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More than 500 CUPE members and community activists protested provincial budget cuts in Fredericton today.

“We need to send a strong message to this government that the measures contained in this budget are unacceptable to the workers of this province.  Services and job cuts are going to impoverish the working families of this province who are already going through tough economic times,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

“Wage freezes and reductions in public services are not the way to stimulate the economy.  This is the time to invest in the most valuable resources of this province, the workers - not slash 700 jobs and cut more than 100 programs,” said Daniel Légère, President of CUPE New Brunswick.

“The Liberal Government’s budget is an attack against free collective bargaining.  Our position is to negotiate at the bargaining table, not to accept government policy on wage freezes,” added Légère.

Community members opposed to the government’s plan to end the ferry services at Gagetown, Hampstead and Belleisle Bay also joined CUPE members.   They are accusing Premier Shawn Graham of targeting rural communities.  “The premier has forgotten his roots”, said John Tarrel, a spokesperson for the community group.

More than 200 CUPE members are in Fredericton for the CUPE New Brunswick division convention.