WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says there’s room in the public sector for temporary reduced work weeks that would save the government money during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pallister says about one-quarter of public sector positions are seeing reduced demand because their offices are closed or members of the public are staying home.
The Progressive Conservative government announced earlier this week that it wants many workers to job share or accept unpaid days off each week while the pandemic continues.
Pallister needs the federal government to agree to change the rules on employment insurance so that provincial civil servants could qualify. He also needs public-sector workers to agree.
The premier says if Ottawa or the unions representing he workers don’t agree, there will no doubt be temporary layoffs.
The government expects the COVID crisis to take a $5-billion toll on the budget this year because of increased health-care spending and lower tax revenues from a slumping economy.
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