Carol Furlong says NAPE bumping hopefully over soon
The president of the province's largest public-sector union is hopeful that layoffs and job bumping from last spring's budget cuts will soon be over.
NAPE president Carol Furlong said there are still about 30 workers who still don't know if they will be bumped into other positions.
The layoffs stemmed from the cuts to the public sector in the last provincial budget released earlier this year.
Furlong said disputed cases are being handled by an independent tribunal, but it has a backlog because some resources were diverted for contract talks.
"When government announced the layoffs, there were a number of people who tried to identify positions that they could move into. Under the collective agreement, they had an entitlement to exercise bumping privileges," she said.
"Some of them identify jobs of people who are junior and seniority to that, and had identified them but were denied the right to move into those positions for any number of reasons, and very often it was the employer who said, 'Well, you didn't meet the qualifications for that job.'"
She said this has left a lot of workers in limbo.
"They're at home, they don't know if they're going to be getting jobs, they don't know should they be looking for other jobs. That bumping process itself, let me tell you from personal experience, is a very difficult process to go through," Furlong said.
According to Furlong, the whole experience can be a source of negativity for people awaiting decisions.
"You, in fact, become the person who's moved another individual out of a job at the end of it all and it's a very, very tormenting kind of experience that you go through."
Furlong said some of the workers who have been out of a job have been drawing employment insurance while they wait, but others have found work in the private sector or even left the province.