Solidarity Halifax Statement on Bill 148
- Solidarity Halifax opposes Bill 148, introduced by the NS Liberal government to impose wage restraint on 75,000 public sector workers. We support free and fair collective bargaining and oppose government attempts to legislate contracts unilaterally.
- The Liberals are trying to blame teachers, nurses, civil servants and other public sector workers for the so-called financial crisis in the province. It is not the wages of public sector workers that have caused financial problems.
- In 2008, the big banks crashed the economy through their constant pursuit of profit and greed. The Occupy movement made the issue very clear—this is a struggle between the 1% and the 99%—the ruling class and the working class. Blaming public sector workers for these problems is a bold-faced lie from the Liberals.
- Nova Scotia’s economy is doing better than the Liberals claim. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is lower than Ontario and Quebec. The deficit is a mere 2.5% of the provincial budget. The sky is not falling.
- In the past thirty years, Nova Scotia’s real wealth (in GDP per capita) has grown by more than 50 percent. In the same period the real median wage for workers has declined by 10 percent. Where has the extra wealth gone? To owners of capital. The only groups who have resisted that trend are credentialized and professionalized workers. They’ve managed to resist it through collective bargaining and this legislation is meant for them.
- The Liberals are trying to confuse the public about the real problems facing our province. Our hospitals are understaffed. Our classrooms are overcrowded. University tuition rates are skyrocketing. There is a housing crisis because rents are increasing rapidly. Our environment is being impacted by climate change. Fewer and fewer families can afford nutritious food. Electricity bills continue to rise. Unemployment remains high. Instead of addressing the real issues facing the province, the Liberals are trying to distract us by picking fights with public sector workers.
- There is plenty of wealth and resources in Nova Scotia. Our province’s economic output is $39 billion per year! This is enough for everyone to live a good life. The real problem with our economy is that wealth and resources are concentrated in the hands of the 1%. Nova Scotia has five billionaire families who basically run our economy – the Sobeys, the Braggs, the Jodreys, John Risley, and Ken Rowe.
- The root of Nova Scotia’s problems is capitalism. We will never be able to provide excellent public services, eliminate income inequality or address climate change without moving beyond capitalism.
- Solidarity Halifax believes another world is possible. If you agree, join us and help build a better Nova Scotia.
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