The St. John’s Board of Trade has a meeting planned for next Wednesday with Finance Minister Tom Osborne to discuss the tentative deal reached with NAPE.
The Board of Trade is concerned with what they say is the absence of a sunset clause in the tentative agreement which is currently under ratification. It’s something they say will “bootstrap” the provincial government.
The tentative deal includes a no layoff clause, and an up-front payment for all employees with at least one year service up to a maximum of 20 years in lieu of the elimination of severance.
The tentative deal is actually 15 separate agreements.
According to a copy of the contract obtained by VOCM News, the no layoff clause only applies to layoffs outside normal operations – and protects jobs from mass layoffs intended only for budgetary reasons for the duration of the contract to March 31st, 2020. Minister Tom Osborne says the duration is clearly defined.
Board of Trade President Dorothy Keating says they are irate with what they have been hearing.
— stjohnsbot (@stjohnsbot) January 12, 2018
She says the minister himself indicated that just two years ago the province was concerned with the ability to meet payroll, and now, she says, they won’t be laying anyone off.
Minister Osborne says the clause does not mean that there can be no layoffs.
He says what the clause attempts to avoid is mass layoffs, with a more gradual approach.