TORONTO – Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will take on the impact of government austerity on public services and communities, with a march and rally Thursday in advance of the provincial budget.
Date: Thursday, April 23
Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Place: Bay Street from Old City Hall (noon) to Wellesley (12:30 p.m.)
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas will be joined by members of the union’s bargaining teams for the Ontario Public Service, leaders of other unions and community groups to put a focus on the impact of cuts on schools, hospitals, and other public services.
OPSEU has been an out-spoken critic of privatization and P3 developments, a criticism borne out by the provincial auditor’s finding that P3 contracts have already cost Ontarians $8 billion more than traditional construction would have cost.
“That means every man, woman and child in this province has needlessly given more than $600 each to some of the wealthiest corporations, banks and law firms around,” Thomas said. “And that’s $8 billion wasted dollars that could have been used to bolster public services that people need.
“More disturbingly, I have every expectation that Thursday’s provincial budget will pour more money into P3 operations and privatization. That’s more of our hard-earned dollars being funneled into well-connected law firms, banks and construction companies, while people who teach our kids, tend our sick and provide necessary services get told they must bite the bullet.
Invited speakers include Sally Jurcaba, vice-president of the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO); John Clarke, coordinator, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty; Edie Strachan, OPSEU board member for Toronto, and Yasin Kaya, secretary, Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at York University.
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