Albertans deserve to know what budget cuts likely under a UCP government would mean for services
Alberta - Leaders of unions from across Alberta met in Edmonton today at the Alberta Federation of Labour Council meeting and have sent a letter to the leaders of our public institutions calling on them to show clear plans for potential future budget cuts.
Following Edmonton Public School Board’s recent study examining various scenarios of how its budget would be impacted by cuts in provincial funding, the Alberta Federation of Labour is calling on the leadership of public institutions across the province to undertake the same process, and to release the results to the public.
“With a provincial election coming up next spring, the public deserves to know what provincial funding cuts could mean for their services,” said Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “From school boards to our health care system and everything in between. Albertans need to know that our publicly funded bodies are planning for our future, and taking action to safeguard our standard of living. Public service leaders taking action is an important step to ensuring that is the case.”
In Alberta, school boards, municipal governments, Alberta Health Services, post-secondary institutions, and many other publicly funded entities are entrusted with direction setting, financial planning, and being accountable to the public for the maintenance of key services.
“Our public service leaders have a duty to plan for our future, and when the leader of a major party proposes massive, unspecified cuts, they have a responsibility to take a long, hard look at what these cuts could mean for our kids, communities, services and workers who provide them,” said McGowan. “The vast majority of the operating budgets for our public services come from provincial funding. Any provincial government plans to cut this funding would have a direct and immediate impact on our members who work in the public services, and on the services which they provide to the public.”
“While the Notley government has committed to protect funding to crucial public services like education and healthcare, Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party have made it very clear that if they formed government, they would make deep cuts to these services,” said McGowan. “Jason Kenney has floated cuts as high as 20 per cent, while refusing to commit to any concrete numbers – although UCP candidates have admitted such cuts would ‘hurt’. This sort of reactionary right-wing approach is the last thing our province needs, and Albertans deserve to have the full picture before they go to the polls in 2019.”
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