Dear brother/sister,

Yesterday, the provincial government put forward its provincial budget.  I won’t go into a full breakdown here as it would be too cumbersome; however, I will cover off some of the larger issues from your union’s perspective.

The major concerns that we have with the budget were, for the most part, announced earlier in the week via pre-budget announcements. That’s not to say that we have no concerns with the budget announcements from yesterday – we certainly do.

I have been front and centre in the media this week, standing up for public sector workers, public services and against the government’s privatization agenda. The public must hear the side of the story from the workers perspective and we have done everything in our power to achieve that goal this week and we will continue to do so into the future.

Unfortunately, we have seen this before – public sector workers seem to be the ones that bear the brunt of short term financial situations that they had no part in creating.

Here is a high point overview of some of the issues that have come up this week for your information.


On Monday, the provincial government announced that it would be reducing the size of the public service via attrition. Essentially, this means that instead of straight layoffs, the government will be reducing the public service by 1400 positions over the course of the next five years through retirements and resignations. While this method is preferred to straight layoffs, attrition by any other name is still a layoff – just on a longer timeline.

We have concerns that eliminating jobs in the public sector will have an impact on the vital public services that the people of this province depend on every day. You simply can’t do more, with less.

Given the size of the province and the demographics, a strong public service is required to deliver top quality services and programs in this province – services and programs that help stimulate the provinces economy and ensure a healthier, fairer, and more equitable society. Also, NAPE has concerns about the impact of reductions on the workers who are left to do the work in terms of stress, strain, quality of work, workloads, and health and safety.

This approach will also have a negative impact on young people trying to enter the workforce – if public sector workers are retiring and their positions are not being replaced, it means there is less opportunity for young workers entering the workforce.

We will be monitoring the situation going forward in close consultation with our members on the ground to gauge impact.


As you may be aware, the provincial government just held a press conference earlier this week to announce that they will be moving towards Public Private Partnerships (P3s) in Long Term Care delivery.

In no uncertain terms, this is an attack on public services and public sector workers, particularly in health care, and NAPE will fight back against this privatization agenda with full force.

As many of our members are painfully aware, this agenda has been in place for some time. From food services, to healthcare security, group homes, our highways, and Adult Basic Education at the College of the North Atlantic, the impact of privatization is all too real. Please also keep in mind that today it could be health care workers who are privatized – tomorrow it could be you.

Public-private partnerships (P3s) involve commercial contracts between public authorities (state or local) and private businesses in the design, construction, financing and operation of public infrastructure and services that have traditionally been delivered by the public sector, such as highways, hospitals or schools.

There are various P3 models. But in most cases, teams – typically made up of a contractor, an architect, a lender and sometimes an operator – bid on a project. The winning group puts up the money, takes on the construction risks and then gets repaid when the project is done. Sometimes, the consortium also operates a facility under a long-term contract, getting repaid in instalments over several years.

Government insists it is ‘innovative’ and will ‘leverage greater value’ and ‘ensure efficiencies’, but the real world experience shows that, more often than not, the opposite is true .

Research and real world experience in other jurisdictions highlights some serious flaws in how governments tally the benefits of public-private partnerships versus conventional projects.

Public-private partnerships have fundamentally been about giving private investors and financiers high returns with low risks, at the long-term expense of taxpayers and the public. For example, the Auditor General in Ontario recently blasted P3s in that province for costing $8 BILLION more than if the same projects had been publicly financed, built and operated. This week, the Ontario AG released a report that roads in that province were less safe since privatization.

The results are scary and they are overwhelming; when you put profit before people, something has to give.

Details at this stage are few and far between, but we will be pushing for more information from the government in the coming days.

NAPE will continue to stand up for high quality public services and the workers who provide top quality public services to the people of this province and we will ensure that the government sees the folly of the P3 model or ensure that they pay the political price.


Home care workers provide an invaluable service to the people of this province and play a crucial role in providing care and support to some of our province’s most vulnerable. Despite this reality, these workers are making slightly more than minimum wage. Government must give home care the funding it deserves. It is as simple as that.

Government talks about the need to save money, yet they refuse to adequately fund home care which has the potential to save millions of dollars in our healthcare system.

Despite this fact, there was no money specifically earmarked in the budget to increase the pay of home care workers.

We are calling on the provincial government to provide funding to the home care agencies to increase compensation for home care workers.

We are currently in various stages of collective bargaining negotiations with numerous home care agencies and we will be updating home care workers in the coming weeks on those efforts.


This is by no means a comprehensive review of the provincial budget, but I thought it was important to get a note out to the membership covering a few of the issues coming out of the budget.

Again, we will be monitoring impact going forward. With that said, we will not be sitting idly by and watch this government make decisions that negatively impact the public services of this province and the amazing women and men who deliver them.

Please stay tuned for additional information, actions, and events as we organize the push back effort going forward.

Remember – there is strength in the union.

In solidarity,



Jerry Earle

NAPE President (Elect)