All government employees should be "essential"

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Today, with hundreds of nurses out on the picket line demanding more jobs, our government forecast a deficit of $279,000,000 for the coming year. That's about $300 for every person­ or $1,200 for a family of four - in Nova Scotia. That quarter billion will be tacked on to the current debt of $15.09 billion ­ bringing it to a little over $15,000 a head ($60,000 per family).

If a company were piling up those kinds of losses they would already have laid off anyone who was not doing something important ­ dare I say “essential”.  And even the most aggressive union would understand that the company would not be hiring new workers, period. But unions have learned that governments don’t negotiate with the same resolve as someone spending their own money. And they take advantage of us!

In my humble opinion, every single person working for the government at this point had better be essential. If they are not, they should be laid off ­ the same as any private sector “non-essential” employee would be if their company was sinking in a quagmire of debt.  

The nurses union is demanding a nurse-to-patient ratio of four to one. Would they still take that stand if the number of nurses was fixed and the number of patients was to be adjusted? Or how about if the pool of money available for nurses was fixed and each of their individual salaries were to be adjusted?

The "safe staffing levels" the union wants will cost an extra $60,000,000 per year just for the Capital Health District. There were 450,700 employed Nova Scotians in February. Raise your hands everyone who is willing to pay an extra $133 in taxes every year so Halifax hospitals can be “safely” staffed.

Lorne Matheson

New Glasgow



Geographic location: Nova Scotia, New Glasgow

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Recent comments

  • johnny smoke
    April 09, 2014 - 18:18

    Lets carry this one step further, The recent news that the MLA salaries are not to be touched, indeed their expenses have been enhanced, their pensions have been enhanced with the silly provision that two years qualifies them for a pension for life leads me to believe that we have far too many MLA's for a province the size and population of Nova Scotia. The proper number should reflect the population. If the health care system can be run by one board then the political system can be run by no more than half the number already warming seats in the Legislature. The savings are quoted as a paltry $2.5-$3 million per year, but when you add in the perks and pensions paid out over time it quickly climbs to over $150 million. That aint chicken feed, and if it is it should go to the chickens not the chicken hawks.

  • johnny smoke
    April 09, 2014 - 09:05

    All government workers "Essential" surely you jest. Over half of the government workers could stay home tomorrow or forever and you would not even know the difference. Except maybe when it comes to tax time, your levy could be cut in half. But then again who would the politicians reward for putting them in the gravy train line up? Ever thought of that?

  • Raymond roach
    April 05, 2014 - 14:33

    Your over all principle here is wonderful it's sounds great but truth be told that the people using the health systems are not the working class or a very small portion? I'd love to think that people on fixed incomes are taking care of them selfs but there not! Plane and simple what this letter to me is asking if this is a good idea but it's not in my mind ! If and in all practicality this was something we agreed to make happen and tax payers flip the bill it I turn would be the healthy working class paying for health care only because they can afford it and if I'm going to pay for my health we should just go American so I can pay for my own and not they 35% unemployed and 12% welfare and other fixed incomes! That would be fair in my eyes!