Halifax – The president of CUPE Nova Scotia, Danny Cavanagh, has written to Premier Dexter asking him to raise several concerns of importance to Nova Scotians at the premiers’ meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
“CUPE urges you to continue to be a champion for public health care, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), employment insurance and skills training at the Council of the Federation,” Cavanagh wrote.
Cavanagh warned that linking health transfers to economic growth will have a devastating impact on Atlantic Canada, and urged renewal of the Health Accord with stable and adequate funding. While he commends the NDP government for supporting solutions that strengthen health care, he urged the premier to push for national health care standards and the upholding of the Canada Health Act.
Criticizing the Canada Job Grant, Cavanagh stated that the program shifts funds away from the most vulnerable groups — those who have the most challenges entering and advancing in the labour force — towards the priorities of business. “CUPE urges your government to protect the skills and training programs that best meet the needs of Nova Scotian workers,” he wrote.
On the topic of pensions, Cavanagh said, “retirement security is especially important in Nova Scotia where the population is aging and just 35.5% of workers were covered by a workplace pension plan in 2010.” He urged the premiers to reach an agreement on their own to improve the CPP and then challenge the federal government to take action. “A gradual and modest expansion of the Canada Pension Plan is the best way to ensure retirement security for each and every Canadian. CUPE urges you to act to make this happen.”
CUPE Nova Scotia members work in school boards, municipalities, universities, child care centres, nursing homes and hospitals across the province, delivering important public services that make life better for the people of Nova Scotia.