Ontario to save $215 million a year as 2,400 civil servants take buyouts

The province is trimming $215 million a year from its payroll as 2,400 civil servants take buyouts, says the cabinet minister who managed the government’s purse strings.

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy said Thursday the savings will take effect in 2021 as Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government works to a goal of eliminating annual budget deficits within five years.

“We are making progress in managing compensation,” added Bethlenfalvy, who last week proposed legislation to cap public service and teacher wage hikes at 1 per cent when existing contracts end. The Conservatives have not released an estimate of how much that would save.

The buyouts come with an upfront cost to taxpayers of $190 million. About two-thirds of 3,300 applications from unionized civil servants were approved as the government.