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Brinkmanship

Dear sir:

Premier Harris is playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship.

Ontario CUPE members continue to prepare for a province-wide walkout as the promised changes to Bill 136 appear to fall short of labour’s demands.

The premier claims he has responded to our concerns but he won’t show us his amendments until three days before he intends to pass the bill. He promised further talks with labour but we’re still waiting for a meeting.

And holding public talks only in the city of Toronto shows his contempt for our northwestern communities.

Obviously it’s money talking and guiding the hand of government. Take a look at the waiting lists at our hospital, how long you have to wait to see a nurse, the changes in the ambulance act, the increases in property taxes, the proposed increases in rental costs, etc. etc. etc. It’s quite obvious to our members that we, as citizens and workers, don’t matter to this government, we don’t matter to our employers, we no longer have any value in our communities.

Overworked and frustrated members are more than willing to show these pompous PC’s that they are tired of being the financial scapegoats of the 30 percent tax cut.

It is our intent to use every means to convince this government that we mean business; as a hospital worker, it feels terrible to go home at night knowing you have worked another hard day and still feel guilty because we didn’t have time to give the care our patients desperately need. Not just changing beds, bathing, or feeding patients but that extra time, the time of healing touch, words and kindness, and listening to our patients’ emotional and spiritual needs.

As a CUPE member, I feel all of our members from the kitchen staff to our paramedics give the best care to our community. It’s just that we’re running out of time.

This bill and this government insult and degrade the most precious resource of Ontario—its public sector workers.

Sincerely,

James Bujold,

Pres., CUPE Local 795

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