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Fredericton chapter stands with CUPE against austerity in New Brunswick

Fredericton protest

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter at today’s protest.

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter is standing in solidarity with CUPE in opposition to provincial government austerity measures.This afternoon the chapter posted on their Facebook page, “Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter shows up in solidarity with CUPE 1252 rally today against cuts to health care, education, ambulances, government garage, privatization in front of the Legislature in Fredericton.”

That was because, as noted on the CUPE webpage, “CUPE 1252 is having a rally in front of the Legislative Assembly at noon on May 28 to protest the cuts in health care.”

The Canadian Press reports, “Hundreds of public service employees staged a noisy protest today at the New Brunswick legislature, demanding the government back off on many of its austerity measures. The group included teachers fighting job cuts, and hospital workers upset over plans to privatize some services.”

Specifically, “The Liberal government recently announced it was negotiating with a private company for the operation of food and cleaning services in the hospitals.”

The New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal reported, “Norma Robinson, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees council that bargains on behalf of more than 10,000 New Brunswick hospital support workers, expects layoffs this year…” That’s because, “Horizon Health Network [a provincial health authority that delivers medical care to the central and southern portions of the province] will resume [discussions] at some point with a private company interested in providing services to some New Brunswick hospitals.” That contracting out could mean that food and nutrition, portering and housekeeping employees would have to apply to work for the new contractor.

Last month, CBC reported, “The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is calling on the [Premier Brian] Gallant government to reverse its decision to privatize hospital support services, saying the majority of the targeted jobs are held by women. …Nearly 90 per cent of employees in hospital food services are women, about 80 per cent in environmental services, and 40 per cent of porters, according to the coalition.”

For more, please see the CUPE-New Brunswick website here.