Danny Cavanagh: In 2012/2013, when I was CUPE Nova Scotia president, we had a big campaign called the 10% shift. The Shift doesn’t ask you to spend more – it just says if you change how you spend, you can make a real difference in your community.
Danny Cavanagh: Workers do not need the added stress of getting a sick note, often they need to pay for that, and many workers do not even have a doctor and face the added burden of losing their job if they don’t get a note. Have you heard there is a doctor shortage in our province?
Danny Cavanagh: “This shutting down of the house of assembly by the Liberals gave them essentially paid sick leave or a holiday in the pandemic’s name. Meanwhile, since March of last year, front line workers have been continually told to stay home if you’re sick, all without any offer of paid sick days provincially.”
Danny Cavanagh: “Changing workplace safety will only happen about when bosses learn “kill a worker – go to jail”. Otherwise, fines are just a slap on the wrist, viewed as the cost of doing business.”
Danny Cavanagh: “The system of long-term care in our province is, for the most part, a private for-profit system and that must end. I think it’s fair to say that the residents and staff in long-term feel neglected, based on their treatment and working conditions.”
Danny Cavanagh on the need for decent pay. “People don’t often think about the cogs in the wheel as long as it is turning. Never much thought to the countless people behind the scenes in hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities – those providing home support. Every day they quietly worked along even though by doing so they put themselves in danger of getting Covid-19. We often think about the nurses, doctors and specialists, but not a lot about the cleaners, cooks, food service workers, the people keeping the buildings working, the paperwork flowing and all those behind the scenes keeping the wheels moving.”
Danny Cavanagh: The headline in the NSGEU/CUPE press release reads “Dozens of hospital employees across Nova Scotia lose jobs to American-owned company just before the holidays.” This a move from a government who praises the dedication of our health care workers but is laying off the 91 employees who work in Health Information Services (HIS), scanning and archiving medical records.
NS Federation of Labour president Danny Cavanagh compares the media’s relentless focus on CERB abuses with the relative neglect of similar abuse of the countless COVID support programs in place for businesses. Meanwhile, at least 68 Canadian companies have continued to pay out billions in dividends to their shareholders while receiving government aid.
Danny CAvanagh: On Tuesday, the CEO of the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport said they have received notification Air Canada flights to Toronto and Halifax will be cut effective Jan. 11, 2021, and the local Jazz aviation station will be closed until further notice. This is a devastating blow to Cape Breton residents, workers and businesses.
Danny Cavanagh: “Taxpayers need to benefit in the good times if a capitalist society expects to have the government keep them operational in bad times. Taxpayers need to become shareholders, and we need to ensure that dividends to shareholders are limited, and the CEOs have a more realistic pay cheque.”