World News – CA – Healthcare workers quit in wildcat strikes across Alberta: AUPE


Frontline hospital workers quit their jobs at several locations in Alberta Monday morning to « defend their jobs and the public health care system that keeps Albertans safe and alive, » according to the ‘Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Shortly after 8 a.m., dozens of healthcare workers could be seen picketing outside the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton

AUPE communications officer Terry Inigo-Jones said the walkout began Monday morning at the Royal Alex, and then groups from across the province joined in, including workers from Foothills Medical Center in Calgary and other sites in Fort Saskatchewan, Cold Lac, St Paul, Wetaskiwin and Leduc

« Anger has been mounting among members for months, » AUPE President Guy Smith said in a press release

Smith said ‘the last straw’ for healthcare workers was a recent announcement by Health Minister Tyler Shandro that 11,000 jobs in Alberta’s healthcare service would be cut Earlier this month, Shandro announced that around 9,700 jobs would be lost through the outsourcing of support services such as laundry and community laboratory services.

Read more:
Thousands of jobs in Alberta Health Services to be cut to save $ 600 million a year

Shandro said AHS was also asked to cut 100 management positions At the time, Shandro claimed that « there will be no job loss for nurses or frontline clinical staff « 

Smith said in a press release Monday morning that nurses and support workers « have decided today that there is no choice but to fight to protect Albertans at risk, in especially during the deadliest pandemic in a century

« By constantly reducing public health care staff, this government is pushing our members to breaking point exactly when Albertans need it most »

AUPE represents over 90,000 workers, of which around 58,000 are in the health sector The union represents around 2,800 caregivers and support workers at the Royal Alexandra

“Workers across the province are rising up against Jason Kenney’s job-destroying policies and joining the fight in solidarity It was a decision made by the members themselves AUPE is a democratic union and we respect the wishes of our members, ”said Smith

AUPE Vice-President Susan Slade said the walkout included unit clerks, housekeeping staff, food service and laundry services, as well as licensed practical nurses, health auxiliaries and maintenance workers Registered nurses were not involved, Smith added

“Anyone who works as a support staff within AHS as well as the nursing that we represent,” Slade said “Members are angry, they are frustrated These are public jobs that need to stay in the public and it’s very provocative for Tyler Shandro to write pink slips and tell people that they are going to be abolished and at the same time, congratulate them for the work they are doing in this area last eight months

« They have gone on a wildcat strike, so they will not participate until some of the negotiations have been concluded and that is to get this settled »

« These members are here This is not something nobody takes lightly They recognize what it means and at the end of the day our members are upset since Bill 9 So it is something that we have been retaining members for months and that was just the breaking point « 

« Members will do everything in their power to keep Albertans safe. Public safety is why they are taking this action They know cutting thousands of frontline jobs during a pandemic is crazy This will lead to lower levels of care and higher costs This will lead to tragedies, ”Smith said

« Like all Albertans, our caucus believes that patient safety should always be the top priority, » she said in a statement

« Jason Kenney’s proposal to privatize the work of 11,000 frontline health workers in the midst of a pandemic will absolutely result in poorer health care for Albertans. His suggestion that this can be done without compromising care defies common sense In the interest of Alberta patients and those who care about them, this reckless plan must end « 

In a statement, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, which represents 27,000 health professionals in Alberta, said it supports AUPE workers

« Healthcare workers work tirelessly to keep Albertans safe and they have been rewarded with threats to their jobs by a government determined to demolish our public health care system, » said HSAA President , Mike Parker in a press release

« The blame for any disruption in patient care that may arise today must fall directly at the feet of Jason Kenney and the UCP »

Global News has contacted Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta for a response, which will be added to this story once received

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Alberta Health Services, Wildcat strike

News from the world – CA – Healthcare workers quit their jobs in wildcat strikes across Alberta: AUPE


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