Most of Mayor Rob Ford’s efforts to cut the budget deficit have been met with opposition, and it looks like his latest proposal will be no different. Recently, the National Post published an article written by David Whitten, partner of Whitten and Lublin, that provides a critical analysis of Ford’s voluntary buyout package for civil servants.
Under Ford’s program, applicants that meet management criteria can potentially receive up to 6 months’ pay in lump sum – and are scheduled to leave by the end of December.
Some of the outcomes Whitten predicts are as follows:
- A negative impact on service quality – The expedited transition process will likely leave a heavy burden on the remaining employees and have an even worse impact on unsuccessful applicants that have already become invested in moving on. Whitten explains that that this can lead to depression, a lack of motivation, and in some cases, anger.
- Potentially discriminatory criteria – the criteria will likely favour employees with greater seniority, which could result in an influx of human rights lawsuits for ageism and public exposure of management’s criteria for applicants.
- Less people running for the exit – This is the only upshot Whitten mentions. The fact that so little is offered in the package may entice more employees to stay and take their chances with a larger severance payout.
Although the buyout may appear to cut costs, Whitten’s article makes it abundantly clear that the city could end up paying more in the long run for this poorly thought out plan. The full article can be found *here*, and you can find some suggested alternatives near the end. Although budget cuts are necessary, Whitten’s conclusion that the plan is “unsophisticated and self-defeating” stands to be validated very soon.