Saskatoon

SEIU-West says premier should discuss cutting Sask. government jobs with union

The president of a union representing more than 13,000 government employees in Saskatchewan is disappointed the premier is talking about possibly cutting government jobs without reaching out to it first.

Brad Wall says 'everything must be on the table' to reduce $1B deficit

Barbara Cape, president of the Service Employees International Union’s western Canada branch, says she's disappointed in the premier making comments about possibly cutting jobs without speaking to the union first. (Peter Mills/CBC)

The president of a union representing more than 13,000 government employees in Saskatchewan is disappointed the premier is talking about possibly cutting government jobs without reaching out to it first.

"My premier is musing about these sorts of things in a year-end interview instead of actually having these conversations with the unions and the members that he's talking about," said Barbara Cape, president of the Service Employees International Union's western Canada branch.

In his year-end interview with CBC, Brad Wall said he wants to get to work on reducing the province's billion-dollar deficit and said cutting government jobs is one option.

"Everything must be on the table," Wall said.

Brad Wall told CBC News that "everything must be on the table" as the province works to reduce its billion-dollar deficit. (CBC)

Cape said that in health care and education, front-line workers are already stretched thin.

"They're running to provide care. They're running to provide classroom time," said Cape. "And quite frankly, I'm not sure where our premier thinks we can be cutting any staff and still provide those important services."

All of the challenges being faced by the province when it comes to finances are also being faced by the union's members, Cape said. She said any effort to reduce the deficit must be thoughtful and methodical.

In his interview, Wall said 60 per cent of the province's expenditures go to human resources wages.

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