Union reacts to plan to cut public service jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Union leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador are criticizing the provincial government’s decision to eliminate 1,400 public service positions through attrition.

Jerry Earle, president-elect of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, says the cuts will affect the services people receive from the government.

However, he says it’s too soon to tell which departments and agencies will be affected.

When the five-year plan was announced Monday, Finance Minister Ross Wiseman said the move would cut government costs by $300-million.

Wiseman says almost 40 per cent of core government workers are currently 50 or older, and that 9,000 employees will retire from public service over the next five years.

He says the government will replace eight out of every 10 who retire or quit, leaving the remaining 20 per cent of vacated jobs empty.