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(OTTAWA) The Canadian Union of Public Employees National Executive Board passed an emergency resolution today expressing solidarity with federal public servants and the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Canadas civil servants are facing an attack on their wages and working conditions due to a federal spending freeze by the Paul Martin government.

We want our sisters and brothers in PSAC to know that we stand united with them in their fight against Martins freeze, says Paul Moist, the national president of CUPE, which represents 535,000 public sector workers across Canada, including health care workers, municipal workers, education workers and child care workers. CUPE is the countrys largest union.

Martins program review is a thinly veiled attempt to privatize federal jobs and programs, but Moist says CUPE members will stand up for the rights of public servants and the valuable work they do for Canadians. He doesnt believe Martin should take public services for granted, and he doesnt believe Martins assertion that Canadas budget needs to be further cut.

Paul Martin has a long history of low-balling the federal surplus, even though the last finance minister, John Manley, said the surplus would be $9.5 billion by 2008, says Moist. If Martin really wants to save money for the Canadian people, he should take the NDPs advice and cut the $4.4 billion corporate tax cut thats coming into effect on January 1.

CUPE members are well prepared to fight Paul Martins privatization agenda, since theyre currently fighting the privatizing policies of BC Premier Gordon Campbell and Quebec Premier Jean Charest. The federal government has no right to threaten PSACs collective agreements and free collective bargaining, says Moist, just as the Campbell and Charest governments have no right to do the same to us. We will all work together to denounce government policies that threaten public workers and the public services they provide.

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For more information:
Kaj Hasselriis
CUPE Communications
613-237-1590 ext. 268 (office)
613-798-6925 (cell)