Elisabeth Ballermann, President of Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE), has written the members that while she is encouraged by news that government is backing away from pension changes warns that members to keep up the fight.
Edmonton (07 May 2014) — In an open letter Elisabeth Ballermann, President of Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE), writes that "there's good news in our battle to protect our pensions, but we're calling on all members not to rest yet. Thanks to pressure from thousands of working Albertans, led by members including those of HSAA and other affected unions, the Alberta government yesterday announced it was taking its pension changes off the table - for now."
She goes on to say that "it has delayed passing the contentious Bills 9 and 10, which targeted public-sector and private-sector pension plans, and will now refer them to the Standing Committee on Alberta's Economic Future. The committee will conduct public hearings before reporting back to the Legislature in the fall."
Member's actions forced government to rethink plans
"This victory is a result of the actions taken by thousands of Albertans including YOU! The campaign was led by the Labour Coalition on Pensions, co-ordinated by the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), of which HSAA is a member," she writes. "I doubt Alberta's MLAs will ever forget the last few months, when they were inundated with calls for face-to-face meetings by concerned Albertans, and with phone calls, emails and petitions."
"It is this pressure from people like you that has got us to this point. Your voice has been heard loud and clear."
Campaign must continue
She warns though, "while we have won one battle, the campaign must continue. HSAA and the Labour Coalition on Pensions will keep up the fight. Changes to our pensions must be negotiated, not dictated. YOU are critical to that continuing fight."
"Our work is not yet done and we call on you again, to continue the pressure. We ask that you visit the coalition website at http://www.truthaboutalbertapensions.ca/ and sign up for email updates. Also, please keep an eye on the HSAA website at www.hsaa.ca for news."
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