Manitoba Government to Lay Off Translators
Nov 30, 2018
Continuing with their cuts to the Civil Service, the Manitoba Government has announced that it will be eliminating eight translator positions as of March 29, 2019, which also happens to be the date that the “no lay-off” clause of the current Civil Service collective agreement expires.
Members in this area have been told that the government’s goal is to contract out 80% - 90% of all translation work and have provided no assurances that employees will move to other areas in the Civil Service. Only a supervisor position and some administrative staff will remain once the layoffs take place.
President Michelle Gawronsky said the MGEU will continue to draw public attention to these cuts and is concerned that contracting-out this work will affect the ability to get important information out to Manitobans quickly. “If there’s a public health emergency and you don’t have these services available in-house to provide a quick translation, it’s that much more likely that there is going to be a delay,” she said.
The majority of documents translated by the Government is from English to French, and this will affect the Francophone community disproportionately.
“These are front-line job cuts. These are services that Manitobans use every day. For a Premier who promised he would make no front-line cuts to the Civil Service in the election, he’s not doing a very good job of keeping his word.”
As the government is aiming to increase the amount of pages translated per year, Gawronsky is also concerned that contracting out translation services will affect the quality of the work being done. Accuracy and timeliness have suffered as positions in this department were left unfilled.