“You can’t replace the knowledge these people provide to the public with an online system." — Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
Regina (19 March 2019) — News that the Ministry of Environment is closing front counter services at 19 of its field offices is more proof that the Sask Party is trying to balance its books on the backs of workers, while reducing vital services to members of the public.
More public services victim of government austerity measures
“This government has made countless poor financial decisions over the past few years, including the GTH, the Regina bypass, LEAN, the Boundary Dam carbon capture project and more, and now they are making workers and the public suffer because of their own fiscal incompetence,” said Bob Bymoen, President of the Saskachewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
Front counter services will be discontinued in Assiniboia, Big River, Buffalo Narrows, Estevan, Humboldt, Île-à-la-Crosse, Kindersley, Leader, Lloydminster, Maple Creek, Moose Jaw, Outlook, Pinehouse, Preeceville, Shaunavon, Southend, Spiritwood, Wadena and Weyburn. Eighteen SGEU/NUPGE members who live, work and contribute to these communities will lose their jobs because of this decision.
“These workers provide excellent service, in-depth knowledge for hunters and anglers, access for the public to check for chronic wasting disease, and much more,” said Bymoen.
Wealth of knowledge disappears with closures
“You can’t replace the knowledge these people provide to the public with an online system. Sadly, we’re seeing the Sask Party continue to dismantle services and good jobs just because they have wasted billions of dollars over the past several years. They need to work on cutting back on their wasteful spending, not valuable public services,” added Bymoen.
The closures are expected to take place between April 1 and October 1, depending on the locations. SGEU/NUPGE is calling on the Sask Party to reverse its decision to close front counter services at field offices, and continue to provide the services that hunters and anglers expect and deserve in these communities.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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