CUPE says its 9,000 health care workers in N.S. "not afraid of change"

    HALIFAX, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - The president of CUPE Nova Scotia says his
union's 9,000 health care workers are not afraid of change. "In fact," says
Danny Cavanagh, "they've been calling for change in many aspects of our
province's health care system, but we want to drive the change, not just have
it foisted on us."
    Cavanagh says, "As Nova Scotians, our members recognize that change is
necessary and we have been pushing for improvements in many of the areas
addressed in the Corpus Sanchez report. Whether it's access to primary care in
rural parts of the province or retention and recruitment issues, CUPE has made
the point time and again that more must be done.
    "However," says Cavanagh, "if the change proposed has weaknesses, we will
express our concerns. When the change proposed fails to recognize the wisdom
and the rights of those currently working in the system, we will not accept
    "And when we see evidence that the government is going to give up control
of already scarce resources so that private companies can make money on the
backs of the sick and the infirm, we will push back," he says.
    "P3's (public-private-partnerships) are not the answer. Just this month a
report out of Ontario revealed that three P3 hospitals built by the McGuinty
government are over budget by close to a billion dollars.
    "As we have said throughout the battle over the right to strike, if the
government is serious about making real change and addressing the needs of the
system to provide quality public health care to all Nova Scotians, we are
prepared to participate in those discussions.
    "But we can't do that at the same time the government is threatening to
take away our members rights to bargain a fair and reasonable collective
agreement," says Cavanagh.

For further information:

For further information: Danny Cavanagh, President, CUPE N.S., (902)
957-0822 (Cell); John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep., (902) 455-4180 (o)

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Atlantic Region

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