"Tim Hudak is twisting my words" on job cuts, OPSEU President says

TORONTO, May 14, 2014 /CNW/ - OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak is deliberately misleading the people of Ontario over a statement he (Thomas) made recently about layoffs of public employees.

"Tim Hudak is going around saying that I support laying off 60,000 public sector managers and implying that I support his plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs," Thomas said. "This is not true. I have never once said 'get rid of 60,000 people.' I do not support his plan in any way, shape or form."

Thomas said he has always supported the efficient delivery of public services but has seen too many cases where management ranks grew while resources were being cut at the front line.

"In hospitals, in mental health, in home care, in the public service, I have seen too many examples of restructuring where new management positions were being created while front-line staff were getting pink slips," he said. "This is an issue I've taken up with the government on many occasions.

"Do I think there are cases where management ranks could be trimmed to boost the front line? Yes, I do. Do I support cutting the overall numbers of public employees? Absolutely not."

Thomas said Hudak's personal attacks were a sign of the PC leader's frustration at the public's lack of enthusiasm for the PC platform.

"Tim Hudak is completely out of touch with reality when it comes to how public services work, and Ontarians know it," he said, noting that Ontario already has the lowest program spending per capita of any province in Canada.

"We are already running on a skeleton staff. If we let Tim Hudak take an axe to the people that are left we would be making a mistake that we would still be regretting 20 years from now."

SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

For further information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931

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