The chopping block: Which Sask. workers are getting cut in advance of budget

This week, the provincial government announced layoffs to cleaning staff, Executive Air employees and and Sask Gaming workers, which amounts to an estimated savings of close to $5 million on a projected $1.2-billion deficit.

Province estimates $5M in savings after more workers laid off this week

The layoffs have started in advance of the March 22 budget. (Stefani Langenegger/CBC)

This week, the Saskatchewan government announced layoffs to cleaning staff, Executive Air employees and Sask Gaming workers.

The cuts amount to an estimated savings of close to $5 million on a projected $1.2-billion deficit.

Here's the breakdown of who has lost their job so far:

Cleaners cut

Jobs lost: 230.
Estimated savings: $3.5 million annually, beginning next year.

On Monday, the government laid off 230 unionized cleaners.

A dozen private companies were selected to take over cleaning 95 government buildings.

Those companies have said they will hire the former employees but they won't have to pay them what they were making. Six of the companies will be made up of former employees. 

The Ministry of Central Services calculated the current cost for cleaning services at $11 million; it said the private sector cost is $7.5 million.

Severance payments will cost $3 million.

That means the government estimates it will save $3.5 million starting next year.

Airplanes grounded

Jobs lost: Nine.
Estimated savings: $700,000 to $1 million.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Central Services announced it would be shutting down its Executive Air service.

Since 1965, the provincial government has used the air service to fly MLAs, the lieutenant-governor and senior government officials across the province.

A dozen workers are affected, nine of whom have received layoff notices.

The Executive Air fleet of government-owned planes has been flying the premier and cabinet around the province since 1965. (CBC)

According to the ministry, air travel has already been significantly curtailed. There were only 165 flights in 2016, compared to 595 flights 10 years ago.

Officials project saving between $700,000 to $1 million in the next year.

Gaming workers let go

Jobs lost: Three.
Estimated savings: $295,000.

The pre-budget cuts continued as Sask Gaming reduced its responsible gaming unit from five positions to one — laying off three people — for an estimated savings of nearly $295,000.

The minister responsible, Christine Tell, said all employees at Casino Moose Jaw and Regina are trained to deal with problem gamblers.

"What Sask Gaming is doing is utilizing all those people. Instead of having set people, they are using the staff that are on the floor."

Job losses in Ministry of Environment

Jobs lost: 5.9 full-time equivalent positions.
Estimated savings: Unknown.

A government spokesperson confirmed that nine positions at the Ministry of Environment have been affected by a "reorganization."

"The changes to the ministry's structure will better position it to focus on client-centred service, find efficiencies and strengthen key policies, and align with the needs of government as a whole, including the fiscal realities of the province," said a government spokesperson in a written statement.

Nine positions are affected but the ministry said other jobs will be created, resulting in a reduction of 5.9 full-time equivalent positions.