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Lack of funding for long term care short sighted

EDMONTON – Ted Morton’s first budget will mean crowded classrooms across the province.

That was the verdict of Dennis Mol, President of CUPE Alberta, representing 30,000 members, including over 7,000 K-12 employees in the province.

“The funding increase for health care is welcome, but it comes at a cost to our schools,” said Mol.  “An increase of less than one per cent won’t cover inflation, wage increases, and increased enrollment.”

“Teachers just got a wage increase that the government won’t pay for, and we expect arbitration awards to give our members a similar increase,” said Mol.  “This is going to result in a lot of cut backs in public schools – parents should be ready.”

“We never caught up from the cuts in the nineties, five schools in Edmonton are facing closure, and the Conservatives are making it worse with their continued underfunding of education.”

Mol was also concerned with the fact there is no mention of funding to create new long term care spaces.

“We have almost 1,200 seniors waiting to get into long term care,” said Mol.  “Most of them are taking up expensive spaces in our hospitals.  How is the government saving money by continuing that practice?”