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(St. Anthony) CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador president Wayne Lucas will continue his provincial tour with a visit to the greater Northern Peninsula next week (April 11).

Lucas is visiting CUPE locals in both the health care and school board sectors to talk about the governments restructuring plans.

Says Lucas, I think the concerns and frustrations of CUPE members and the residents of the Northern Peninsula are at an all-time high right now.

The reduction and merger of health boards and school boards in this province has not acknowledged or addressed the geographical considerations which are so obvious when you live on the Northern Peninsula, says the CUPE president.

In many respects, says Lucas, the area is as secluded and isolated as Labrador, and this fact must be considered when providing funding for the health and education services needed by its residents.

The recently released Hay Report for the Grenfell Regional Health Services Board has further angered CUPE health care workers as well as their affected towns and communities. It has initiated a chain of events that are already having a negative impact in the area.

There are already instances of family doctors leaving the area, and indications that some specialists may leave as well because theyre not willing to put up with the uncertainty of providing services in the Grenfell Board, he adds.

To be perfectly blunt, says Lucas, without a hospital, there is no town.

Lucas will finish up his northern trip on Friday, April 15 and proceed to central Newfoundland the next week.

For further information:
Wayne Lucas 709-727-2509 (cell)
Donna Ryan 709-632-0980 (cell)