Sonia Marcoux | CUPE Communications
Couillard and Martin Coiteux, Chair of the Treasury Board, have set their sights on all State expenditures, especially health and education (the two biggest items). Their plans include the merger of institutions and even the disappearance of entire agencies or school boards, even if the experts have established that these measures would result in little actual savings in the long run.
“Austerity isn’t just job cuts; it’s the elimination of services by and from the government. This government wants to cut public services to better pay their business leaders. The middle class finds itself neglected”, said Lucie Levasseur, president of CUPE Quebec.
The list goes on of other sectors potentially affected by government austerity measures: funding for culture, financial support for the regions, the environment, childhood and homework assistance, resources for people with disabilities, etc.
If the social and economic costs of austerity are fraught with consequences, why go down a road condemning Quebec to increased poverty and fewer services?
But resistance is mobilizing: unions, anti-poverty groups, student associations and community organizations decided to form a collective to fight austerity. “The goal is to develop an action and common mobilisation plan,” said Levasseur.
In late fall, 125,000 people marched in Quebec City and Montreal to say “no” to the Government’s budget measures.
The role of unions is to protect the interests of our members and also of the public at large. CUPE is a proud participant in the “Refusons l’austérité” collective and its activities.