Talks of privatizing cleaning services throughout all government-owned building in Saskatchewan has brought an angry response from the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union – or SGEU.
A government spokesperon says the ministry of central services is in talks to decide whether or not it would be beneficial to hire private sector workers to provide cleaning services.
SGEU’s president says this move will result in 251 job cuts.
Bob Bymoen says it’s unethical.
“They’re cutting the jobs of the lowest paid public servants in the province. Why? Because they’re incapable of managing our economic situation, so they cut the jobs of these Saskatchewan people trying to make a living,” says Bymoen.
Although the government isn’t able to say how much contracting out custodial services will save, the SGEU says in many cases the government will pay a contractor a similar dollar amount per hour.
“It’s reprehensible to fire 251 people without knowing how much this will save, or whether it will even save anything at all,” says Bymoen. “What’s this government’s motive, then? All previous governments have found value in these workers. This move will only put more minority and female workers in our province below the poverty line. It smells of a class war led by the Premier.”
Bymoen adds that this move could end up costing the province more money in the long run.
The ministry has submitted a request for services which will remain open until Feb. 10.
There are currently 30 government-owned buildings across the province in which private sector employees are already employed.
In an email, a government spokesperson says the ministry is currently looking for savings in the private sector and this process is in the “early stages” of examination.
“The Ministry of Central Services is in the early stages of a process to examine if there is value in transitioning cleaning services for government buildings across the province to the private sector,” said the spokesperson.