For the first time in my 18 years of on-again, off-again, employment with the provincial government, I might be forced onto a picket line in 2013.
In this era of government-imposed contracts and the pattern bargaining process of government legislated end to strikes, I wonder, what is the purpose of job action?
For a glimpse of the future, one only has to look back at how past governments have imposed their will on the public service. The “Clyde Lied” and “Out till the cows come home” campaigns resulted in strikers being sent back to work with empty pockets and imposed contracts.
They apply a different standard to political hires. Partisanship trumps experience, education and ability. The Public Service Commission has been all but neutered.
Fairness, years without raises, giving up benefits to protect public pensions means nothing. It is not a matter of what has been given, but what can be stripped this time around.
The government is to blame. This current crisis, the ¾ of a Billion Dollar deficit, is the result of poor planning. It is also a construct; designed to ensure that an envious public will not support the “overpaid” public service when the government cuts to the bone.
How real is the “crisis”? While I have questioned the extent, growth, & sustainability of the current public service, there are other factors to consider.
Our government had a total of $5.5 BILLION in cumulative surpluses from 2005-06 to 2011-2012. We have a record of $9.7 billion in Investment in 2012, a jump of 31%, with more increases in the next few years.
The government has a two-year period of deficits before getting back to projected surpluses. Is the sky really falling?
The new Muskrat Falls legislation offers expansive security for Nalcor, but strips any protection for individual ratepayers. Unjustifiably high salaries for cronies are acceptable but public servants need to curb expectations.
The government is counting on the public to shrug their shoulders in apathy towards the plight of those over-paid, under-worked public servants.
For those in the private sector, beware!
How the government treats it’s employees will set the mood for bargaining in the private sector.