Ottawa is doling out hundreds of thousands of severance cheques to public servants - even though most of them aren't actually losing their jobs or even changing desks.
The $6 billion dollar buy-out will put an end to a clause in their contracts that was seen as being too costly to continue.
Some argue the spending spree is needed now to save money later, but an analysis piece by CBC's National Affairs Specialist Greg Weston called the situation "jaw-dropping."
"While federal budget cuts are sending some public servants to the unemployment line, most of those keeping their jobs will be laughing all the way to the bank with a pay raise and special lump-sum cheques of up to $150,000," he wrote.
Weston's article generated hundreds of comments, many of which expressed anger and shock.
The most active comment directed chagrin toward Prime Minister Stephen Harper, concluding that he "has to go." This statement set off a long thread of replies, which both blasted and defended Harper.
- "Harper didn't sign these agreements, this is the cost if dispensing with agreements (ridiculous ones albeit) which were signed by previous governments. Correcting stupid decisions is often expensive." - XaXiS78
- "VanDecker is correct. Gotta pay them their accumulated severance if your going to stop it. Cost of doing business." - MyVu12
- "These severance pay clauses existed in the government when I first joined in the 70s and it paid off when I retired. Right or wrong it was always going to be costly to get rid of them. The real savings are six or seven years down the road and the next generation of public servants won't know what they lost." - everyoneisgood
- "Rather than tear down those who are organized and getting fair wages for fair work, and these days, the ones I know 15 hours free unpaid overtime a week is 'fair work'..then get your act together and organize for labour rights." - Vain Zero
is it that because we get our paychecks from the government all of a
sudden makes us a bunch of lazy buffoons who don't deserve our pay? ... I work for the government and make a
comparable wage to someone doing the same job in the private sector.
Do I think I deserve severance pay? Not particularly, I can live without it. Do I think the government should cut a benefit promised to us without compensation? No. Imagine working for 30 years and having your pension taken away a year before you retire...it's a similar situation, many people planned their retirements around these severance payments." - MarkFade
article present a somewhat disingenuous vision of reality. Mr. Weston
writes that the federal government is ''handing a jaw-dropping $6
billion in severance payment''. Let's stop pretending this is yet
another scandalous golden handshake. It is rather a standard clause that
has been negotiated in every collective agreement between unions and
the Treasure Board for decades (and under both Liberal and Conservative
administrations, let's not pretend this is a party issue).
This time, instead of addressing the issue during collective agreement negotiations, the Government has decided to unilaterally drop this benefit, by means of legislating through an omnibus budget bill.
Make no mistake, nobody's laughing all the way to the bank. Public servants compensation packages are taking a hit." - Montreal79
MPs Andrew Saxton, Mathieu Ravignat and John McCallum also discussed the federal government's plan on CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon.
Thank you, as always, for following our coverage. Please feel free to comment on or challenge any of the points made above.
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