Up to 50,000 jobs could be lost from Canada’s Public Service as the Government pushes for ever-deeper cuts.
President of The Canadian Association of Professional Employees, Claude Poirier said his union estimated 110,000 jobs could disappear — including 50,000 in the Public Service — if the Government presses ahead with spending reductions of $C8 billion ($A7.5 billion) by 2014-15.
“If they do that, there is a major risk of creating a recession,” Mr Poirier said.
He said the scale of the reductions estimated by the union were in line with the latest projections from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), which estimated job losses could hit between 98,000 and 108,000.
Of those, it said 53,000 would disappear in the Public Service, with the rest coming from the private sector.
Economist with the CCPA, David Macdonald said deeper cuts could push the country’s unemployment rate to eight per cent.
He said the National Capital Region, where most Departments had their headquarters, would be hardest hit, with between 16,000 and 30,000 jobs disappearing.
Mr Macdonald said the Government initially said it wanted to cut $C4 billion ($A3.7 billion) but was now assessing whether to accelerate those savings over two years rather than three.
This could have a significant impact on the ability of Departments to manage any staff cuts and layoffs under the existing job security provisions of the employees’ contracts.
He said the Public Service had not managed a major downsizing in more than decade, a period during which Departmental budgets and staff grew steadily.
He said some managers had never read the workforce adjustment provisions of employees’ contracts, which were aimed at ensuring continuity of work and finding new jobs for employees whose jobs were cut or whose work was discontinued.
President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service, Gary Corbett said the call for bigger and faster cuts was a huge shock to the system that was catching many managers off guard.
“I talk to managers in the regions who say they are getting no direction from Ottawa and the cuts are coming down so fast that they are overwhelmed,” Mr Corbett said.
“It’s all happening so fast, creating lots of confusion and too much work for managers to do.”
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