HALIFAX – Today’s meeting between public sector unions and Finance Minister Randy Delorey did nothing to meet Nova Scotians’ needs for sustainable public services, CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh said.
“The Minister missed an important opportunity to improve Nova Scotia’s economy while maintaining critical public services,” Cavanagh said. “He made it clear that struggling public workers will pay the price for this government’s corporate giveaways and executive salaries.”
The Nova Scotia government agreed to subsidize an RBC call centre with $22 million in tax rebates, despite RBC profiting over $2.4 billion in each of the last two quarters.
And the most recent Compensation Disclosure lists the President of Cape Breton University earning over $262,000 per year, in a region where the median family income is less than $43,000 and one third of the children live in poverty. The list also showed that the retired President of Dalhousie University received over $457,000 last year, as part of a sweetheart-deal compensation package.
“On the one hand we see a government willing to spend like drunken sailors, and on the other they say we can’t afford to properly staff our schools and hospitals, or to pay workers fair compensation,” Cavanagh said.
“Public services are important to the people of this province,” Cavanagh said. “Particularly in rural Nova Scotia, local public sector employees spend in local stores, local restaurants, and on local services. “Reducing their income and reducing the number of jobs hurts the economy and makes Nova Scotia a less attractive place to live,” Cavanagh said. “In turn, that increases the out-migration of our youth – said to cost the province $1.2 billion each year.”
“The ‘austerity’ approach has been tried over and over,” Cavanagh said. “It isn’t innovative and it doesn’t work. If this government wants to be innovative, we are ready to work with them. Let’s work together to build this economy.”
“There was nothing in today’s meeting with Minister Delorey that says this government is really interested in innovation or in consultation,” Cavanagh said.