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CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “We are not surprised that private consultants Ernst and Young recommended privatizing some services in our health care system. The company’s track record clearly supports this direction.

“The fact that the government did not accept their recommendation to privatize laundry services – on the other hand – is a positive development. But this is only phase one of the review exercise. We are quite worried about future cuts and mergers of services. Every job in a hospital is important to patient care. It doesn’t begin and end with doctors and nurses. 

“I think Nova Scotians are sensible enough to figure that out. However, I’m not quite sure these high-priced consultants are,” says Cavanagh.

Karen MacKenzie, president of CUPE’s largest hospital local, says, “There are still a lot of unanswered questions about how these changes will take place. What we don’t know at this point is more worrisome to me, frankly. 

“Exactly who will be providing these merged services? The minister talked about an ‘alternative service delivery’ model. What is this agency? Who are these workers? Will they be union, or non-union? None of this has been revealed,” she says.

“There are going to more than 50 job losses in finance and administration.  That will have a profound impact on the operation of hospitals across the province,” argues MacKenzie.

Cavanagh says his union will be analyzing the rather lengthy report that Ernst and Young gave the government and sharing that analysis with the 3,500 CUPE members who work in acute care.