A re-elected Liberal government will continue to respect and work with public servants, unlike Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives, who forced pension reform on public servants and now have a plan to cut 2000 public servant positions.
Gallant specified that a re-elected Liberal Government will continue to invest significantly in education and health care, building on its own record investments in these areas. Gallant added that a re-elected Liberal Government will:
- Provide teachers, nurses, and other public servants with access to better paid parental leave;
- Ensure students completing internships with government agencies in the education, healthcare, social work, and sports and culture fields are paid for their work; and
- Continue to implement the “Proud, Productive and Professional” vision to ensure a strong civil service delivering important services to New Brunswickers.
Ahead of next Monday’s election, the Liberals are calling on public servants and their families and friends to consider the record of the two main parties as they decide how to vote. For instance, while Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives froze the pay for front-line workers for four years while expanding the number of senior executives, Brian Gallant cut his own pay by 15 percent and that of his ministers by 10 percent while freezing salaries for MLAs and giving reasonable wage increases to public servants. Gallant also avoided front-line service cuts and actually decreased the number of senior executive positions in government by 30 percent.
In addition, under Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives, the number of public servants working to support our health and education systems in New Brunswick communities decreased by 1016 between 2010 and 2014, while this number increased by 986 from 2014 to 2018 under the Gallant Government.
“A focus on cutting jobs would be reckless and risks shrinking our economy, as it did when Blaine Higgs was New Brunswick’s minister of finance. Clearly, Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives’ reckless disregard for the contributions of the public service has many civil servants worried, especially when considering Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives’ record with regard to the civil service,” added Gallant.
When he was minister of finance, Blaine Higgs forced pension reform on over 70 percent of public servants for financial reasons that the auditor-general has since ruled did not in fact remove the financial liability that Higgs promised. Despite this, Higgs says that he would force pension reform on the remaining public servants, something the Gallant Government refused to do in its four years in office.
While many of New Brunswick’s civil servants work in Fredericton and the Capital Region, communities and families all across our province are home to the public servants who run our hospitals, schools, and government regional offices while contributing to regional economies.