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(Sydney) – The union representing three groups of municipal workers in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is questioning proposed cuts to school crossing guards and other staff reductions.

CUPE National Representative Wanda Power says, “The savings from cutting crossing guards would be absolutely negligible and the safety implications for children are, I think everyone would agree, painfully obvious.

As far as other job cuts, senior staff at CBRM appear to be hiding behind the word ‘attrition’ as if it’s a less painful alternative.  We need to remind everyone involved that attrition is just a fancy word for layoffs.  If positions aren’t filled because someone is retiring, that is still one less job being done and less service being provided, says Power.

We also believe the mayor and council need to take a much closer look at contracting in some of the work that’s been handed over to private contractors.  We believe that is where you can achieve efficiencies and save taxpayers’ money” says Power.

Power says the union echoes the mayor’s plea to provincial Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey to re-examine the funding formula for CBRM.

CUPE members at CBRM are outside workers in Local 759, inside workers in Local 933 and crossing guards in Local 761.  “We are facing incredible financial pressures from several years of downloading of services from the provincial government onto municipalities,” says Power.

For information:      

 Wanda Power                                        

CUPE National Representative              

(902) 539-4933 (o)                                 

 John McCracken

CUPE Communications Representative

(902) 455-4180 (o)