Put people first in federal budget, says PSAC

OTTAWA, March 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The head of the largest union representing federal public sector workers is urging the Harper government not to cut public services or attack federal pension plans in order to pay off the deficit.

"If the recession has shown us anything, it is that Canadians need and expect more services from their national government, not less," said the national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, John Gordon, today during a press conference on Parliament Hill. "They expect safe food and drugs, their environment protected, their military and veterans supported and their human rights enforced."

Going against a chorus calling for fiscal restraint to cut the deficit, Gordon said the government must continue stimulus spending but refocused on social infrastructure such as expanding child and elder care. He argues that such spending would add considerably to Canada's GDP and government revenues for years to come.

"Workers did not cause the recession," Gordon said. "They should not continue to pay for it, either directly through job loss and inadequate EI benefits or indirectly through a reduction in the services and benefits delivered by public sector workers."

Gordon also calls for retirement income security for all Canadians and reiterates his union's opposition to any attack against federal public-sector pension plans.

"Our members are mobilizing in support of retirement security and quality public services, both of which are vital to Canada's economic recovery - and worthy of government investment," he said.

The press conference was held with the Professional Institute of Public Service of Canada and the Canadian Labour Congress in advance of the federal government's budget announcement.

SOURCE PSAC

For further information: For further information: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, (613) 293-9210


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