Union says AHS must reverse recent layoffs of front-line care providers
Edmonton (11 Sept. 2013) - “Our members work on the front lines and have always said that health care must put patients first. That means devoting the maximum resources towards front-line care. It’s good to hear that Health Minister Fred Horne agrees with us,” says Elisabeth Ballermann, President of the Health Services Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE), which represents more than 24,000 paramedical technical, professional and support workers.
Government needs to show commitment to new front-line focus by rehiring laid off front-line workers
“However, our experience with the long line of massive reorganizations of health-care management shows that they usually lead to confusion, causing increased workplace stress, greater workloads and negative impacts on patient care.”
Ballermann said that if the government is sincere in implementing the new front-line focus called for in the report by the Alberta Health Sciences (AHS) Official Administrator, AHS will immediately cease all layoffs of front-line workers and rehire all those who have been unnecessarily laid off in recent months.
“It was a mistake to get rid of hundreds of front-line workers, including HSAA/NUPGE members. It’s time to bring them back so they can provide the levels of care that sick and injured Albertans deserve,” says Ballermann.
Resources saved through the elimination of 70 vice-president salaries needs to be directed to front-line care of patients.
“The elimination of 70 vice-president salaries will mean significant savings. We expect that those savings will be redirected to front-line care and not used as an excuse to reduce the health-care budget. Health-care funding is failing to keep pace with inflation and population growth. There is no excuse for budget cuts that endanger Albertans,” she says.
“It is also disappointing that, once again, there was no consultation with front-line workers in advance of these latest changes. As always, it seems that the government has missed the key step of actually talking to the people who provide the care.”
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