"If this government thinks they can slide this attempt at privatization through the back door quickly and easily, I can assure them that they are sadly mistaken." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
St. John's (27 July 2016) — Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) President Jerry Earle was shocked to learn this week that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador had entered into a joint tender with the other 3 Atlantic provinces to centralize and privatize the creation and distribution of photo IDs and driver’s licenses.
Newfoundland and Labrador withholds news of privatizaation of public services
“We found out about this via a press release from the Government of Nova Scotia that was brought to our attention yesterday,” said Earle. “It is incredible that the government has entered into such an arrangement without telling the union that represents the workers involved. Over and above that, they did so without telling the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
On July 15, the Governments of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island issued press releases regarding the joint tender. the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador did not.
“To find out about this from a release from another province is absolutely disrespectful to us, the dedicated and hardworking members we represent, and the people of the province,” said Earle.
Another example of privatization by stealth
According to the releases from Nova Scotia and PEI, the provinces have entered into a joint tender where ID cards would be centrally produced by a private company and mailed to “customers." The new system is meant to be in place by next summer.
“This is privatization by stealth,” said Earle. “If this government thinks they can slide this attempt at privatization through the back door quickly and easily, I can assure them that they are sadly mistaken. On top of all of this, we know from the experience in other jurisdictions that privatization of public services ends up costing more and delivering less.”
“We will be reaching out to the Minister on this immediately,” said Earle. “We have a lot of questions — how many jobs will be affected? Where will this new facility be located? When were they going to tell the people of the province or the workers, if any, who will be affected? Will there be additional cost to taxpayers? The list goes on.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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