Determinants of Permanent Workforce Reduction in Government: Evidence from Local Canadian Union Officials

Terry H. Wagar

DOI: 10.2190/VVEF-HX4K-Q038-2689


Few studies have examined the factors associated with the permanent reduction of government employees at the bargaining unit level. This article describes the results from a Canadian survey of 235 local union officials. Over a two-year period, 51.9 percent of local union officials indicated their bargaining unit had a permanent reduction of staff, with an average reduction of more than 15 percent of the unit. Factors related to the decision to reduce the workforce included the demand for the unit s primary service, membership support for the union, the presence of a strike, the perceived commitment of the employer to job security, workplace concessions, and progressive decision-making ideology.

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