The provincial government is offering buyout packages to thousands of full-time and part-time workers with the Ontario Public Service in the new year.

A government-wide memo sent to all staff on Tuesday and Wednesday and obtained by CTV News Toronto states that the buyouts are being offered as part of the government’s plan to “address its fiscal challenges.”

“The government is exploring measures to manage its compensation costs in a way that ensures vital services to citizens are not compromised while avoiding involuntary job losses,” the memo states.

A buyout program has existed for unionized OPS employees since 2013. But effective January 1, the government will be temporarily extending the program to a number of other employees who were not previously included.

A similar buyout program is also being created for managers.

The buyouts could affect between 6,500 and 10,000 civil servants.

"To help streamline the size of the Ontario Public Service (OPS), the current focus is on leveraging available programs that will allow employees to exit the organization on a voluntary basis," the memo reads.

The memo was signed by the Secretary of the Cabinet Steve Orsini and Premier Doug Ford’s Chief of Staff, Dean French.

Those who choose to take a buyout package will have until Feb. 28 to submit an application and their exits will have to be complete by the end of next year.

Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly said that he would like to shrink the size of government.

He has previously done so by imposing legislation to shrink Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 councillors.

- With files from CTV News Toronto Reporter Colin D'Mello