Health-care professionals held information pickets across Alberta on Wednesday to protest contract cuts and rollbacks.
Edmonton (24 Feb. 2012) - Health care professionals represented by the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) held information pickets across Alberta on Feb. 23 to show dissatisfaction with employer proposals in bargaining.
“At a time when Alberta’s population is booming and we’re being told we’re to expect significant growth, our employers are asking us to accept mean-spirited rollbacks and wage freezes,” said Elisabeth Ballermann, President, HSAA/NUPGE. “Staffing levels are not keeping up with the influx of new Albertans leading to stress, burnout, injury and job dissatisfaction."
“This puts the quality of care that our members want to provide and that Albertans deserve at risk,” Ballermann added.
After ten months at the bargaining table, Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health finally tabled their financial package that offered zero per cent increases for the first two years and only cost of living in the third year of a proposed package. Furthermore, they asked for rollbacks in a number of areas and failed to address many of the issues that HSAA/NUPGE members brought to the table.
“Asking our members to accept rollbacks to things like bereavement leave and minimum periods of rest between shifts can only be characterized as plain mean,” said Ballermann.
Members fanned out across the province on Wed. Feb. 23 to ask Where’s The Fairness? "Alberta cannot claim poverty when they are anticipating 3.9 per cent growth in the next year, while leaving $11 billion in taxes to Alberta’s richest on the table (according to a recent study by the Parkland Institute). Somebody is getting a good deal, but it’s not our members,” added Ballermann.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE