Bureaucrats who keep jobs still get fat severance cheques
CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas (C) stands with awards hostess, Catherine Briere and Porky the Waste Hater during the 4th annual Teddies Waste Awards black tie ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 7th, 2012. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)
OTTAWA -- It's severance pay without the severance.
Bureaucrats are getting thousands of dollars in payments -- even when they keep their jobs, retire or quit.
There are reportedly 27 labour agreements that allow workers to rack up severance cash and get payouts when they aren't losing their jobs.
The feds have insisted that the gold-plated perk be stopped, but taxpayers are still on the hook for everyone in the system prior to October 2010.
"Union leaders looked across the negotiating table at a bunch of spineless putzes who sold out the taxpayers who depend on them," Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Gregory Thomas said, taking aim at the Treasury Board.
Thomas says Canadians could have to cough up more than $1 billion in phantom severance entitlements.
When most Canadians quit their jobs, they give their bosses two weeks notice and then leave -- and business owners say that's the real world.
"We are spending billions of dollars to give severance to people who are not losing their jobs. It makes no sense whatsoever -- I am sure the lake-house market in Ottawa must be booming right now -- it's outrageous," said Dan Kelly, spokesman of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. "If you work for the civil service for 30 years, not only do you retire to one of the best pensions available, but you get a cheque for $50 grand to cushion the blow en route to your dream retirement."
Kelly warns this happens at the provincial levels too.
The NDP opposition is trying to support their labour base while empathizing with taxpayers.
"People are going to be quite steamed, but they should take their ire out on the people who are managing the store, not the people who are in the store," said Paul Dewar, NDP MP for Ottawa Centre, where many bureaucrats live. He says more trouble lies ahead when it comes to real layoffs. "We are hearing about people who are going to be laid-off, with packages given, and the government's going to need their services so they will turn around and hire them back, this happened with the Liberals with the massive cuts in 1995."
The Public Service Alliance of Canada said it was too busy to speak with QMI. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada says on their website that their government workers get paid far less than those in the private sector, so the severance pay-outs are justified.