March 26, 2009 16:24 ET

Do Fewer Public Servants Mean Cuts in Service to the Public?

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2009) - The Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) expressed concern today about the Ontario Budget announcement proposing a 5% cut in public servants.

AMAPCEO President Gary Gannage said the measure has the potential to lead to a reduction in service to the public at precisely the time when Ontarians are relying on their government for help.

AMAPCEO is the largest bargaining agent representing professional public servants who work for the Government of Ontario - 11,000 employees working in all ministries and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions across the province and outside Canada.

Gannage, who noted that the Dalton McGuinty government has demonstrated support for public services and respect for public servants during its term in office, expressed concern for the potential impact on individual employees and their families and hoped for continued measures to mitigate against possible hardship.

The government has indicated that it anticipates being able to achieve its cuts through attrition. Although this is preferable to laying off employees, said Gannage, "any cuts in staff mean a higher workload for those who remain, which in turn has an obvious impact on the ability of public servants to implement government priorities".

One particular question raised by Gannage is whether a reduction in the number of public servants will result in an increase in the number of consultants used by the government. Both AMAPCEO and the province's Auditor-General have challenged the government's reliance on consultants in the past, in part because consultants typically cost more than hiring a professional public servant to do the work. Payments made to consultants do not come from the salary budget and consultants do not show up as part of the government's staff count.

In addition, according to Gannage, "the experience gained by a consultant is lost to the public when the consultant's contract is over, whereas the investment in employees, their skills and knowledge, along with their commitment and loyalty, remain with the public service for many years".


AMAPCEO is the largest bargaining agent representing professional employees in the Ontario Public Service. We represent 11,000 professional and supervisory public servants who work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in over 130 communities across the province and in ten cities outside Canada.

AMAPCEO also represents three bargaining units outside the OPS: the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, an independent office of the Ontario Legislature; the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene, the final psychiatric hospital divested from direct operation by the Ministry of Health; and the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, an independent crown agency.

Founded in 1992, AMAPCEO has established a strong record of negotiating strong and innovative collective agreements, of adopting a collegial, problem-solving approach to dispute resolution and of advocating for an apolitical professional public service as a critical component in Canada's system of parliamentary democracy.

AMAPCEO members include: policy and financial analysts, auditors, economists, program supervisors, mediators, arbitrators, patient advocates, scientists, veterinarians, media relations and communications officers, clinical co-ordinators, child and youth advocates and chaplains.

For further information about AMAPCEO and our members, please visit the AMAPCEO website:

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