The New Brunswick Highway Workers’ Union, CUPE Local 1190, held a news conference today to outline its concerns about cuts by the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to the 2013-2014 Winter Maintenance Program.
Local 1190 President Andy Hardy, says, “December 1st marks the start of the program and, unfortunately, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI) has more cuts in store for the 2013-2014 plowing season.”
Hardy listed several reductions which will result from $9 million in cuts:
- 26 plows and graders will not be available to plow the roads;
- That is an addition to the 29 pieces of heavy equipment that were parked last year, which means DTI is now working with 55 fewer pieces of equipment;
- 70 less operators in the Winter Maintenance Program for 2013-2014;
- No spare operators will be available in some divisions around the province;
- For the second year in a row, sand and salt budgets have been reduced. Last year, DTI claimed to have saved $600,000 in the salt and sand budgets;
- $6.2 million dollars have been given to the Quebec Consulting Firm PVA, money that’s leaving the Province which could be used on New Brunswick roads.
“CUPE Local 1190 members take a great deal of pride in keeping our roads safe and clear, but with each round of budget cuts this is becoming increasingly difficult,” says Hardy.
Hardy was joined by Local 4848, representing CUPE Paramedics, and Local 1253, representing CUPE school bus drivers as well as CUPE NB President Danny Légère.
CUPE Local 1190 President
(506) 458-1087 (w)
CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 880-8057 (m)