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(Halifax) – The president of CUPE Nova Scotia says his union’s 9,000 health care workers are not afraid of change.  “In fact,” says Danny Cavanagh, “they’ve been calling for change in many aspects of our province’s health care system, but we want to drive the change, not just have it foisted on us.”

Cavanagh says, “As Nova Scotians, our members recognize that change is necessary and we have been pushing for improvements in many of the areas addressed in the Corpus Sanchez report. Whether it’s access to primary care in rural parts of the province or retention and recruitment issues, CUPE has made the point time and again that more must be done.

However,” says Cavanagh, “if the change proposed has weaknesses, we will express our concerns.  When the change proposed fails to recognize the wisdom and the rights of those currently working in the system, we will not accept that.  

And when we see evidence that the government is going to give up control of already scarce resources so that private companies can make money on the backs of the sick and the infirm, we will push back,” he says.
“P3’s (public-private-partnerships) are not the answer.  Just this month a report out of Ontario revealed that three P3 hospitals built by the McGuinty government are over budget by close to a billion dollars.

As we have said throughout the battle over the right to strike, if the government is serious about making real change and addressing the needs of the system to provide quality public health care to all Nova Scotians, we are prepared to participate in those discussions. 

But we can’t do that at the same time the government is threatening to take away our members rights to bargain a fair and reasonable collective agreement,” says Cavanagh.

For information: 

Danny Cavanagh                                    John McCracken
President, CUPE N.S.                          CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)                          (902) 455-4180 (o)