More than 5,500 federal service employees have been told their jobs could be eliminated as part of the government’s austerity cuts, according to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).
The union says it was advised on April 11 that 5,561 of its members in 23 government departments received “pink slips” indicating their jobs are at risk.
"Never in the PSAC history have we seen so many notices issued so quickly after the release of a federal budget," said PSAC president John Gordan in a news conference. "The government is rushing these cuts through without telling Canadians what they will mean for public services."
The largest number of notices went out at Canada Border Services Agency with 1,137 PSAC members receiving notices of possible layoff. Approximately 715 employees with Health Canada received notices, along with 689 employees with Agriculture Canada and 483 in the Public Health Agency of Canada.
News of the PSAC notices comes on the heels of an announcement by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) that 1,500 of its members will be receiving “pink slips” this week. In total, about 2,000 its members will now have been given notices since the budget was tabled on March 29, according to a PIPSC news release.
"With this second round of cuts, it's clear where the government's priorities lie — more industry self-regulation, fewer checks and balances to protect our food and our environment, and less science in the public interest," said PIPSC president Gary Corbett.
Not everyone who receives a “pink slip” will lose their job. When an employee receives notice that their job is affected, a process begins that could see the individual relocated to another a position within the department or to a different department altogether.
The federal government plans to eliminate 19,200 federal public service positions across the country over the next three years in an effort to save $5.2 billion annually.
PSAC represents about 150,000 federal workers, while PIPSC represents about 60,000.
© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.