Federal government issues possible layoff notices to more civil servants

The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA — Hundreds more federal government jobs appear to be on the chopping block.

Nearly 1,500 people working at Human Resources and Social Development Canada received notices Thursday warning them that their jobs could be in jeopardy, two unions representing civil servants say.

About 900 of those impacted are members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, while the remainder fall under the umbrella of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

PSAC said another 149 RCMP employees have also told they could be losing their jobs.

“This is another sad day for our members, and a troubling day for Canadians across the country,” said PSAC executive vice-president Chris Aylward.

“Hundreds more workers and their families are being handed an uncertain future, and Canadians across the country will inevitably by affected by service cuts.”

Most of those affected at Human Resources are stationed in the Ottawa region and include medical adjudicators, nurses who determine eligibility for CPP disability benefits, and information technology specialists.

Employees who support the administration of employment insurance, old age security, the guaranteed income supplement, the Canada Pension Plan and child-care benefits are also impacted.

The potential RCMP cuts are spread across the country and affect forensic lab workers, police officer recruiters and clerical staff.

Since the 2012 budget, which warned of the federal government’s forthcoming effort to reduce the size of the civil service, more than 18,000 PSAC members have received notices that they could lose their jobs, the union said.

“We are concerned about the impact of these cuts on our members and on the key services they provide Canadians,” PIPSC vice-president Debi Daviau said in a statement.

“It may well be yet another step towards outsourcing public-service work to the private sector, where data privacy and security are an issue.”

The Conservatives, meanwhile, insisted Thursday that the general public won’t notice the cuts and that many of the affected employees will likely be reassigned.

“HRSDC is reducing duplication and unnecessary administration within the internal IT division,” Alyson Queen, the director of communications for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, said in an email.

“The number of letters sent to IT staff ... is not an indication of positions being reduced.”

The changes announced Thursday to employees “do not affect front line services to Canadians,” she added.

But there are already clear indications that government cuts are hurting those who need services the most, says New Democrat MP Nycole Turmel, who used to lead PSAC. A couple of years ago, employment insurance payments to first-time recipients used to be delivered in about two weeks, but are now taking weeks longer to reach those who have lost their jobs, she said.

“This is the latest Conservative attack against services Canadians rely on,” said Turmel.

“The Conservatives claim to be champions of the economy, but they’re cutting good jobs, leaving thousands of families in dire straits and hurting local economies.”

The latest round of cuts is the second this year for workers at Human Resources. More than 5,000 employees — over 22 per cent of the department’s workforce — have now received so-called “affected” notices from the department, PIPSC said.

Organizations: Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Public Service Alliance of Canada.PSAC, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada RCMP Conservatives

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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Recent comments

  • Shannie
    September 14, 2012 - 08:08

    Steven needs to be looking a bit better at whaqt really is going on, I personally know certain department heads who are over budget (Way Over) and still manage to get a bonus....Steven dear, really now, hit the working class while the upper management still gets bonuses????? Shame on you....

  • Jackie Parsley
    September 13, 2012 - 22:45

    WOW. Employees who support the administration of employment insurance, old age security, the guaranteed income supplement, the Canada Pension Plan and child-care benefits are also impacted, also medical adjudicators, nurses who determine eligibility for CPP disability benefits, and information technology specialists. WOW I say again, I don't think Steven likes kids, old people, disabled, nurses. Who knew??? Did you know Steven add 2 more cabinet members?? BUT HE IS CUTTING JOBS ELSE WHERE!!

  • Jack
    September 13, 2012 - 18:44

    HRSDC stands for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Do some homework. http://www.rhdcc-hrsdc.gc.ca/ It's a sad day for many families and the additional stress in the workplace doesn't help either. Moral is at an all time low. Conservative Government had no plan for Shared Services Canada and is flying by the seat of their pants. How do you think we got to this point where we need to reduce the size of the public service? It's called mis-management. Look upstairs for the bonus clause in executive contracts....