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REGINA: Saskatchewans largest public sector union is encouraged by yesterdays provincial election results that saw voters re-elect a abour-friendly government committed to protecting Crown corporations and a public health care system.

We extend our congratulations to Premier Calvert and all the New Democratic Party MLAs for winning a fourth consecutive term for the NDP, said Tom Graham, president of the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The election results clearly demonstrate that Saskatchewan residents have a strong commitment to public ownership of our utilities, a publicly-funded and administered health care system and fair labour laws, said Graham.

The people of Saskatchewan realize that we have a lot going for our province, that we enjoy a good quality of life here and benefit from paying the lowest utility rates in the country thanks to the Crown corporations that we have built over several decades. Voters have strongly rejected privatization, corporate tax cuts and the politics of division.

Graham said working people played a key role in the re-election of the NDP. In the lead-up to the provincial election, the labour movement launched the Labour Issues Campaign, which included a workplace canvass, television and radio advertisements promoting Crown corporations, public health care and education, good jobs and workers rights, and protection of the environment.

Were looking forward to working with the new NDP government to strengthen public services, expand the provinces existing labour laws to include anti-scab and pay equity legislation and boost the poverty-level wages of workers employed in community-based organizations, said Graham.

We need to continue to strive towards creating an environment where working people can prosper and provide for their families. We also need to strengthen and expand our public health care system by reintroducing the prescription drug plan and reversing the creeping privatization that has occurred with the growth in personal care homes.

CUPE represents 24,000 members in Saskatchewan who work at health care facilities, municipalities, school boards, universities, libraries and community-based organizations.

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For more information contact:
Tom Graham