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BC considers 30 percent cut to public services

Province already has leanest public sector in Canada.

BC Premier Gordon CampbellFebruary 26, 2009 — The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says its shocked to hear Premier Gordon Campbell talking about a massive 30 percent cut in public services over the next five years.

"This is disturbing news because we already have the leanest public service in the country," says BCGEU president Darryl Walker.

"So the loss of 30 percent of public sector jobs over the next five years will result in serious cuts in critical services that British Columbians rely on," he says.

"With such a big decline in the number of front-line workers, we think that Premier Gordon Campbell has an obligation to tell British Columbians what services his government will no longer provide.

"What will British Columbians have to do without? Services to protect children? Environmental protections? Or income support programs to help families affected by the economic downturn?"

Walker says the premier's public musings are a big setback for efforts to rebuild B.C.'s public service and address recruitment and retention challenges after the damage caused by deep cuts implemented by the Liberals from 2001 to 2004.

"We thought that we were making some progress working together to improve the image of the public sector as a stable, rewarding place to work and an attractive career choice for young workers to consider," says Walker.

"The premier's comments will torpedo all the headway we've made on the recruitment front. What it really sounds like is that the B.C. Liberals want to use surmountable recruitment and retention challenges as a smokescreen to make massive cuts in programs and services."

Links and sources
  BCGEU shocked at prospect of 30% public sector cut, by, February 26 2009

Posted: February 26, 2009

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