Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO’s leaders say the Ford government must address many unanswered questions surrounding its budget announcement to cut government jobs in the Greater Toronto Area.
OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick says it’s irresponsible to put a vague reference in the budget of a plan that will affect the lives of thousands of people.
“Our members are feeling anxious about what this means to their lives,” says Hornick. “We should have been consulted about this before the government put this out there.”
Hornick says there is a need to expand access to public services around the province, but this should not come at the expense of downsizing in the Greater Toronto Area.
She also points out that most organizations in both the public and private sectors rely on the GTA as the biggest source of skilled professionals and the Ontario Public Service is no exception.
“The way to find qualified people is to provide better compensation and eliminate anti-worker laws like Bill 124,” Hornick added.
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President Laurie Nancekivell says the government is continuing to privatize services and she is concerned that could be part of the government’s scheme to relocate jobs outside the GTA.
“I hope this relocation plan isn’t a cloak for another round of privatization,” said Nancekivell. “Under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government moved more Service Ontario jobs to private companies and this relocation might be more under-the-table privatization.”
The government brought in a hiring freeze in the OPS four years ago and Hornick says the focus should be on filling scores of vacant positions.
“The government’s hiring freeze has left so many vacancies that it’s affecting the delivery of quality public services,” said Hornick. “The government should focus on improving services rather than shuffling office chairs from one community to another.”
For more information: Steve Fairbairn, Communications Supervisor, 416-802-1074; OPSEUCommunications@opseu.org