Time to rebuild public service

VANCOUVER, June 10 /CNW/ - The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) has reacted with cautious optimism to the announcement today by the provincial government that there will be no further layoffs in the public service.

The announcement was made in a notice to employees by Allan Seckel, the deputy minister to the premier and head of the B.C. Public Service.

"We are pleased that the provincial government appears to be listening to the concerns of front-line workers," said Darryl Walker, BCGEU president. "We have been making the point from the beginning that the ongoing cuts by government were having a negative impact on service to the public."

"Provincial government employees have been on a roller-coaster ride with the four waves of cuts they went through since September," said Walker.

"We should take advantage of this announcement and use this as an opportunity to rebuild the public service, especially the Ministry of Forests and Lands and the Ministry of Citizens' Services. In the Ministry of Forests and Lands the government's mission to manage our forests has been seriously eroded," said Walker. "Since this government has come to power, over 1,100 have been cut in the forest ministry alone."

"The annual "Work Environment Survey" of provincial government employees released this month showed a significant drop in employee engagement-an obvious response to all of the cuts," said Walker.

"I am extremely concerned that the 200-plus employees who have yet to be placed because their jobs were eliminated are not forgotten because of this decision," said Walker.

"There is some comfort to British Columbians who rely on the public service that the cuts this government has been doing are finished," said Walker.

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information: For further information: Brian Gardiner, BCGEU Communications, (604) 788-1492 (c)

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