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OTTAWA The Canadian Union of Public Employees welcomed the $700 million in new federal funding for aboriginal health care announced yesterday at the first ministers conference on health care.

The new money includes $100 million for training. CUPE has done pioneering work with partnership agreements that promote training and the entry of aboriginal workers into the health care sector, CUPE National President Paul Moist said. We look forward to contributing our experiences and insights into this essential effort.

Moist was referring to efforts, particularly in Saskatchewan, where CUPE has developed partnerships with aboriginal communities to actively encourage their pursuit of careers in health care.

The partnership agreements are producing positive results, CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham said, especially in the health sector where the first agreement was signed four years ago.

“We are seeing many more aboriginal workers in the health sector, Graham said. That’s important because it is a heavily unionized sector that provides good wages, benefits and opportunities for promotion.”

CUPE is proud to participate in programs that create a ‘representative workforce’, Graham added. It enables aboriginal workers to mobilize their own expertise and resources to improve the health status of aboriginal communities.”

CUPE represents 140,000 workers in the health care sector. They play a crucial role in delivering quality, public health care to Canadians. With over 500,000 members, CUPE is fighting for public services and rebuilding strong communities across Canada.


Catherine Louli, cell (613) 851-0547, CUPE Communications
David Robbins, cell (613) 878-1431, CUPE Communications