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July 5, 2005
For immediate release

Government Provides Four-Month Working Layoff Notice to Employees

Provincial Treasury

This week Government is giving a four-month layoff notice to 330 employees. The notice follows the notification of “affected” status to employees who are in positions affected by reorganization efforts currently underway in Government departments. As the reorganization process unfolds, many employees who receive layoff notice will secure employment, as competitions are already underway for new or existing vacant positions in the reorganized government departmental structures.

There are approximately 225 vacant positions within the Civil Service, including the new Department of Health and the Department of Social Services and Seniors, where there is a good potential of a match between qualifications for the position and qualifications of the employee under layoff.

Government recently announced that all regional health authorities and the Provincial Health Services Authority will be reorganized into a new Department of Health and a Department of Social Services and Seniors.

Approximately 280 employees are receiving a notice of layoff within Health and Social Services. Approximately 20 are receiving notice of layoff in the Department of Agriculture and the remaining 40 layoff notices apply to various positions throughout Government.

Government budget reduction initiatives are about bringing the size and structure of government in line with what the province can afford. Government is streamlining services to reduce duplication and increase integration of services.

This layoff notice will remain in effect from July 5, 2005 to late October, or mid November, 2005, depending on labour agreements. Some layoff periods may be extended at Government’s discretion depending on duties required for transition during reorganization. It is a working layoff notice and gives affected employees the opportunity to identify and compete for positions in new organizational structures or vacant positions throughout Government.

The Public Service Commission is coordinating the information on vacant positions which will include the qualifications required for the various positions.

Provincial Treasurer Mitch Murphy said, “Although we recognize that this is a difficult time for Government employees, we feel employees are being given a fair opportunity to examine their career options.”

Notices are given to employees due to a shortage of work or funds, the completion of the duties within a position, a material change in duties, or reorganization efforts.

The layoff process for unionized employees follows the collective agreement of each union. There are displacement rights – sometimes known as “bumping” in unionized situations.

Minister Murphy further commented that, “Government budget reduction initiatives and reorganization initiatives are about bringing the size and structure of government in line with what the Province can afford. Program expenditures have grown higher than the money we take in for three reasons – spiraling program costs, decreased federal funding and unforseen events.” The Public Service Commission is working closely with human resource professionals to assist affected employees secure employment. Work is continuing to ensure these employees have fair access to new or vacant positions in government departments. To help employees subject to layoff to secure work, they are being invited to sessions to develop skills in job search, interviewing, resume writing, and coping with change.

Following the end of the layoff notice period, if employees have not secured employment, they can be put on a 18-month recall list or accept a severance payment.

Media Contact: Mitch Murphy
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