Telework: the health crisis will facilitate transfers of civil servants to Quebec
The Legault government could transfer to the regions more than the 5,000 civil servant positions promised by 2028, thanks to the new possibilities that teleworking in a pandemic has created for the entire territory of Quebec.
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“I think it will be a first step. […] I do not see why we could not be optimistic « , indicated in an interview the Minister responsible for Government Administration, who will announce her regionalization plan » in a few weeks « .
Within the government apparatus, reflection has been underway since the coming to power of François Legault, who made it an electoral commitment.
- Listen to journalist Marc-André Gagnon in an interview on QUB radio:
« We had started, before the pandemic, to go around the track, » said Mme LeBel. Each department and agency therefore undertook to identify the positions that could be relocated to the regions. But COVID-19 completely transformed the organization of work, which had the effect of reorienting the analysis.
« The level of difficulty we had before the pandemic was that we were in a traditional mode: civil servant in an office, a workspace, whereas there, with teleworking, we have just opened as to me new horizons ”, explained Mme LeBel.
Thus, several positions that may not have been targeted during the first round of the track are now.
It is because teleworking is here for good, which will transform the office spaces of the government. The percentage of offices owned is also set to increase (see below).
“The objective is three days of teleworking, two days at the office,” the minister said. […] Office spaces will no longer necessarily be the same […] We are more in a dynamic of shared hub than formal offices with a space assigned to each. «
Under the circumstances, it would therefore be “fairly logical” for the proportion of office space leased by the Quebec government to decrease in the future.
“Of course these are very real potential savings. «
“Regional economic development” is a criterion which will be at the heart of the process, repeated Mr.me LeBel.
“We will try to prioritize regions which naturally have greater socioeconomic needs. «
“What we also want is to improve the delivery of services to citizens and contribute to the occupation of the territory and develop the economy of the regions through stable jobs. «
« Local expertise »
Another desired outcome: the development of “regional expertise on local issues”, the absence of which is often deplored.
“It’s not just transferring positions to transfer positions. […] In my riding, in the Mékinac region, which is highly forested, one might think that people from certain departments such as Wildlife, Forests and Parks would be in an environment conducive to developing forestry expertise on the spot. «
As confirmed in the last provincial budget, the government intends to take advantage of retirements to fulfill its objective, or even more, while relying on employee volunteering.
BREAKDOWN OF THE REGULAR PUBLIC SERVICE WORKFORCE BY REGION
Source: Council Secretariat of the Treasury (March 2020)
75% of officials are currently teleworking *
* Excluding among others prison guards, road workers, etc.
Savings made over the past year thanks to teleworking
$ 56 million **
Reduction of overtime, travel costs, meal costs, etc.)
** As of December 31, 2020
- Rented 70%
- Owned 30 %
As of June 30, 2020
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