NUPGE: "the use of private firefighters and inmates could be seen as a way to avoid funding public services "
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has warned that “there is good reason to fear that the growing use of private firefighters and inmates could be seen as a way to avoid funding public services at the level required to respond to climate change.” Going further, NUPGE points out that “in addition to the loss of life and destruction of homes, more severe wildfires and other extreme weather caused by climate change mean more demands are placed on public services. The increased hours wildland firefighters are working is just the tip of the iceberg. Paramedics and hospital workers are helping pick up the pieces. Highway maintenance workers are having to do more to maintain roads. Those demands on public services push up the cost. There are 2 ways we can deal with that cost: we can ask that everyone pay their share through a fair tax system or we can have one level of service for the wealthy, and another for everyone else. If private firefighters or inmates replacing public sector workers becomes more common, we will be headed down the second path.”