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(Corner Brook) - Wayne Lucas, President of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador, has kicked off a tour of the province with meetings on the west coast this week.

Lucas is meeting with CUPE members employed in the health care and education sectors to discuss governments restructuring plans.

Says Lucas, Our members are very concerned with the effect the governments program review and merger of health care boards will have on their workplaces and their communities.

While the recently merged school boards are some seven months into their mandate, says Lucas, it is important that we listen to our front-line workers who are working through the frustrations created by the shortage of finances and human resources in our schools.

Lucas has been meeting with the health care workers of CUPE Local 488 employed in the greater Corner Brook area and Stephenville.

Our health care workers are well aware of the prospect of job loss created by the newly merged health care board. The system is currently operating at minimum staffing levels and cant possibly survive anymore cutbacks or downsizing of operations, adds Lucas.

Says Lucas, The Hay Report is also of great concern to our Western Health Care workers who are very suspicious of how many of the reports recommendations can be achieved.

Without being too naïve says Lucas, its pretty obvious that once again the savings referred to in the Hay Report would be obtained on the backs of our workers.

Lucas will continue his west coast tour to the end of this week and then proceed to the Northern Peninsula.

For further information:

Wayne Lucas, 709-727-2509 (cell)

Donna Ryan, 709-632-0980 (cell)