Looking behind the mask of austerity in New Brunswick

Written by Asaf Rashid on June 22, 2015
NB Media Co-op

22 06 2015One word defines the New Brunswick 2015 /2016 budget and its aftermath: austerity, largely felt through cuts to public services. The cuts have galvanized the creation of the NB Prosperity Not Austerity Coalition, which is challenging the austerity measures.

“The coalition is growing and represents over 100,000 people in New Brunswick,” said Patrick Colford, president of New Brunswick Federation of Labour. The coalition includes the NB Federation of Labour, CUPE NB, Unifor, NB Coalition for Pay Equity, Common Front for Social Justice, Mount Allison University Faculty Association, Reproductive Justice NB, Fédération des étudiants et étudiantes de l’Université de Moncton, among others.

The coalition rejects austerity as a solution to New Brunswick’s economic woes.

Announcements of major cuts to public services in New Brunswick followed the release of the 2015 /2016 budget. Each government department is expected to cut 10% of their expenses, which the government claims is necessary in order to chip away at a $476 million deficit that places it on a fiscal cliff. Finance Minister Roger Melanson has also given an ominous warning that the worst is yet to come in future budgets.

Read more: Looking behind the mask of austerity in New Brunswick

Local health care workers protest privatization of services

The Sackville Tribune Post - Katie Tower - Published on June 10, 2015

12 06 2015SACKVILLE, N.B. – Local health care workers took the opportunity while the Premier was in town last week to voice their anger over the provincial government’s decision to privatize the management of non-medical services in hospitals throughout New Brunswick.

About two dozen hospital workers rallied in front of the Sackville Legion last Wednesday evening, when Premier Brian Gallant was scheduled to serve as guest speaker for the Greater Sackville Chamber of Commerce dinner.

“We’re rallying against government contracting out services,” said Bob Partridge, president of local CUPE 1252, the union representing licensed practical nurses (LPNs), food service, housekeeping, maintenance and clerk admin workers at SMH.

The government announced earlier this spring that the province is negotiating with a private, for-profit company to take over management of hospital operations such as food services and cleaning. These areas are currently managed in-house. Partridge said once management of those services are taken over, it will just be a matter of time before job cuts start coming.

Read more: Local health care workers protest privatization of services

Over 300 Bag Lunches Presented

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Terry Mullin, VP Region 3 South Presenting over 100 bag lunches to “Fredericton Community Kitchens Inc.”
Pictured left to right: Therese Murray, Executive Director, Dale Larsen Cook, Terry Mullin VP 1252 Reg.3 South, Sheryl Mercer Office Clerk


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Terry Mullin, VP Region 3 South Presenting over 200 bag lunches to “Fredericton Homeless Shelters Inc.”
Pictured left to right: Warren Maddox, Executive Director, Terry Mullin VP 1252, Reg.3 South, Shelter Volunteer

Rally at the legislature and local 4848 members say NO CUTS TO AMBULANCE SERVICES!!!

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://cupe1252scfp.ca/en/?start=30#sigProIdc5bfafdb0d

RALLY CUPE 1252 MAY 25

Candlelight Vigil on May 25 at 8:45 pm at Kings Square in Saint John to Mourn the Death of Public Health Care.

RALLY CUPE 4848 – May 26

CUPE 4848 is having a Rally in front of the Legislative Assembly at noon on May 26 to protest the cut of an ambulance in the Chipman area.

RALLY CUPE 1252 – MAY 28

CUPE 1252 is having a Rally in front of the Legislative Assembly at noon on May 28 to protest the cuts in Health Care.

No actual layoffs are currently planned,' Horizon says

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. Thu May 14 2015, Page: B6, Section: City
Byline: Derwin Gowan

ST. STEPHEN * Horizon Health Network has no "current" plans to lay off staff, according to an email from Leslie Reid, regional director, workforce relations.

She confirmed, however, that the network did issue a layoff notice as of May 1, and that discussion will resume at some point with a private company interested in providing services to some New Brunswick hospitals.

Read more: No actual layoffs are currently planned,' Horizon says

Horizon doctors plead for action on hospital congestion

Health network's 5 acute care facilities in 'overcapacity gridlock,' say physicians in letter to officials
CBC News Posted: May 12, 2015 11:46 AM ET

news may 14 2015Doctors at the five largest hospitals in Horizon Health Network say the hospitals are operating "in a state of overcapacity gridlock" and are demanding the health authority and provincial government do something to ease the stress within the system.

"The ERs are filled with admitted patients for days, waiting to get a bed on one of the units," wrote the presidents of the medical staffs at the five hospitals in a letter to Health Minister Victor Boudreau, Social Development Minister Cathy Rogers and Horizon's board of directors and executive leadership team.

Read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/horizon-doctors-plead-for-action-on-hospital-congestion-1.3070919

Chipman area residents rally to save second ambulance

Posted on 5/9/2015 6:30:00 PM - khj.ca/local-news

may 11 2015

There was a rally in Chipman Saturday afternoon as area residents try to save their second ambulance.

In April, the provincial government and Ambulance New Brunswick made the decision to eliminate the second ambulance, effective mid-June.

That decision prompted outrage from elected officials and area residents, who organized Saturday's rally at the village office.

Resident Lesa McInnis told the crowd of about 100 people that her husband would not be here today without that ambulance.

Read more at: http://www.khj.ca/local-news/2015/05/09/chipman-area-residents-rally-to-save-second-ambulance