Union workers rally against budget 'attack' on public service

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Union workers rally against budget 'attack' on public service

Union workers rally against budget 'attack' on public service

Union members say they are concerned about the impact changes made in last week's provincial budget will have on future generations. 

Hundreds of union members from across the prairies took a break from a regional convention of the Public Service Alliance of Canada to rally outside Manitoba's Legislative Building on Friday.

The rally comes after the province tabled its budget last week, which included flat spending or outright cuts in more than two-thirds of department branches across the public service.

Premier Brian Pallister could not promise that civil servants' jobs would not be cut because of the changes. 

One Winnipeg mom said she's worried about the future. 

"I have concern that with my newborn baby, the services that my family relies on will be cut short," said Jennifer Chen, who attended the rally with her seven-month old son. "I want my baby to have a good future," she said. 

Cutting public sector funding is not the way to solve the province's deficit, said Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff, who spoke at the rally. 

"These are the people who provide the services on the front-line of communities," Yussuff said. "There may be some challenges, but the resolution of this government to attack workers is unfair and unjust."

The cuts to the tuition fee income tax rebate and the closure of emergency rooms in Winnipeg are of particular concern to Ashley Morello. 

Morello said she will not be personally affected by the changes, but she is concerned about the impact they will have on other members of her union. 

"I know people that work in various regions in both the public and private sectors that are affected by the cuts," Morello said. "It affects me because we're all family, everybody knows everybody, it's three degrees of separation as they say in Winnipeg."