08 March 2013

No adult supervision #nlpoli

Not even 24 hours after the Premier insisted that the daily layoffs would continue until finance minister Jerome Kennedy delivered his budget speech,  Jerome issued a news release  - at 1:30 PM - announcing that they would be holding off on further layoff announcements until he delivered the budget speech.

As it turned out, NTV’s Mike Connors had tweeted around noon that the “Premier says government has decided to stop the trickle of layoffs until budget day.”  CBC’s David Cochrane tweeted the same thing.

Cochrane and Connors also noted that -  as Cochrane put it -  “Premier says more than 500 jobs will be cut in budget. Not all layoffs. There is retirement incentive. No more cuts until budget.”

Meanwhile, 17 employees in a raft of departments got word today that they were headed for the door. 

Apparently, those are the last ones until the budget speech.
Three things.

First, read the news release and you will see piles of words that served as cover for the 180 degree shift of direction on the layoff announcement.

Second, note the rapid change of direction.

Now for the biggie:

Anyone who thought about it for more than 30 seconds could have figured out long before now that announcing the layoffs in dribs and drabs was the worst possible way to go about it.  The approach caused stress for employees and made the politicians look like insensitive arseholes.

Not good.

But until sometime shortly before the Premier told Cochrane and Connors of the new plan on Friday,  the people running the province either didn’t notice this problem with their layoff announcements or they thought that the whole idea of six weeks of daily executions was just perfect.

That’s the part that should leave people with their jaws on the floor. This isn’t rocket science but apparently someone in the head shed couldn’t figure it out.  And if they did, they either never mentioned it or got over-ruled.

Holy crap on a cracker.

Now some people might think this cock-up can happen because Kathy Dunderdale has already burned through two communications directors in two years and is  - everyone assumes - hunting for the third one.

That theory conveniently forgets the highly paid communications crew  in the cabinet secretariat.  Any one of them should be able to develop a communications plan to handle a government-wide project as large as massive spending cuts and hundreds of layoffs.

So… either no one saw that these random shootings were a crappy idea or someone did and no one paid any attention.

Either way,  the provincial government has a humungous problem way up at the top of the Confederation Building tower or down on the fourth floor, wherever the Premier’s Office and the Cab Sec comms crew and currently holed up.

That problem is making all the other problems demonstrably much worse than they already are.