The goal is to stop the government's 'low road approach' to dealing with the recession and replace it with a 'high road approach' that protects services.
Edmonton (18 Jan. 2010) - Labour unions across Alberta are banding together with other public interest and advocacy groups to fight for public services in the face of a provincial government that seems determined to slash programs as a major approach to dealing with the recession.
The Join Together Alberta group was announced Friday as a joint initiative of the following groups: the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE), Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Communications, Energy, Paperworkers Union (CEP), Friends of Medicare (FoM), Public Interest Alberta (PIA) and the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA).
"All of the participating organizations share deep concerns about the impacts that deep cuts to public services will have on individuals, families and communities within Alberta," says the Join Together Alberta campaign website.
"They also share a belief that the best way forward for Alberta is to embrace a high-road approach to our future, one that focuses on smart investments in people, communities and the economy, as opposed to a low-road approach, one that focuses on cutting spending and leaving individuals, families and communities to increasingly fend for themselves," the website adds.
"As the campaign progresses, more groups and organization will be asked to add their names to the list of supporters. Individual Albertans are also part of this campaign, showing their support for the campaign and its goals.
The goal of the campaign is to stop the governm"ent's "low road approach" to dealing with the recession and replace it with a "high road approach" that protects public services.
"Instead of a government that sees cuts as the answer to every problem, we think Albertans deserve a government that sees the value of citizens pooling their resources, energy and ideas to achieve shared social, economic and environmental goals....
"Let’s strengthen Alberta’s social and economic fabric! Every dollar of public revenue that is spent on services that educate our children, provide health care for our sick or elderly, build roads and rail links or invest in university training and research is like a stitch in our province’s social and economic fabric."
The group says Alberta must be persuaded not to take a backward approach that other countries around the world have rejected.
"The rest of the world seems to have learned this lesson. From America’s Barack Obama, to Britain’s Gordon Brown, to Germany’s Angela Merkel and Australia’s Kevin Rudd, world leaders agree (that) spending on public services and public infrastructure is not only a key to fighting the recession. It has also been seen as a key to building stronger economies and more vibrant, caring and sustainable societies over the long term."
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
Join Together Alberta website