed by public service staff. It does not disclose the cost of paying private contractors to provide information technology services, or maintenance services in our provincial parks,” Bymoen notes.
“Government’s operating expenses have increase by 10 per cent every year for the past three years – even though it has been cutting jobs by four per cent in each of those years. We need government to be transparent and accountable for the costs of contracting out public services,” 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