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TRUROCUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says that cutting 320 public sector jobs and delivering an austerity budget are not the way to strengthen the Nova Scotia economy.

The McNeil government is once again blaming public sector workers for the fiscal challenges facing Nova Scotia. Says Cavanagh, “A strong public sector workforce and quality public services are the key to economic growth and prosperity.”

CUPE is disheartened that the McNeil government has not learned this lesson from the disastrous results of other provincial governments who have gone down the same road.

“This week’s announced wage freeze for MLAs is nothing more than smoke and mirrors on the part of the McNeil government.”

Says Cavanagh, “I’m not sure you’re going to get much sympathy from an Early Childhood Educator who is making less than $15 an hour, when you freeze the salary of an MLA who is making just under $90,000 a year.”

“Not only that, the freeze is simply following the recommendations of the MLA Compensation Review Panel which said in January 2014 that salaries for Nova Scotia’s politicians should remain unchanged,” says Cavanagh.

CUPE is pleased to see that the government is adding 1.3 million dollars to reduce wait lists for Early Intervention Programs, a much needed service in Nova Scotia. Adds Cavanagh, “But we are disappointed there is no money in the budget to increase the low level wages for workers in this sector.”