The Department of National Defence (DND) recently announced the retendering of the contract for facilities management services at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Goose Bay to Serco, a private sector contractor. While continuity is preferable over a different company, the new contract will cut approximately 30 jobs.
Furthermore, the vague statement by Serco that they are still determining the impacts of this smaller workforce is a slap in the face to their workers.
For years now, the facility management services at CFB Goose Bay have been contracted out to Serco. PSAC-UNDE organized the workers of the private contractor early in this privatization effort. Currently PSAC-UNDE represents 245 members at CFB Goose Bay – 20 who work for DND directly and 225 who work for Serco.
In the recent report In the Interest of Safety and Security, PSAC-UNDE makes the case that contracting out of public services is the wrong approach. One of the reasons is the instability it creates both on bases and in local communities.
“Happy Valley-Goose Bay is a military town. People work on the base, work in jobs that depend on the base, or someone they know does,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward. “The loss of 30 good jobs will have a devastating impact on this small community.”
No rationale for reducing services at CFB Goose Bay has been provided by Serco. The Ministers of National Defence and of Public Service and Procurement Canada must be held to account and explain why they are allowing the loss of 30 jobs in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay community and what the real impacts of this decision will be.
“DND has a responsibility to the communities in which it operates”, says UNDE National President June Winger. “Whether it employs workers directly, or through a private contractor, leaving them without information like this is unfair.”
“I started my career at CFB Goose Bay in 1990”, said Atlantic REVP Colleen Coffey, “I know how hard these members work. This is no way to treat employees.”