A coalition of public sector workers is ramping up its call for no more government cuts.
The Join Together Alberta group launched a new campaign Thursday, essentially creating a coalition including the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA).
The coalition has issued a declaration, asking the provincial government to stop "contemplating cuts, freezes and rollbacks in any vital public services at a time of obvious prosperity."
"We want to really help the public understand how important our public services are in Alberta," says Sharon Armstrong, vice-president of the ATA.
It came to light Tuesday that upwards of 1,000 teaching positions may be cut come September, according to a draft budget. Armstrong says the Alberta education system is expecting more than 6,000 new students in September, and 100,000 more by 2020.
Armstrong says the governments recent announcement of more than $550 million for 22 new schools in the province is "short sighted."
"Why you would put money into building schools when you choose not to finance the schools (and) programs that you have right now is certainly questionable," says Armstrong.
The Join Together Alberta group will be launching a series of town halls across the province, starting in Red Deer on June 6. The coalition also plans a telephone town hall on May 31, and a mass telephone campaign reaching more than 250,000 homes in Alberta.
The group welcomes anyone who is willing to sign the declaration. For more information visit www.JoinTogetherAlberta.ca.
Edmonton Sun, Thurs May 26 2011
Byline: Tanara McLean