Premier Brad Wall and his government have done something they rarely do - they admitted they made a mistake. After CUPE members from across the province of Saskatchewan joined forces with other community groups to organize over the past month against library cuts, Brad Wall is backing down and restoring funding for libraries across the province. The $4.8 million that was cut in last month’s budget will be restored immediately.
“This is a victory for the thousands of people across Saskatchewan who stood up for our libraries,” said Graham, CUPE Saskatchewan President. “We are glad that the provincial government recognized their mistake to cut library services. Now it needs to fix the many other cuts it has made and deal with the library workers who already received pink slips due to these misguided cuts.”
This unprecedented reversal from the Wall government was brought on by massive backlash from the community. Just weeks ago, CUPE helped organize the largest day of action in recent Saskatchewan history which saw close to 6,000 people participate in “read ins” in over 70 communities under the banner of “Save SK Libraries”.
Hundreds of CUPE members and the community wrote letters, phoned and visited their members of the legislature, got thousands of petitions signed, and made sure that every newspaper and call in radio station was flooded with comments about libraries. This win illustrates that public pressure works!
CUPE hopes the government will continue with its sudden change of heart and reverse its other damaging mistakes, such as the funding cuts to municipalities, health care services and the proposed 3.5 per cent rollback of workers’ wages.