There has been much criticism about a new tentative agreement between government and the province’s largest public sector union.
Among the items covered under the agreement—which VOCM News has obtained a copy of—is a no lay-off clause.
That’s raised numerous questions especially among the business community. As the agreement stipulates, the layoff clause is for the duration of the collective agreement, which is defined as concluding March 31 of 2020.
The clause also outlines that government “not layoff for reasons other than lack of work or abolishment of a position that would be considered business as usual in the course of normal employer relations.”
The President of the St. John’s Board of Trade says she’s irritate over the no-layoff clause. Dorothy Keating calls it a huge fiscal problem for the province.
She says as an employer, you do not give away your fundamental right to control the size of your workforce, she says it just makes no sense.
Keating told VOCM Open Line with Paddy Daly, this could cost the province for a long time, and says our children will end up paying for this through raised taxes.
However, when VOCM News questioned Finance Minister Tom Osborne he says in cases where a clear definition of duration is outlined, that clause does not live on.
As for layoffs, to suggest that there will be no layoffs at all is simply not true, according to Osborne.
He says through the normal course of operations there are layoffs, but there will be no mass layoffs for budgetary purposes.