Queen’s Printer outsourcing press work

Revenues have fallen as more electronic documents are used in government, printing operations contracted out by next summer

Government employees picket the Queen's Printer office during the 2012 teacher strike.

VICTORIA – The shift to digital documents has prompted the B.C. government to contract out printing services, long performed by the Queen’s Printer.

Press and copier operations in the Queen’s Printer building next to the B.C. legislature are to be phased out by the summer of 2015, contracted out to private printers. The move affects 31 unionized staff, in an effort to reduce costs as part of the government’s core review of services.

“Demand for printing has declined with the growth of electronic publishing and digital information, and this is true for government as well,” said Andrew Wilkinson, minister of technology, innovation and citizens’ services.

Wilkinson said a transition plan for employees is being worked on with their union, Unifor, and the Public Service Agency.

The Queen’s Printer provides legislation and other sessional documents for the legislature, as well as proclamations, plaques and other items. Its revenues have declined by $7.5 million or 43 per cent in the past five years.

The Queen’s Printer building, a four-storey 1928 Art Deco heritage structure, has recently been renovated and is not planned to be sold. The print shop facilities are on the ground floor, which will be converted to other uses.

“The Queen’s Printer will use its knowledge of the printing industry to continue to broker printing contracts on behalf of government and will continue to support the B.C. legislature and deliver services such as BC Laws and protocol and recognition products,” Wilkinson said.