Opposition Leader Tony Wakeham says government needs to be more efficient in finding ways to fill vacancies in the public sector.
The President of CUPE Local 1860, the union representing construction and maintenance staff at NL Housing, Jerry Butler, is raising the alarm over work being contracted out after the provincial government issued a call for bids to renovate and repair 143 shuttered NL Housing units in the province.
Butler says instead of filling job vacancies and paying overtime to help fix up units, government is contracting out the work to the private sector at what he says will be greater cost.
In response, Wakeham says that government introduces measures without any plans. He points to health care human resources as a prime example.
He says full-time nurses are leaving jobs to go to work for agencies where they can make more money and points to vacancies in government for the last three years.
Wakeham says if the private sector can find ways to hire people, so can government.
He says government has the positions on the books to do the job, but the problem is, they haven’t bothered to go out and hire people to do the work.
“Let’s get the positions filled, and let’s get the work done,” says Wakeham.