Earlier, we exclusively reported the provincial government has floated the idea of a one-time voluntary workweek reduction program for bureaucrats between the months of July and August. This, as a means of preventing civil service layoffs. But former senior provincial bureaucrat Doug McArthur - the deputy minister to two New Democrat premiers - is questioning whether that program will actually avert government downsizing.
"I think, on the whole, reduced hours in the summer may be more acceptable to employees than layoffs and a bit more gentle," Mr. McArthur told Public Eye. "But I think we're still going to see the other shoe drop and we're going to see layoffs after the election because of the financial crisis."
Moreover, Mr. McArthur said the program will impact government services. "Where it will be felt in particular is places where the work doesn't go down - it increases when you have a recession. And we've got a bad recession - where children and those in need are at risk. And they'll be fewer people to provide the services" during the summer months.