Cuts will compromise services, safety and economy
OTTAWA, April 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Public Service Alliance of Canada has confirmed that 3,872 of its members in ten federal departments received notices today saying they could lose their jobs.
"We are astounded at how quickly and mercilessly this government is moving to put people out of work and cut the services Canadians across the country rely on," said John Gordon, PSAC National President.
"The government is demonstrating clearly that its so-called jobs and prosperity budget is really about cutting federal jobs and eliminating public services - this will hurt the economy," he added.
Today's numbers brings the total number of notices issued to PSAC members since the Federal Budget to 11,957 in 40 federal government departments and agencies.
Parks Canada management issued notices to 1,689 PSAC members today and says 638 positions will be eliminated. 1,404 notices, including 394 surplus notices, went to workers in what are called field units across the country. 211 notices, including 181 surplus notices, went to Service Centre workers. 74 notices, including 63 surplus notices, were handed out to workers in Parks Canada's National Office.
Workers affected include those at national historic sites, national parks and waterways across the country. These are workers like scientists, engineers, technicians, mechanics, carpenters and program managers. Many help maintain historic artifacts for national historic sites or the eco system integrity of national parks and canals. Many seasonal workers are being told their work seasons and hours of work will be shortened.
"When you shorten the season for visitors in our national parks and historic sites, you shorten the tourism season for Main Street in towns across rural Canada," said Doug Marshall, president of the Union of National Employees (UNE), which represents around 3,000 Parks Canada workers.
"Think of bed and breakfasts, restaurants, tourism shops and community festivals established to serve the people who use the canals," said Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), which represents canal workers. "This government's decisions are going to hit them hard," she added.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
At Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 908 PSAC members were given notices saying they could lose their jobs. Of those, 689 are located in the National Capital Region, and work in several programs including the Aboriginal Affairs Directorate, the Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities, the Workplace Partnerships Directorate and the Temporary Foreign Worker Directorate within the Skills and Employment Branch.
Other affected HRSDC workers in the NCR include people who work in the Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations Branch, Chief Financial Officer Branch, Citizen Services Branch, Income Security and Social Development, Integrity Services Branch, Learning Branch (administer Canada Student Loans and Canada Education Savings Grant Program), Program Operations Branch, Processing and Payment Services, Service Management Branch, Strategic Policy and Research Branch, Internal Audit Services Branch and the National Council of Welfare.
Service Canada offices across the prairies and western Canada saw 136 notices handed to employees and management also gave notices to 15 workers at the Service Canada College in Ottawa and other locations across the country.
"How can this government say on the one hand that it is all about jobs and prosperity, and on the other hand cut jobs and the services that help Canadians find and get jobs?" asked Don Rogers, National President of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, the PSAC component which represents most of the affected HRSDC workers.
81 workers in HRSDC's labour program also received notices. They include 25 workers declared surplus and five affected workers in Employment Equity. These are the workers who ensure that institutions under federal jurisdiction meet employment equity standards.
20 notices went to workers in the Labour Standards program who develop labour standards for federally regulated workplaces. 28 notices went to workers like subrogation officers who manage federally regulated injuries and related claims.
180 PSAC members at Transport Canada also received notices today. The notices mean cuts to airport security oversight and marine security. Safety education outreach by the Office of Boating Safety is being eliminated.
"Cutting back on boating safety education, marine security and the 'double checkers' in airport security oversight makes no sense," said Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.
Among the areas affected:
- 19 workers received notices in Marine Security Operations Centres and Security Program Support. The workers include Marine security analysts, inspectors and intelligence workers. It is expected that at least 8 positions will be lost through changes to hours of operation.
- 29 boating safety officers received notices in the Office of Boating Safety which will no longer provide preventative outreach education.
- 11 Regional Transportation Security and Enforcement Program Inspectors in Airport Security Oversight received notices in St. John's, Halifax and Moncton because of changes to monitoring of CATSA airport security screening. These are essentially the "double-checkers" when it comes to airport security.
- 24 workers who service Transport Canada's aircraft fleet - mostly aircraft maintenance engineers - received notices today, and at least four are surplussed. These workers service the aircraft used by inspectors, ministers and other government officials.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Department of Justice
Services for aboriginal communities seem to be especially hard hit in today's round of reduction notices. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development issued notices to 490 PSAC members today. Unfortunately the department has shared little information on what services will be affected, nor the number and location of the positions that will be eliminated.
The Department of Justice handed notices to 35 PSAC members, 30 of whom work in the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio and were declared surplus.
Statistics Canada informed 273 PSAC members today that their positions will be eliminated. These cuts will mean less capacity to complete the surveys that so many other departments, businesses and communities rely on to inform policy making.
Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada issued notices to 235 of the 544 PSAC members who work there, and says that 105 positions will be eliminated. That cut will mean fewer resources for researchers and the valuable record-keeping services provided to government.
Correctional Services Canada
Correctional Services Canada has informed the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE) that it is eliminating the inmate grievance process, and handing out notices to 17 Inmate Rights and Redress workers in regional offices today.
"This government is wiping out a level of redress for offenders at a time when we already have a backlog, and this will inevitably mean less complaints get heard, and more anxiety and potential violence in institutions," said USGE president John Edmunds.
Edmunds says the cuts are going to require a change to the Correctional Conditional Release Act and worries about other legislative changes to the Act.
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
43 PSAC members at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade received notices today. They all work at headquarters in various administrative, communications and analysis positions.
For up-to-date numbers, analysis of the impact on services, and job losses anticipated by the PSAC, please see our web site at psac.com and follow us on Twitter @psacnat.
For further information:
- Shelina Merani, PSAC Communications, 613-293-9324
- Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, 613-293-9210