First wave of federal budget cuts hits British Columbia – workers in 23 departments affected

VANCOUVER, April 11, 2012 /CNW/ – The Public Service Alliance  of Canada, the largest federal public sector union in the country, says that over 5,000 federal public service workers in 23 Government Departments received notices today saying they could lose their jobs.

“Here in British Columbia,” says Bob Jackson PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President for BC,” over 200 workers are affected, including 49 Client Service Agents at the Department of Veterans affairs – representing 12% of the total departmental workforce in the province, 44 positions at Citizenship and Immigration, 41 at the Department of National Defence, 42 at the Public Health Agency and Health Canada, and many more at other government departments.”

From Agriculture and Agri-food Canada to CFIA to Transport Canada to Environment Canada to the Department of Economic Diversification, these cuts will damage the public services Canadians rely on and, worse, will hurt the economy – locally, regionally, and nationally.

“This is just the beginning,” Jackson continues, “The government admits over 19,000 direct job losses, and this number doesn’t include losses stemming the government’s ongoing strategic review, from cuts to organizations like CBC, and the spin-off effect in the private sector.”

The federal government is rushing cuts through very quickly after the release of the budget without telling Canadians what this will actually mean for the services federal government workers provide.

“Of course, we’re worried about our members, and the effect the uncertainty of today’s news will have on their lives,” concludes Jackson, “But we’re also worried – our members tell us they’re worried – about what the cuts will mean for the services they provide and the increased burden on the remaining workers. Many Departments were overburdened before these cuts, and this is only making matters worse.”

The PSAC is calling on the federal government to re-think their choices and deliver a budget that works for Canadians.

For further information: Patrick Bragg, PSAC, (778) 889-3486 (cell)