“We always knew Hudak’s positions on a score of issues were extremist, but a job-killing plan on this scale will help destroy the economic health of communities across Ontario." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
Toronto (13 May 2014) — Tim Hudak’s plan to eliminate 100,000 jobs in the public sector will damage the Ontario economy and will set the scene to drive the province into another recession,says the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
Hudak's job cuts will devastate communities
“We always knew Hudak’s positions on a score of issues were extremist, but a job-killing plan on this scale will help destroy the economic health of communities across Ontario,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Twenty years ago his mentor, Mike Harris, pledged to eliminate 13,000 jobs in the public sector and where did that path lead — to Walkerton, to a breakdown in meat inspections and to privatized giveaways like Highway 407.
“The people of Ontario want to build our economy starting with strong public services that strengthen the communities in which they live. Hudak’s plan will take us in the opposite direction altogether. It’s a reckless recipe for doom.”
Health care, education, colleges and universities and child care services targeted
Thomas questioned where Hudak’s job-killing scheme would cut deepest. He predicted that health care, education, colleges and universities and child care services would be hit the hardest.
“Those are sectors of the economy that touch every city, town and village across Ontario,” said Thomas. “This so-called plan by Hudak is guaranteed to leave a deep economic scar across the length and breadth of our province. No one will escape the harm it causes to families and their communities.”
On the health care front, Hudak has pledged to protect doctors and nurses while sacrificing the rest of the health care team members throughout the system. Does Hudak not realize that health care is made up of hundreds of professions such as medical laboratory technologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and x-ray technologists, to name but a few? Did Hudak also just forget that personal support workers make up the largest constituent profession in home care? What about all the workers who provide clinical support? Does Hudak envision doctors and nurses personally setting up surgical appointments, for example?
These statements clearly illustrate that the PC election promises are little more than ways to drive wedges between the public and workers. These cuts are eight times more than what Mike Harris promised during this reign as premier. Many Ontarians remember how workers were laid off, only to then be rehired years later after the staff shortage became too much.
Thomas said it will be interesting to watch candidates for the Progressive Conservatives on the campaign trail going door-to-door to deliver the news that there’s a good chance that a family member, neighbour or friend could become an unemployed victim of Hudak’s plan.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE