About 2,400 Ontario public servants take buyout packages
Treasury Board says the buyout will help the government deal with an $11.7-billion deficit
Ontario’s Treasury Board announced it would cut back 2,400 public service employee jobs, which is expected to bring $190 million back to government coffers.
The Progressive Conservative government previously-announced the Transition Exit Initiative and Voluntary Exit Program, or buyout program, will generate ongoing annual savings of around $215 million per year, beginning in 2021-22.
Peter Bethlenfalvy, president of the Treasury Board, said the cost savings generated through the voluntary exit options are part of the government’s plan to restore fiscal sustainability in the province.
“Streamlining and modernizing the Ontario Public Service (OPS) builds on our ongoing work to change the culture of government, find efficiencies and ensure we are investing in core programs and services,” Bethlenfalvy said.
OPS employees submitted about 3,300 applications between December 2018 and February 2019, said Bethlenfalvy.
“Since being elected, the government has made great strides in setting Ontario on a sustainable path to fiscal balance – while protecting front-line services, and public sector jobs,” said Bethlenfalvy. “These measures complement our ongoing work to restore sustainability to the province’s finances while protecting critical services that matter most to the people of Ontario – like health care and education. In doing so, we are building a more modern and efficient public service.”
In Ontario, public sector compensation represents roughly half of all government expenditures, totalling $72 billion annually.
Collectively, provincial public sector organizations employ an estimated 1.2 million workers across multiple sectors.
The expanded Voluntary Exit Program was made available for non-bargaining staff, managers and senior executives in the Ontario Public Service beginning in December 2018. The application period for that program is now closed.