Under Doug Ford’s Conservatives, the size of the public service has grown from 68,000 to 65,500 full-time employees, according to the Ontario Treasury Board. This is a 3.7% reduction in Mr. Ford’s takeover at the end of June to March.
And this figure could grow over the next few months.
In addition to ordering a hiring freeze in the public sector at the very beginning of its mandate, the Ford government has made it its mission to reduce the size of the public service without layoffs – either by attrition or voluntary departures.
In December, the province expanded its two voluntary departure programs to allow non-union managers and non-union staff to benefit until the end of February.
The government is reviewing these requests and the total number of voluntary separations has yet to be finalized, the Treasury Board, which administers the compensation of public servants and oversees labor relations, is e-mailed.
Staffing decisions will be made so that essential services provided to Ontarians are not compromised.
The Union of Ontario Public Service Employees ( OPSEU) believes that work will continue to be done through private sector consultants, a practice that the Auditor General criticized sharply in his latest report.
There will be a big impact at the front line level.
Delays in obtaining your birth certificate, driver’s license, slower service at Service Ontario branches, fewer employees […] for water treatment, highway repairs, apportioning of calls 911, fire departments in the north of the province, and so on , “says Thomas.
Approved voluntary departures:
- 1150 OPSEU members (580 waiting for an answer)
- 477 members of AMAPCEO
- 450 non-union managers
* CBC could not get figures from the Ontario Crown Counsel Association and the Ontario Government Engineers Union
After calling for a meeting with the Prime Minister several times, the OPSEU President’shopes to sensitize Conservative backbenchers about the effects of cutbacks in their ridings.
For its part, the government intends to continue offering its two voluntary departure programs to unionized employees until the end of the year.
These incentives give employees the choice and flexibility to make their own career decisions, while allowing the government to modernize and reallocate its resources where it is needed most , says Treasury Board.