It's only natural

Today, the Campbell administration announced the number of full-time equivalent positions in government will have decreased by 4,142 between fiscal 2008/09 and 2012/13. But which ministries will be hardest hit by those reductions? Well, according to the premier's deputy minister Allan Seckel, in the 2010/11 the answer seems to be natural resource ministries. But, in an email sent to bureaucrats, Mr. Seckel stated "further impacts" are also "anticipated at Shared Services BC as that organization continues its transformation." The following is a complete copy of the email.

From: Seckel, Allan
Sent: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 3:12 PM
Subject: Budget 2010 and the BC Public Service

As you know, today the Province released its budget for the 2010/11 fiscal year. As expected, it details another difficult year as we wait for an improving economic outlook to translate into improved revenues for government.

As it has for the last year, the government will continue to focus on protecting funding for health, education and other vital services. With a tighter than anticipated fiscal outlook for 2010/11, there are new incremental pressures among the natural resource ministries. As a result, those ministries must now make plans to manage that pressure and those plans will require additional workforce adjustment. In addition, as previously indicated, further impacts are anticipated at Shared Services BC as that organization continues its transformation into the new fiscal year.

We will continue to make every effort to minimize the impact through attrition as we have done over the last year. The natural resource agencies will explore a corporate approach to managing budget reductions that focuses on collaboration, collective efficiencies and integrated service delivery. Until all the planning is finalized, I am unable to share details of this round of impacts. However, I do expect that we will still keep the total number of impacted employees to less than five per cent of our workforce through to 2011/12 as we committed to do at this time last year. Employees in ministries with impacts can expect to hear additional information from their executives as they plan to manage their budget pressures. Of the 436 employees involved in the two rounds of workforce adjustment already initiated, more than 100 have subsequently found new opportunities elsewhere in government. We will continue to limit external hiring only to those critical positions that cannot be filled internally.

As was the case previously, we will not be offering any early retirement or voluntary departure incentives.

Finally, thank you to those involved in all the work that goes into the budget preparation. I know it requires a tremendous amount of effort by many employees all across government. I also know it is a task made all the more difficult by the current economic and fiscal challenges we are facing together.

The BC Public Service will, as we always have, make every effort to support you as best we can while we all forge ahead amidst these tough times. While the overall impacts remain relatively low, I do appreciate that this touches us all as colleagues. I know that many of you, even if your position is not impacted, have felt the pressure of this economic situation in some way. Your continued professionalism and dedication is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Allan Seckel
Deputy Minister to the Premier and
Head of the BC Public Service

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