Saskatchewan privatizing food services in jails
8 correctional facilities affected in deal with Compass Group
The Saskatchewan government is privatizing food services at eight jails and related facilities, saying it will be more efficient and save taxpayers money.
The provincial government announced Wednesday it has signed a contract with the Compass Group Canada to provide the services for five years.
The facilities include the jails and youth facilities in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
The government says the change will save $12 million over the five years.
However, the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union, which represents jail workers, says the potential savings are exaggerated.
The province will have to create a structure to monitor and audit the new food service system, and that will cost money, the union says.
The union also says some 64 people will lose their jobs. It says this could be the first stage of a full-scale privatization of the jails.
The government didn't provide a specific number of layoffs, but said affected employees will be able to retrain as correctional workers or be helped by other provisions contained in the collective agreement.