Pallister Government announces potential lay-offs as it prepares to shut down Real Estate Services Division
Nov 28, 2018
The Government of Manitoba is contracting out the jobs of MGEU members and laying off up to 11 employees in the government’s Real Estate Services Division (formerly Crown Lands and Property Agency), effective March 30, 2019.
The current civil service collective agreement, which includes a “no-lay-off” clause, expires March 29, 2019. And while the agreement remains in effect until a new one is negotiated and ratified, the “no-lay-off” provision ends on the expiry date of the contract.
The government informed the MGEU in a letter that they will contract out additional appraisal work from the division and will be dissolving the division’s Special Operating Agency status, impacting one term employee and 10 regular employees who work in Portage la Prairie.
MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky says the move is deeply concerning for all Manitobans, not just those impacted by the layoffs in Portage.
“What is the Premier getting ready to do by laying off the people who handle the sale of our publicly-owned land? Is he planning to hold a fire sale of our crown land? There is something deeply unsettling about this closure for all Manitobans. The Premier needs to tell Manitobans what is really behind this cut.”
The impacted employees who work in the Real Estate Services Division are responsible for processing all Crown land sales, leases and permits, as well as land appraisal, acquisition, expropriation and other related real estate services to government. They provide a single point of service to the public for all transactions involving provincial Crown land in Manitoba, and serve as an in-house real estate services provider for all departments of the Manitoba government.
The government says they will attempt to secure alternate positions for these employees in the Civil Service, but if no other positions can be found they will be laid off effective March 30, 2019.
“These are more good local jobs being cut from yet another rural Manitoba community by this government. It’s pretty clear the Premier doesn’t care about these people who live right in his hometown,” said Gawronsky.
This is not the first Special Operating Agency to be shut down by the Pallister Government. The Green Manitoba Eco Solutions agency was shuttered and the Pineland Forest Nursery will end operations by the end of the year.