HALIFAX – The budget tabled by Finance Minister Michael Baker does absolutely nothing to address poverty level wages for child care workers, and puts a possible solution to hospital wait times some three years away.
That’s the critical assessment from CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh who says, “The budget plans for child care will punish non-profit centres while benefiting private centres. This is exactly the opposite direction of where our province needs to be going. They are doing away with the three main grant programs that the non-profit centres receive, while giving a new $3 per-space-a-month to mainly commercial centres.
“There is nothing in the budget that ties any of this increased child care money to salaries, which has been identified by the government’s own studies as the number one issue facing the sector. Most ECE teachers in Nova Scotia will continue to make not much more than minimum wage under this budget,” says Cavanagh.
“While the MacDonald government has announced a five-year plan to create long term care beds”, says Cavanagh, “they’re not planning to open a new bed for three years. This will do nothing to address our province’s current crisis with wait times, a problem that is directly tied to hospital beds being held by people who should be in long term care facilities.
“We are happy to see they have stolen the NDP idea to provide an 8% rebate for home heating fuel, but hope Nova Scotians remember where the idea came from when they go to the polls,” says Cavanagh,
“The bottom line is, despite their denials to the contrary, this is a budget preparing for an election. Nova Scotians need to remember that right now, it simply amounts to a bunch of promises. And we know this government’s record on keeping its promises has been spotty at best,” he says.
President, CUPE Nova Scotia
CUPE Communications Rep.