Unpaid days off for the public sector is being considered as the provincial government wrestles with a $1.2-billion deficit.
It’s estimated if every public sector employee takes one unpaid day off, the province would save $11 million.
The idea comes from Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister who is considering a similar move in his province.
Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said he believes that option is more attractive than lowering wages.
“He’s talking about actually asking employees to take a day off unpaid without pay and it is something that would be under consideration here as well,” Doherty explained.
Everything is on the table as the government looks to get back in the black and that includes wage rollbacks, job cuts and tax increases.
Unions and public sector management are in discussions to find ways to make savings.
“We’re asking them to have those kind of conversations, whether it’s reduced work hours or unpaid days off or wage concessions,” Doherty said.
The budget comes down March 22, leaving many in the public sector to worry and speculate about what they’re going to face.
But employees will get to keep one thing.
“If anyone is worried about losing their vacation time that is just not on right now,” Doherty confirmed, adding that the carrying over vacation time is being reviewed.
“We are asking that there to be a standard across government for managers to work together that the vacation liability, their vacation carry over is minimized.”
The deficit is currently at $1.2 billion.