Privatization, contracting out of public services in The Kawarthas comes at high cost - CUPE

    LINDSAY, ON, Sept. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Privatization and contracting out of
public services to for-profit operators by the City of Kawartha Lakes, Trent
University and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre will come at a high
cost to residents of Lindsay and Peterborough if not stopped, according to the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
    "Municipalities, like the City of Kawartha Lakes, mistakenly believe that
contracting out and privatizing services is going to save them money," said
CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. "In the long term, it's been proven time and
again in communities across the country that privatization of services and
infrastructure costs taxpayers more and delivers less."
    Ryan was speaking on the eve of a free concert featuring Kim Mitchell and
the all-female band DAME that the union is hosting for residents of The
Kawarthas this Friday, September 26, at the Lindsay Fairgrounds. Called 'Rock
for Public Services,' the concert is meant to celebrate and bring home the
importance of public services in building and strengthening communities. It's
also a thank you to residents for standing by CUPE municipal workers who stood
up to Kawathas Mayor Ric McGee earlier this year to stop the privatization and
contracting out of public services.
    "For seven weeks, we held out to try and stop Mayor Ric McGee and the
city council from contracting out work to for-profit operators," said CUPE 855
President Lyn Edwards. "When work is contracted out to the lowest bidder
paying low wages, this hurts our community. People can't afford to live on $12
an hour. They can't purchase goods and services from the small business
community. They can't afford to buy a home or send their kids to university."
    Ryan also cited two other privatization issues that are affecting
Kawarthas residents. Trent University wants to commercialize its campus by
letting a for-profit corporation develop a private residence that no one
wants. Along with destroying Trent's unique college system, the development is
seen as a more costly form of residence that 75% of Trent students say they
don't want. The Peterborough Regional Health Centre has already contracted out
its cafeteria services to private operators. Now the same jobs that used to
pay good wages are paying $9 an hour to cafeteria workers, according to Ryan.
    "Your hard-earned tax dollars have built, paid for and delivered public
services," said Ryan. "Residents need to stand up for quality public services
and not let politicians sell them off to the lowest bidder through
privatization, contracting out or relocation of these jobs and services."

For further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, (416)
209-0066; Lyn Edwards, President, CUPE 855, (705) 324-6333; Matthew Martin,
Treasurer, CUPE 3908, (705) 761-1211; Valerie Dugale, CUPE Communications,
(647) 225-3685

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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