Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy speaks with reporters Tuesday afternoon outside the House of Assembly in St. John’s.
— Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram
Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy said today that, to date, 167 individuals in the public service have been advised their positions have been eliminated.
In a news release Kennedy notes that while bumping may occur in the coming weeks among bargaining unit employees, there will be no further layoffs until after Budget 2013.
“In order to ensure that employees are provided the necessary supports and services that they deserve, notifying employees of their positions being eliminated has taken time,” Kennedy said. “Each employee is advised in person through a meeting with human resource staff. This process cannot be rushed and as a result can take multiple days. It is important that our human resource policies are followed and that employees are treated in a professional and respectful manner.”
In individual meetings, human resource staff advise employees of their employment status. Employees are offered employee assistance counselling and other support mechanisms, and are provided an opportunity to ask questions.
Given a limited number of human resources staff and to ensure all employees are given the time they deserve, the process takes time, the release states.
“With salaries and employee benefits making up approximately 55 per cent of the provincial government’s total expenditures and are as high as 70 per cent in some departments, it is impossible to reduce costs without impacting employees,” Kennedy said.
Initiatives such as the temporary suspension of recruitment activities and a modest retirement incentive are measures introduced to help mitigate impact on the public service. There are approximately 9,000 employees in the core public service.