Shrinking public sector concerns union leaders

Most provinces are looking to a leaner civil service to reduce the cost of government
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/18/2011

As many governments across the country cut their civil services, union leaders are concerned they’re also letting go of some of the country’s top knowledge and experience since many of the cuts are being made through attrition.

Recently, the Ontario government announced it would allow the public service to shrink by 1,500 job cuts over the next two years, in addition to an earlier reduction of about 3,400 full-time public service employees announced in the 2009 budget.

“You’re losing corporate memory and skills sets,” says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). “When you do these kinds of cuts you lose those who are bright and talented.”