The idea of working for IBM rather than the local government apparently doesn’t have much appeal to a group of Canadian workers.

Faced with the prospect of working for IBM or retiring or finding another job, most of the Nova Scotia provincial government workers offered jobs at Big Blue as part of an outsourcing contract are saying “no thanks” – so far.

According to Canadian media reports, only 28 of 72 workers who focused on an SAP program that is being taken over by IBM in March have accepted job offers. 

Even though the agreement between the government and IBM stipulates that the government workers be offered the same pay, the response has been lukewarm. 

“Most provincial SAP workers turn down job offers from IBM,” reads the headline at The Coast website.

Reports CBC: “Majority of outsourced IT workers won’t go to IBM”

The workers were sent a letter by the government that spells out three options if they don’t accept the IBM jobs, The Coast says:

  • Something called “placement displacement,” which means they can wait for other government jobs suited to their skills.
  • Layoff and recall when a suitable job becomes available
  • Resigning with severance

Employees face a March 4 deadline, and more workers are expected to take IBM positions.

But what does this lack of a rush into the arms of IBM say about Big Blue’s appeal? (Remember the 401-K decision that has angered so many current IBMers in the U.S.?)

Or does the cool response so far say more about government workers protected by a collective bargaining agreement?

The IBM job offers are for only two years. Perhaps that’s a big reason.

“The government is pleased that everyone affected received a job offer from IBM,” the CBC quoted a government spokesperson as saying.

“They are also eligible to pursue other options with government,” she added.

The government outsourced its SAP related program to IBM under a 10-year contract.

If you had a chance to work for IBM, face retirement, layoff or waiting for another government job, what decision would you make? Send me your thoughts via email:

[IBM ARCHIVE: Check out a decade of IBM stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]