"You have to wonder how many more positions they are planning to cut without telling the public, the workers affected, or their union," says NAPE/NUPGE President-elect Jerry Earle. "Do we have to ask about every single job in the public service to get a straight answer?”
St. John's (07 May 2015) — Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) President-elect Jerry Earle is expressing his concern and frustration stemming from the revelation by Minister of Health and Community Services Steve Kent that approximately 200 positions will be cut at the Regional Health Boards in the coming years.
Newfoundland and Labrador government to make cuts in health care
“Last week, in a pre-budget announcement, Minister of Finance Ross Wiseman announced that 1420 jobs would be cut in the public service via attrition in the next five years. They repeated that number when the budget was released,” said Earle. “Now, Minister Kent has admitted that there will be an additional 180 to 230 positions eliminated during that same timeframe via the amalgamation of administrative support services at the four Regional Health Boards. You have to wonder how many more positions they are planning to cut without telling the public, the workers affected, or their union. Do we have to ask about every single job in the public service to get a straight answer?”
Minister Kent also said in the House of Assembly during Question Period that the positions at the Regional Health Boards would be eliminated “largely through attrition.”
Amalgamation of Health Boards may lead to reduced services, and patient care while costing more
“The Minister has left the door open for layoffs via this amalgamation process. That is clear,” continued Earle. “We are also worried that this process of combining administrative support across the province is a step towards an outright amalgamation of the Health Boards, similar to what this government did with the school boards. History has taught us that amalgamation does not always lead to better service delivery, patient care, or cost savings. This could be the start of the slippery slope on full amalgamation.
“We have members in the Health Boards who are trying to figure out what this shared services agreement means for them and their futures. At this point, we have no answers for them,” stated Earle. “I have sent a request to Minister Kent for a meeting on this and other matters coming out of the budget as they relate to the health care system in this province. I am hoping to meet with him in the coming days to figure out exactly what’s going on because details are few and far between at this point.”
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