Nova Scotia

Union says civil servants against relocation

The head of the union representing civil servants says the vast majority of empoloyees who are affected by the province's decentralization plan will not move.

Nova Scotia government is moving dozens of jobs to small communities

Joan Jessome says the vast majority of workers will not move with their jobs. (CBC)

The head of the union representing civil servants says the vast majority of employees who are affected by the province's decentralization plan will not move.

Joan Jessome met with maintenance enforcement workers Tuesday night. Their jobs are moving to New Waterford, Cape Breton. Eleven of those employees currently work in nearby Sydney.  But 25 people in the department live in Kentville, Halifax and Amherst.

Jessome said not one of the 25 is planning to move.

"Unequivocally, every one of the offices said that there's no intention for them, as far as they know, nobody is going to move with their job," she said. "Most of them are saying, 'My husband or wife lives here. My kids are in school. We require two incomes to survive'."

Jessome does not expect the resistance to stop the government's plan, but she said it may delay the process as the province will have to hire and train completely new staff.

Maintenance enforcement workers are responsible for making sure court orders are enforced for parents who owe child support.

Jessome said the relocation plan will create a void in the service and a gaping hole in the level of expertise in the department.

Other departments affected

Jessome said the Fisheries and Aquaculture employees are also turning down the government's offer to move.

Twenty-two fisheries jobs are heading to the Digby-Clementsport area, while 12 aquaculture positions are going to Shelburne County.

"I wouldn't say that it's 100 per cent but it's really high," she said.

Employees have until June 20 to decide if they want to relocate or try to find another government position. Nearly 100 employees are affected by the relocation plan.

Jessome is asking the workers to hold off on making a final decision until the union can get more answers from the government.

But she said the employees are only asking about their rights if they are laid off. She said not one asked what would be covered if they accept the transfer.

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