This year’s provincial budget has left CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen wondering whether Tim Houston’s Progressive Conservative government can juggle more than one commitment at a time.

“The recruitment and retention issues we’re facing in healthcare are real, and they need to be addressed, but we’re facing those same issues in every other sector as well,” McFadgen said. “We’re glad to see that hard-working direct care providers in health care are being recognized by the government, but paying people appropriate wages and ensuring they have good benefits and pensions is a more effective solution than giving out one-time bonuses that don’t lift people up in the long-run.”

McFadgen says she was hoping to see more investments in public services across the board, especially in the midst of a historic housing crisis that affects all Nova Scotians, but particularly those working for low wages.

“We’re pleased about investments in healthcare, but Nova Scotians’ needs extend beyond that. We need to take a comprehensive view and look at the social determinants of health as well,” McFadgen said. “Healthcare is critical, but Nova Scotians also need access to housing, child care, education, and social supports. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s Nova Scotia Alternative Budget 2023 shows that we can afford to make these investments.”

“We have members working in public services telling us they’re living in their cars because they have nowhere else to go. We’re in a crisis situation, and our members are not willing to stand for it.”

CUPE represents more than 20,000 public sector workers in healthcare, education, social services, transportation, and infrastructure across Nova Scotia.