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Reacting angrily to the devastating cuts to provincial services announced January 17 by the Gordon Campbell government in BC, CUPE leaders in the province pledged to hold the premier accountable.

What we’re seeing with the cuts to public jobs and services is no hatchet job – it’s a full-on chainsaw massacre,” charges CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.

Front line workers assuring child welfare, protecting the environment and delivering ambulance services are among the first to go as the Liberals slash programs and staff.

Now our communities will suffer a double burden as they struggle to fund and deliver these services at the local level,” says O’Neill. “The nightmares Campbell is creating for the thousands of people who are losing their homes, their health and their hope because of his hurtful economic policies will come back to haunt him.”

The Hospital Employees Union, CUPE’s BC health services division, joined in the condemnation of the government. “British Columbians didn’t elect Gordon Campbell to pillage public services,” says HEU spokesperson Chris Allnutt. “The loss of 850 full-time positions in the ministries of health will have a devastating impact on our health care system.”

Across the province CUPE members are mobilizing. A demonstration is planned for January 25 in front of the premiers conference and rallies are planned across the province for February 23.