The federal government is laying off 179 second-language employees at the Canada School of Public Service.
“This is the shutting down of an entire service that was running reasonably well,” Larry Rousseau from the Public Service Alliance of Canada told the Sun Friday.
Employees found out around 1 p.m. Friday and roughly 126 of those workers are in Ottawa and Gatineau.
Their jobs will be outsourced.
The cuts affect mostly instructors and some administrators.
Out of the 179 workers, 61 are permanent staff who could be sent to other departments.
But the remainder are on contract and as of March 31 “they’re gone — so sad,” said Rousseau.
The teachers provide bilingual training for other public servants.
Language training dollars don’t have to be spent at CSPS, said Rousseau, adding many times, money is spent on the same person twice.
“Departments were sending people to the private schools and then sending them back to CSPS,” said Rousseau.
“The fact is that the departments were very satisfied with the services of the Canada School because the quality of the training was much higher.”
The government is defending the layoffs, calling CSPS a small player in the direct delivery of language training, noting most of the money spent on it goes to private schools, universities, and colleges.
Rousseau says otherwise.
“If it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it,” he said.