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(St. Johns) The president of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador, Wayne Lucas, will deliver a message to the provincial governments pre-budget hearings today that its time to reinvest in public services.

Says Lucas, The people of this great province need a government that recognizes the sound economic principle of providing services collectively. We must be able to provide for our neighbours in times when they are not able to provide for themselves. By doing it together we all benefit. It is what makes us a caring society.

Our public infrastructure from schools, water systems, roads and hospitals have been allowed to deteriorate to the point where fixing them will require a huge investment, says Lucas. The answer is not to hand over responsibility to the private sector in the form of various types of P3s, or so-called public-private-partnerships.

Lucas will also tell the hearings that the province needs to fix its infrastructure to ensure people have clean water and that we stop pouring raw sewage into our waterways. He will stress that we can do this without giving control of these operations up to the private sector.

CUPE represents 5,300 women and men who work in hospitals, nursing homes, universities, group homes, for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, schools, cities and towns throughout the province.

CUPE is the largest union in this country representing over 500,000 workers who deliver public services.

Opeiu 491

For information:
Wayne Lucas, President, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador
(902) 709-727-2509 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 455-4180 (o)