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The leader of British Columbias largest union says the BC Liberal government has betrayed the citizens of BC by freezing health and education budgets for the next several years.

We have 23,000 members who work for school boards across BC, said Barry ONeill, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. They provide important services, such as ensuring that our schools are in safe operating order.

But these behind-the-scenes workers bear the brunt of any budget cuts or freezes. Hundreds of school employees have already lost their jobs this year because funding levels have steadily declined over the last decade.

Over-crowded classrooms and laid-off workers do not add up to a healthy future for our province, ONeill said.

Earlier this week, Premier Gordon Campbell said that BC has support programs in place to take care of workers, such as those in the airline industry who are being laid off. Asked what programs he was referring to Campbell replied, Well, we have a welfare system in British Columbia.

Welfare is the wrong answer. ONeill said. I challenge this government to show vision and economic responsibility, rather than cruel disregard for the needs of our communities.


Media, please contact Barry ONeill, President of CUPE BC at 604-916-8444.