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  • Mark
    February 19, 2013 - 12:22

    Neil made a good point about cutting MHAs. Not only would money be saved on salries, travel costs, and other expenses, but it would be easier to push legislation and policy-level work through the government (for example, there would be less people who have to vote on things).

  • JEY
    February 19, 2013 - 10:38

    Senior Appointment Announced Premier Kathy Dunderdale has announced a senior appointment: Marlene A. Hickey, Chief Review Commissioner with the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Review Division, effective immediately. This goverment's idea of a hiring freeze and layoffs!! This iceberg is very very close to rolling over! To the people of the province, good luck to you all as your services are about to suffer tremendously!!!!!! This is nothing more than total arrogance to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Thank you Muskrat Kathy!!!

  • Paul D
    February 18, 2013 - 20:34

    Cuts...? Yes I have to agree. They are necessary. Lay-offs within the Provincial Offices....Yes I have to agree. Not a nice job........but someone has to do it. And, koodos to the government of the day for saying it and hopefully seeing it through. I'm an Newfoundlander. After graduation from MUN with a degree in Engineering and unsuccessfull in securing a good job in NL, I packed my bags and moved on to Alberta. I worked in Alberta for 15 years in the oil and gas industry. As soon as NL was "booming" I applied for an Engineering job back home. Sold the house in Alberta. Moved the family back home. My dream has finally coming true. Enter new job............. the company had more VP's than I have ever seen in my 15 years in Alberta's Oil & Gas Industry. More managers than I've ever seen. More people APPOINTED to positions than they were qualified for. It took months upon months to get approval for "now" work from this over top, over managed company. Thus...resulting in more tax payers dollars spent. A company full of brillant, young engineers held back by an aging work force, too much management and 30% hired back retirees. AMAZING. I now have a new job...back in Alberta. Moved my family once again. This time...for the last time. Cuts are very necessary in NL government jobs. But...pay attention to where they should be. You have V.P.'s for every department. You have managers and senior supervisor and department supervisors for every area. This is where you can save big dolloars. They get paid, let me estimate from the bottom position which would be a department supervisor $65,000 a year (plus yearly bonus) to 200,000 a year plus yearly bonus and expense account to the V.P. positions). Come on Newfoundland and Labrador...............Let's put a stop to this. If we have to see layoffs, which we need..............demand that they be at this level. We'll be "on top" again in no time.

    • just me
      March 19, 2013 - 08:50

      Maybe you should get your facts straight befor you praise them. Just within the DOI the money put into the economy each year exceeds 3 billion dollars between the NPS, the BLM, the USFW and more. Hiring freeze hell no hiring restrictions yes because of this many employees are now seeking early retirement, are discouraged and want out so now, tell me where that will leave us/

  • Seenitbefore guy
    February 18, 2013 - 18:51

    This Jack must be one of those gov. staff spy people taking shots and trying to change the focus here. Maybe one of those relatives/buddies who got hired because of who he knows. I like some ideas here such as everyone coming together to stand against the attack on regular people. The ones who will suffer are those needing services. The A B C idea will work. I think unions should let them continue to stall for a long time until its closer to the next election to see if their song changes. Unions need to go back to 3 year contracts and never mind this after election disadvantage. When the union people go on strike they should get all of the unions in the country involved. The other day there was something on the news about business leaders making suggestions. Who would listen to them? Their only focus is to get themselves rich. Like they care about any workers. Things went from "have" to "have not" pretty fast. So show us the numbers, prove it, show us what you knew when you spend lots of money to get elected. We should be contacting all of those MHAs to tell them they were voted in to represent us and we don't like it, don't want it and won't vote for them again if they don't get their poop together. Are you sick of hearing about deficit too? They all plan to lower it but its still growing, surprize! No one believes you. Glad to be retired but pity those still fighting for a half decent living and some respect.

  • Eli
    February 18, 2013 - 18:20

    Didn't the centralization of Health to Grand Falls result in 130 new managerial positions? Come on!

  • bohica bill
    February 18, 2013 - 17:00

    How's Mr. Kennedy going to find jobs for all his constituents now that he has imposed a hiring freeze? I gues the unemployment rate in Carbonear and surrounds is about to take a huge jump. Amazing that this freeze comes about right after more senior appointments are made. If Nalcor wasn't given a blank credit card limit, we would not be in this predicament. I think there needs to be much more transparency on how much money is being funneled into Nalcor, where thay are spending it, and what salaries they are paying. Tax payer money is being used to pay oil industry wages to civil servants. Great place to wotk at Nalcor - if you can get it.

  • Thanks
    February 18, 2013 - 16:58

    Freeze hiring is a great idea except for the moaning and groaning we have to listen to from the useless Unions. Maybe the employees will have to work 6 hours a day instead of 4 hours. Retired after 25 years with Unions where their main job was to protect people who should have been fired for laziness!

    • Donna
      February 20, 2013 - 16:38

      First of all....it's ignorant people like you who make the public service look bad....i bet you never worked for the public service a day in your life!! I will have you know that get paid for 7 hours a day but normally work upwards of 10, give or take...and that extra time is on my own time! because the workloads are tremendous and the more cuts, the more left over for the rest of us to handle...you've got a lot of nerve making such an arrogant comment when you have no idea what the hell your talking about! That's the problem....everyone has this judgement about public service workers but yet, don't know a damn thing about it...I see people work their rear ends off....and I'm sure there are lazy people, just like there are anywhere you go....I certainly haven't witnessed it...this isn't 20 years ago pal....unless you spend 10 years of your life in the public service and actually know what the hell your talking about...keep your ignorace to yourself....

  • Jay
    February 18, 2013 - 13:26

    People have to realize that public employees are not the reason for this mess which Dunderdale has created. She should come clean and tell people what are the extra expenses which are giving her the deficit numbers she's reporting. This is all smoke and mirrors to turn public opinion against public employees. After the negotiations, things will magically turn around and money will flow just before the next election. Any public employee who votes PC in the next election is a fool.

    • Eli
      February 18, 2013 - 15:00

      I'm with you on this JAY. 'She should come clean'? She'll never divulge he reasons are Muskrat Falls and excessive titles for back-bench MHA, or, god forbid, contracts to PC paracites.

  • Just Asking
    February 18, 2013 - 12:29

    The provincial government announced a blanket hiring freeze across the public service. Do this apply to NALCOR?

    • skipper
      February 18, 2013 - 15:29

      Only hiring will be the friends and relations of the government .As all nfld will suffer so the govt. can spend billions on Muskrat Falls > With the closure of so many things where is that power going.There will possible be unecessary black outs as the govt. try the scare tatics.

  • dave from mount pearl
    February 18, 2013 - 12:17

    We as a province have gone through this before with thr honorable wince baker. All it means is that there will be no more permanent hires,all for the next spell will be temporary. There are no doubt still some temporary workers in the work force from that era.I know of workers who have spent almost total career as temporary workers, savings is in accrued benefits or lack of for temp workers.

  • Feed Up
    February 18, 2013 - 12:05

    Kathy must be finished hiring all of her high paying political apointments. What a joke! 4-6 months before the next election she will be singing a new song! Come work with us Joe We got lots of dough No need to go Election time, Ho Ho Ho

  • disgusted
    February 18, 2013 - 12:05

    guess you have to be a tv show to get money from this gov't. There are a lot people who have been waiting for treatments & care but there is no money & soon no jobs either . Will we still have a province by the time they are voted out ?

    • mifflin
      February 18, 2013 - 15:53

      I smiled at the comment getting money if you get a TV show. May I add ... or build a Hotel in Fogo!!!

  • Neil
    February 18, 2013 - 11:57

    Like I said many, many times, we have 48 MHA's serving 513.555 people. That's an average of 10,699 a MHA. We have really got to look at cutting this down. How can we justify paying such huge salaries to peple serviing such a small population. Add that to office space, staff and travel costs and we could recoup quite a few bucks there. And yes, the public service if way too big....a 20% reduction in the right places could be beneficial. I'm actually a public servant myself.

  • stephen
    February 18, 2013 - 11:50

    So lets kick out the tories and put in the liberals.They have a proven record of honesty and integrity,both federally and in any province the govern. Then they can start the unicorn/caribou crossbreeding program. Politicians of any stripe,by their very nature are self serving opportunist with snouts.95 percent of politicans make the other 5 percent look bad.Newfoundland is no better of outside the overpass than it ever was and if areas are,it is not because of Newfoundland,but rather alberta.

    • Happily Retired
      February 19, 2013 - 10:24

      Stephen, I share your concern about the weaknesses of the opposition parties. However, I've concluded that incompetence is better than dishonesty. We have a chance of honesty in the government's first term, a slimmer chance in their second term, and no chance thereafter. We are now at the stage in this administration where this crowd knows their shelf life is at an end and they're just working for themselves and taking care of their friends.

  • Phineas T
    February 18, 2013 - 11:43

    Don't blame the civil sector for this. It is almost impossible to get good ideas approved by ministers, and every department can tell you horror stories of incomprehensible decisions. The public and public service need to gang up and remove the ruling oligarchs from power. A very small group of sociopaths are wrecking our province for the gain of corporations and powerful people. We never needed Muskrat Falls, we are neglecting our infrastructure and schools, selling our raw resources and are so far behind on a good Information Technology/Accounting infrastructure that we have no idea how are budgets are faring -- until after it is too late. I haven't been in a department yet that couldn't clean things up if they were allowed to do what makes sense. The problem is at the top.

  • Jack
    February 18, 2013 - 11:34

    While I agree with the hiring freeze, the Newfoundland and Labrador Government should have taken a few steps further. For starters, while I admit that I will take some negative heat for this suggestion, all government employees should be forced to take a 5% pay cut except for those who earn $14 per hour or less in most of the island, and $20 per hour or less in Labrador and Northern Peninsula. The pay cuts will also apply to MHA, Deputy Ministers, Executives, and Crown Corporation employees. Another measure for reducing the deficit is to deal with overtime. Instead of paying employees time and half or double time, give employees time off in lieu or TOIL. For TOIL each hour worked in overtime will result in each hour off. For example, if you work 30 hours overtime over two weeks, you get 30 hours or 4 days off. This concept is known as "flex time" or "flex days", and this alternative to paying overtime has been used in other provinces, particularly Nova Scotia, for many years. If TOIL policies have worked for information technology giants to control overtime costs, particularly Keane Canada, it can work for the Newfoundland and Labrador Government.

    • Hardworkingsingleparent
      February 18, 2013 - 12:26

      Jack, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I am a public service worker and here you are, telling me to take a 5% pay cut on my already entry level salary? I can guarantee you people in the private sector are thriving much better doing the same type of work I am doing. I come to work everyday and work my a** off and I have worked for many years just to get where I am now. You obviously do not know what it is like to struggle and you seem to think that government workers are not entitled to fair pay. I'm sorry, I went to university and I am worth alot more than $14/hour!

    • Santo
      February 18, 2013 - 12:40

      omg, this is sooo not how "flex time" or "flex days" work, who on earth told you that. I work in the public sector and have never heard tell of this!!! Perhaps what you think you are talking about is flex time, when an employee works a longer workday. For example, the work week is 35 hours, but the business open hours is 40, so, some staff will work say 8 to 3:30, or 9 to 4:30 in order to cover all open hours. Working overtime and taking the time off rather than pay is at manager discression, not always a given. I've only had that once in the 4 years I['ve worked in the public sector. As for cutting pay....how would you like it? i'm a single mom, not on the system, a cut in pay would put me pretty close. Could you carry a mortgage on 14 bucks an hour? many of have that, taking a pay cut to that I'd loose my house, my car, just as well to be on welfare. Get a grip on reality man. We get our eductations so we can go to work for the government for a decent wage, I can go to wal mart and in a few years be making 14 an hour. Want to cut someones pay, how about cutting the pay of the person who is putting the province in this position, our wonderful Kathy!!

    • Christopher Chafe
      February 18, 2013 - 13:25

      Hardworking single parent........ Then why are you working for such a low wage if you are worth more? Certainly you could make more in a private enterprise?

    • Frank
      February 18, 2013 - 13:39

      Don't know where you are getting your info Jack. TOIL is a policy agreed upon by both management and employee to temporarily deal with unexpected fluctuations in workload, it is not a long term fix for overtime because it is not a legislated obligation, an employee can demand overtime pay if they so desire. Flex time or flex days refer to the practice of working outside the normal daily working hours, while covereing pre determined core business hours, in order to deal with things like day care, traffic congestion etc. Neither of your solutions are actually viable alternatives to overtime my friend.

    • Hardworkingsingleparent
      February 18, 2013 - 17:19

      Christopher Chafe, I do make more than $14/hour. I'm telling Jack and whoever else doesn't agree, I deserve to make a good wage and have a good pension plan, which was what working with government has given me. No, I don't make great money but I can't complain. But to tell people like myself that we should have our wage cut to $14/hr, that's just ridiculous. I am worth more than $14/hr, that is what I'm saying!

    • Lynn
      February 18, 2013 - 18:00

      $14.00 an hour is well below poverty. I am a private sector worker and making just below $20.00 is hard to survive. I am currently seeking a part-time to help with some medical expenses and I do have medical coverage with my employment. With the increase in food, power and rent. I am considering leaving Newfoundland to find better life else where. I don't have any money for extras that I need for example walking to work because I can't afford to put gas in the car (which is now 7 years old) some weeks or counting how many meals I can have in a week. You would be able to survive on $14.00 an hour?

    • Jack
      February 18, 2013 - 19:37

      During the 1990's, many provincial governments implemented public sector cuts and even wage roll backs. A good example was Prince Edward Island's Catherine Callbeck era. When she was a Premier, she implemented deep public sector wage cuts as much as 7.5% in an effort to control Prince Edward Island's ballooning deficit. Provincial civil servants in other provinces, particularly Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta had to endure wage rollbacks during the 1990's. In the case of Newfoundland and Labrador, since one of the major reasons for their major deficit are that public sector wages grew too fast in a short period of time, meaning that a slight wage rollback at 5% for 2013-2014, and then wage freezes for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 are more than reasonable.

    • Joe
      February 18, 2013 - 20:28

      @ Jack YOU don't Know JACK! Go back to your fantasy land. Many MANY civil servants are making much less than 40K a year, only the Mgmt and Exec are getting OVER paid and yes its time they took a cut!

  • Tony
    February 18, 2013 - 11:28

    Sorry Mr. Lucas I find it hard to believe your concern for the public. Unions in general represent their members with the primary goal of getting the most compensation for the least amount of work, everything else comes second to that. Having said that this Dunderdale government is brutal, they just looked after some Tory hacks with 6 figure salaries just in time to settle them away before they hit the unionswith cutbacks.

  • Trending Spending
    February 18, 2013 - 11:18

    As long as we have all the patronage positions filled this shouldn't matter. Sure every time we see kennedy on the news these days its bad news for the people that live here..

  • Andrew
    February 18, 2013 - 10:59

    get rid of the people who sit around looking at flyers and surfing the web all day long....keep the hard working people who are actually trying to better the province. Secondly, cut back on the statutory holidays govt staff get. Why should I and others in the private sector continue to work hard in order to pay for every made up holiday known to mankind. Its ridiculous.

  • Frank
    February 18, 2013 - 10:56

    Bully!!! I agree 110%. I have been trying to get a job back home for 3 years now, applied to 12 different postings that I am certainly qualified for, been doing one job for 13 years at the federal level, and heve never even been interviewed. I am convinced that because of my Ontario address and phone number, even though I am one of the flock from the 80s who had to leave, I get screened out automatically. The hiring practices of the Government of Newfoundland is questionable, the hires from the general public are a single digit percentage - 4.9% last time I checked. And of course this is a page outta the PC playbook by the looks of things since Steve did the exact same thing with the exact same timing at the federal level. Freeze hires, wages, cut jobs so that you can convince the civil servants that they are lucky to have a job. Then give bonuses to department heads who successfully meet their budget objectives by firing a bunch of people..Guess it was a blessing in disguise that I wasn't successful in getting a job and moving my family back home because I would be last in - first out right now.

  • Andrew
    February 18, 2013 - 10:56

    get rid of the people who sit around looking at flyers and surfing the web all day long....keep the hard working people who are actually trying to better the province. Secondly, cut back on the statutory holidays govt staff get. Why should I and others in the private sector continue to work hard in order to pay for every made up holiday known to mankind. Its ridiculous.

  • dan
    February 18, 2013 - 10:43

    Appointments will continue, only to PCs and only in HIGH paying jobs! Just another taunt to the Civil Service hoping they strike. Don't fall for it people, just do your work and wait out these idiots! ABC in NL all the way!

  • Rose
    February 18, 2013 - 10:43

    Ridiculous,Cancell those recently senior positions that pay out big bucks,theres 200,000 right there,

  • Whaddaya At
    February 18, 2013 - 10:36

    Of course, this 'hiring freeze' doesn't apply to the steady flow of constituents that Ministers take in off the streets in their Districts and put to work in Government Offices, without the bother of having to compete or be interviewed for those positions. Correct, Mr. Finance Minister ?. The Ministers will ensure that the temporary employment of these constituents is extended until they secure permanent employment in those positions. Correct, Mr. Finance Minister ?. NAPE ?. As far as this issue is concerned, the Union is as useless as t - - s on a bull and its silence is deafening. Public Servants who've gone through the application and interview process will just have to suck it up. So much for morale.

    • Frank
      February 18, 2013 - 10:52

      Bully!!! I agree 110%. I have been trying to get a job back home for 3 years now, applied to 12 different postings that I am certainly qualified for, been doing one job for 13 years at the federal level, and heve never even been interviewed. I am convinced that because of my Ontario address and phone number, even though I am one of the flock from the 80s who had to leave, I get screened out automatically. The hiring practices of the Government of Newfoundland is questionable, the hires from the general public are a single digit percentage - 4.9% last time I checked. And of course this is a page outta the PC playbook by the looks of things since Steve did the exact same thing with the exact same timing at the federal level. Freeze hires, wages, cut jobs so that you can convince the civil servants that they are lucky to have a job. Then give bonuses to department heads who successfully meet their budget objectives by firing a bunch of people..Guess it was a blessing in disguise that I wasn't successful in getting a job and moving my family back home because I would be last in - first out right now.

    • Eli
      February 18, 2013 - 18:25

      For years in Gander your religion determined where you stood on the hiring totem pole. Could be still going on.

  • saelcove
    February 18, 2013 - 10:33

    Unless you have government contacts, another laugh on us by stunderdale and her minnows

  • Dawn
    February 18, 2013 - 10:30

    TORY TIMES ARE HARD TIMES. The first place they should cut is their own pockets. They gave themselves some pretty hefty raises. Do they even pay into their own pension plans. How long do they have to work to collect their gold plated pension?

  • Brian
    February 18, 2013 - 10:25

    If they have layoffs, start at the top outside of the union positions. Have a look at the cost of salaries for deputy ministers, assistant deputy ministers, directors, policy analysts, communications directors, government overflowing with these high paid positions, TIME TO REDUCE!!!!!!! Also if a hiring freeze, guess the department responsible for hiring will be downsized, we will have to wait and see!!!!

  • Heather George
    February 18, 2013 - 09:56

    Hiring freeze,but the government,can still cough up $200,000,for positions,for individuals,who were former auditor Generals.

  • Pete
    February 18, 2013 - 09:53

    Lucas brings up a great point, why is government hiring janitors in schools? Those jobs should be contracted out to the private sector, just like at the confederation building.

  • Torey Normore
    February 18, 2013 - 09:29

    Just to clarify....hiring and appointments are two different things. The Dunderwit Administration will continue to appoint Tory patronage plums to its friends and supporters.