2014 Budget: Cuts on the Backs of Public Servants Setting the Stage for Tough Negotiations :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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February 12th, 2014
February 12th, 2014
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2014 Budget: Cuts on the Backs of Public Servants Setting the Stage for Tough Negotiations

The Jim Flaherty budget presented in the House of Commons on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, contains billions in cuts to benefits of former and current public servants.

The 2014 federal budget contains more of the same: cuts and austerity on the backs of public service employees.

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Three important elements of this budget for you:

1. The government wants to claw back sick leave benefits ($ 1.6 billion)
2. Two-year budget freeze for all departments, agencies and Crown corporations ($ 1.7 billion)
3. Heavier financial burdens for public service retirees ($ 7.4 billion)

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The Jim Flaherty budget presented in the House of Commons on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, contains billions in cuts to benefits of former and current public servants.

It's important to note that the government has already counted the savings coming from their anticipated claw backs to our sick leave system! As this is an issue still subject to collective bargaining in 2014, surely one can understand this government's level of respect for that process.

A two-year freeze in government spending is also contained in the budget. This freeze represents $1.7 billion in savings. This means that any future wage increase or increase in benefits of any kind will have to come from already squeezed departmental budgets.

Retiring civil servants will have to pay 50 % of their health plan costs, instead of the actual 25%. Employees will also not be eligible to participate in the program until they've worked for the government for six years, versus the current threshold of two years.

Essentially, this budget sets the stage for the 2015 elections. This analysis from CBC News highlights the fact the government definitely intends to play hardball in the next round of negotiations.

The anticipated budget surplus in 2015 will come at a huge cost to federal public servants and ultimately to all Canadians.

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