The provincial finance minister says approximately 400 members of the civil service are eligible for a voluntary retirement package announced today, but government has no defined target for how many it hopes will accept the offer.
“It’s another way to try and reduce the number of layoffs to achieve the reduction of positions in the core public service,” said Jerome Kennedy, who met with reporters in front of the House of Assembly this afternoon.
In an email to government employees, Robert Thompson from the Executive Council said the incentive package is for government workers who have completed a minimum 25 years of service by March 31, 2013. They can receive pay equivalent to 12 weeks of salary if they accept.
The package will also be available to workers who have completed 25 years of work by the same date in 2014 and have sufficient paid leave, annual leave or overtime to bridge the one-year gap.
Kennedy could not confirm how much money government would save if all 400 workers accepted the package, nor could he confirm how much it would cost government to cover the 12 weeks of salary if they all accepted. He said the latter figure would be in the millions, “but not excessive millions.”
The incentive package is available to workers in core government departments and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.
According to Kennedy, government has thus far laid off 31 employees in advance of the spring budget. The province has already announced a hiring freeze.
For more on this story, read Wednesday’s full edition of The Telegram.