Sask. government announces privatization of cleaning services

The Government of Saskatchewan provided layoff notices to 230 employees who provide cleaning services in numerous government buildings Monday, and announced the 12 Saskatchewan-based private companies selected to provide the services instead.

The private companies are expected to take over on July 1.

The layoff notices will come into effect at the end of June. Employees from 17 communities are affected.

That includes Prince Albert employees working at the courthouse, Sask. Polytech and the L.F. Macintosh Building.

According to a press release issues by the department of Central Services, the decision will save about $3.5 million annually.

More than 1,000 bids from 65 companies were received through a request for services process, the release said.

The companies coming in have all agreed to hire the current employees affected by the decision.

While the government portrayed this as a benefit, the union representing the 230 workers affected had a different take.

“Cleaners deserve better than this. Now they’ll be able to reapply for their jobs for less pay,” SGEU president Bob Bymoen is quoted as saying in a news release.

“Where is the economic sense in that? Cutting these living-wage jobs will mean less money spent in local communities, more poverty-line wages and more people having to rely on our social safety net.”

For more on this story, please see the March 14 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.

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