Finance Minister Mishandling NAPE

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(709) 753-6043


Party Email Address

Monday, January 22, 2018

January 22, 2018


For Immediate Release


Finance Minister Creating Confusion by Mishandling NAPE Contract


Keith Hutchings, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition, said, "Finance Minister Tom Osborne has created confusion and conflict throughout the province by not being able to explain how elements of a tentative NAPE contract‎ apply, and is leaving uncertainty related to the negotiation of other collective bargaining contracts."


Hutchings said, "Under the current proposed NAPE contract, the leadership of NAPE is indicating that the no-layoff clause will become a permanent part of the contract, while the Finance Minister says it is temporary but demonstrates no language in the agreement that confirms his position. In fact, the Minister confirms the provision will stay in place until the next new collective agreement is signed, which could certainly extend beyond the remaining two years of the current contract. The lack of a clearly worded sunset clause in the contract is the cause of this confusion. If negotiations intended the provision to be temporary, any current or additional contract should simply say so. The wording appears to box the government in for any future decisions on managing expenditures related to the public service.”


"This lack of clarity has created a war of words between NAPE and the St. John's Board of Trade, which says a contractual commitment to no layoffs would restrict the province's ability to manage its finances in tough times. The Finance Minister should be bringing labour and business communities together to create a healthy environment for economic growth, but instead of fostering cooperation, this issue has now pitted groups against each."


Hutchings said, "Having apparently failed to include a clear sunset clause for the no-layoff provision, the government is creating a tough environment for future collective bargaining and a template for confusion for other public bargaining contracts. NAPE is clearly going to argue that the clause is a permanent part of the contract, as they are suggesting, and in future years the government of the day will have this provision as a starting point for future contract negotiations. All of this could have been avoided by clear contract language‎."


"In an environment of low oil revenues, the government requires room to maneuvre‎. One option to cope with the revenue crunch is to reduce the size of government, primarily through attrition and a parallel process of reviewing all service delivery models, as suggested in our Budget 2015. The current government's Budget 2016 and Budget 2017 have shown no such desire to take on the challenge," said Hutchings.




Media Contact:


Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications, Office of the Official Opposition


(709) 729 6105,


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