[CHARLOTTETOWN, PE] - The number of positions being cut at Veterans Affairs Canada headquarters in Charlottetown is in dispute.
A senior spokesman in Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney’s office reiterated Monday the number of department positions being reduced on P.E.I. is 22, at least for now. The office says that number will be reached without any layoffs.
The union representing VAC employees says the number is 55 with more to come.
The department had met with union members in Charlottetown last week to discuss workforce reduction.
“On Jan. 17, 2013, we began a process to reduce 22 positions from the over 1,000 strong workforce in PEI. With approximately 135 P.E.I. Veterans Affairs employees currently eligible to retire, we expect the vast majority of these reductions to be found through normal attrition, alternation and good human resource management," said press secretary Jean-Christophe de le Rue.
About 233 letters regarding staff reductions were sent out last week to Veterans Affairs Canada staff across the country, including those in Charlottetown.
"Downloading veterans' issues to Service Canada locations is, at best, spin for public consumption,” said John Percy, Veterans Affairs critic for the Green Party of Canada.
The City of Charlottetown believes that as many as 450 federal jobs are set to be eliminated in the Prince Edward Island capital.