Article Revised: March 28, 2019
Recently, the city of Kawartha was asked an interesting question: Does Lean Six Sigma cut government jobs? According to a report from Kawartha Lakes This Week, the city says its Lean Six Sigma initiative has not resulted in the loss of any full time jobs, though some seasonal positions were cut. Here are the details.
- Kawartha Lakes adopted Lean Six Sigma two years ago in order to find efficiencies and cost savings. This past February, the city council reported that the first round of projects has saved the city $3 million.
- A Heavy Truck Utilization report presented to the council in January indicated that Kawartha Lakes could save $38,000 a year by contracting out four snow plow routes and reduce annual labor costs for the four routes by more than $241,000.
- The local union not only disputed these numbers but also says that the snow plow decision led to seven people losing their jobs.
- The union also argued that the jobs lost were those of local individuals, whereas the contracts are awarded to companies whose employees don’t live in Kawartha Lakes.
- The city states that two of the routes were contracted out last year after several job postings failed to yield qualified applicants.
- Five season workers were laid off, the city stated, but received call back rights until 2015 as well as the opportunity to apply for other positions with the city and to maintain their seniority position.
- Front line employees are involved in all of the Lean Six Sigma projects that the city undertakes, including members of the union, a Kawartha Lakes representative said.
- A city representative explained that Lean Six Sigma projects aren’t about cutting jobs, they’re about working with staff and finding ways to improve processes.
Indeed, Lean Six Sigma isn’t about cutting jobs. It’s about doing those jobs more efficiently and delivering a better service to customers.