"The public sector offers good paying jobs, effective social programs, and public policy that not only generates wealth in the province but ensures that wealth is fairly distributed.” - PEIUPSE President Shelley Ward.
Charlottetown (23 April 2012) - The PEI government issued its 2012 budget setting the course for the province late last week. The Ghiz government's austerity budget focused heavily on finding ways to bring down its $1.97 billion debt.
The introduction of the harmonized sales tax will hit every resident hard as it will cover more everyday items than the previous combination of the goods and services tax and the provincial sales tax. But the it is the cuts to the public service that concern many workers the most.
PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE) President Shelley Ward said, “The Minister would like Islanders to believe that the private sector is the sole economic engine of the economy in Prince Edward Island. Never has this been further from the truth. The public sector offers good paying jobs, effective social programs, and public policy that not only generates wealth in the province but ensures that wealth is fairly distributed.”
“The Liberal budget ignores this reality by attacking and diminishing the public service and by arbitrarily appointing the private sector as the only viable solution for our economic future.”
Job cuts will hurt workers directly affected but there are questions as to what the public can expect in terms of services when the dust settles.
PEIUPSE/NUPGE is already seeing the implications of budget cuts. A reduction in the number of property guards, the elimination of 273 casual employees at Transportation Infrastructure and Renewal, and cuts to the Family Ties program have created a climate of stress and concern for workers and the public they serve.
PEIUPSE/NUPGE representatives have been meeting with members to discuss the changes within departments and will continue to keep members abreast of any new developments.
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