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(St. John’s) – CUPE Local 4864 of the John Howard Society is extremely concerned about the NL Government’s recent decision to reduce staff in the Department of Advanced Education and Skills.

Local 4864 President Doug Jackson says, “These job cuts will withdraw support for community-based interventions that help those individuals among us who face significant life barriers.

Gaining the education and skills that would train clients to successfully re-integrate into the community is critical in fostering safe vibrant communities. To expect many of our clients and those of other Advanced Education and Skills service providers to access service venues in provincial government offices will only serve to further marginalize these individuals,” says Jackson.

Jackson says, “It’s highly likely that this decision, instead of reducing cost to the public, will actually result in future human and economic costs in the areas of justice and social supports from the province.”

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “The staff at the John Howard Society are committed to fostering safe communities, encouraging individuals to accept responsibility for their decisions and aspiring toward positive personal achievement. 

This decision is pulling the rug out from under the feet of people striving to change their lives and can only be described as backwards thinking,” he says.

CUPE Local 4864 represents 45 employees at the John Howard Society offices in
St. John’s and Stephenville. The society is a non-profit agency that provides counselling, residential, employment and related services to adult and youth ex-offenders.