Country park staff face the axe
More workers will lose their jobs in the government's latest round of streamlining, with 32 employees of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department being told last week their contracts will not be renewed after Lunar New Year.
The job losses accounted for a quarter of the 130 staff in the department's engineering division, who will be removed by March.
The move is expected to save up to HK$3 million a year in costs.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department last month axed 39 workers, but the decision was later revoked and their contracts, which would have been terminated this month, extended to year-end.
Unionist lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung yesterday demanded the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department reconsider its decision. 'These workers are all over the age of 40, where else can they go if they lose their jobs?'
A spokesman said the terminations were a result of a reduced workload in recent years.
However, the 32 workers, who are responsible for road repairs and other maintenance work in country parks for terms of five to nine years, said they did not feel there was less work to do.
Wong Fook-yee, the department's assistant director for country and marine parks, said on Tuesday that many construction projects in country parks that began three to four years ago had been completed and demand for such works was steadily decreasing.
The contracts of 19 employees had been extended by a few more months. Mr Leung will meet Dr Wong today to demand contract extensions for the whole group.