"Front-line workers help keep vulnerable kids safe, protect our environment, maintain our roads, and ensure public safety. We can’t afford to reduce vital services any further." — Bob Bymoen, President of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union
Regina (20 March 2015) — After years of drastic cuts in the public service, today’s budget acknowledges that it is virtually impossible to downsize the government workforce any further without seriously jeopardizing the services families and communities rely on, according to the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
Programs undermined by job losses
The recent provincial budget does not identify significant job losses in the civil service.
“Maintaining public service positions is key to ensuring that the needs of [the] Saskatchewan people are met. But it is important to keep in mind we have been through a four-year job reduction strategy which resulted in the loss of more than 1,900 positions, and which undermined program and service delivery,” says Bob Bymoen, SGEU President.
Public service workers important to Saskatchewanians
“Front-line workers help keep vulnerable kids safe, protect our environment, maintain our roads, and ensure public safety. We can’t afford to reduce vital services any further,” he says.
“Public services are focused on meeting the diverse needs of Saskatchewan families and communities, and they do it in a way that is efficient, affordable and accountable. Why wouldn’t we want to keep those services strong and healthy?” he asks.
Will the province keep its promise to the staff of community-based organizations?
SGEU also plans to hold government to its word to improve wages and benefits for front-line community-based organization (CBO) staff. An additional $17 million per year to CBO workers was announced in 2012, but staff say the funds have not reached front-line employees.
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