“Public service workers have been reasonable in this province over the past two years. They have done their fair share for the economy of Nova Scotia.”
Halifax (05 April 2012) - “The public sector has done its fair share,” said Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE).
“On page three of the budget document, Minister Steele recognizes the role the public sector has played in the budgets of the past that have allowed them to meet their targets. He acknowledges the 1 % wage increases our members agreed to over the past two years (while the cost of living has risen over 3%),” says Jessome. “He mentions the changes to the Public Service Superannuation Pension plan (where benefits were reduced) and the 10% reduction in the Civil Service (where positions have been eliminated, and in many cases, those workers who are left are doing the jobs of two or three).”
“Despite this, on page 11, Minister Steele continues to ask the public sector to tighten our belts, says Jessome. “Public service workers have been reasonable in this province over the past two years. They have done their fair share for the economy of Nova Scotia.”
“Our members are now asking us to negotiate a wage that keeps them up with the cost of living. We think this is a reasonable position.”
President Jessome mentioned that cuts to the public sector have hit women disproportionately because the majority of public sector workers are women.
She also commented on the need for more funding for mental health in the budget and referred to the cuts of 17 youth care workers at the IWK Health Centre.
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