Ontario issues layoff notices to begin reducing deficit

‘Biggest wave of layoffs since the Mike Harris era’: union
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 07/14/2011

The 274 layoff notices issued today by the Ontario provincial government are the start of a process that will cut 1,900 jobs between now and next March, according to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

Ontario Environment Minister John Wilkinson said that today’s layoffs will not impact public services , but OPSEU says that these initial layoff notices will become the biggest wave of job losses in the Ontario Public Service since the Mike Harris era.

"Today is the first of many dark days ahead for the dedicated employees of Ontario's public service," OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said in a release earlier today. "We will use all resources at our disposal to fight back. We will make these cuts an election issue."

OPSEU has dubbed today “Pink Slip Day” and is encouraging members to protest the cuts by wearing a pink band-aid that says, “Cuts Hurt Us All.”

The Ontario government’s plan to eliminate provincial deficit includes a 5 per cent reduction in the size of the Ontario Public Service by March 2012, and an additional reduction of 1,500 positions in the two years following.

Ontario has eliminated positions previously while Dalton McGuinty has been premier, but the cutbacks were mostly done through attrition.

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