OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The largest union of federal public-sector workers is poised to mobilize against cuts in public sector programs and operations and to apply pressure on Parliament to reject the federal budget.
"This budget is a clear attack against quality public services," says John Gordon, the national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. "The freeze on public-sector operation budgets, combined with an increase in deregulation and free trade, will further weaken the economy and hurt Canadians."
Gordon argues that freezing the operation spending of government departments will mean significant reductions to the quality of public services that Canadians need in an economy that's, at best, still undergoing a fragile recovery. Spending freezes, more expenditure review and deregulation will also mean job losses in the federal public sector.
"This runs counter to the government's stated goal of job creation and economic growth," Gordon says. "With this budget, the government is compromising the food we eat, the health of our environment, transportation safety and the public services that the people in Canada rely on everyday."
In a pre-budget news conference with other labour leaders two days ago, Gordon called for continued stimulus spending refocused on social infrastructure such as poverty reduction and expanding child and elder care. He also called for improving retirement security for all Canadians.
"What do we get instead? Seniors' Day," says Gordon. "This budget does nothing for workers in Canada. Investing in social infrastructures and in quality public services would have ensured job creation and economic growth. But this government failed in that direction."
Gordon has already asked for a meeting with the leaders of the opposition parties calling on them to support his union's position.
"Our members have been mobilizing for the past month to fight off any attacks against our pensions and to call for retirement security for all," says Gordon. "We're now going to extend the fight and expand it to include rejecting this budget and the direction this government is taking."
For further information: For further information: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, (613) 293-9210 (cell); Denis Boivin, PSAC Communications, (613) 222-4617 (cell)