• Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

Alberta health care support staff take 4% pay cut: Union

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says Alberta Health Services presented General Support Services (GSS) workers with a 4% pay cut.

The AHS on Thursday announced the reduction of the AUPE AHS GSS negotiating team as negotiations resume, after being suspended earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the AUPE.

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The four percent cut would be implemented immediately after the new agreement is ratified, followed by three years of zero percent increases, AUPE said in a press release late Thursday.

“It’s indecent and obscene,” AUPE Vice President Susan Slade said. “How dare they attack frontline healthcare workers who are already stressed and dejected due to the pandemic. »

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AHS referred comments on the matter to Finance Minister Travis Toews’ office. In a statement, Toews said:

“At a time when Alberta is $93 billion in debt, the focus must be on the long-term financial health of the province, as well as the health of Albertans.

“We need to control our spending – and that includes public sector compensation,” Toews said.

“At the bargaining table yesterday, AUPE asked AHS for a 5% wage increase over the next two years. This represents $105 million for the Alberta taxpayer. This follows a request for a four per cent increase over two years by UNA (United Nurses of Alberta).

“Albertans pay more than most Canadians for public services, including health care.

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Toews said his proposal is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of all Albertans.

“AHS offers job security to employees in exchange for a one-time pay cut. It is fair and just trade,” he said.

“AHS is meeting with AUPE later today to continue negotiations. I am confident that both parties can work together to reach a fair and equitable settlement that respects the financial situation of the province.

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Alberta nurses and other public sector unions warn of industrial action after wage cut demand

Alberta nurses and other public sector unions warn against professional action after wage cut demand – July 7, 2021

GSS workers include those working in cleaning and environmental services, food services, laundry, laboratory work, protective services, supply chain and purchasing, and long-term care.

This is the same group of workers who staged a wildcat strike last fall to protest the government’s plan to privatize laundry services and cut more than 11,000 jobs.

NDP health critic David Shepherd said the proposed 4% cut was “completely unconscionable.”

“These people were on the front line. They were the people changing sheets for COVID patients, cleaning rooms and floors to keep families, patients and staff safe. They were preparing the meals,” he said.

“And now the Prime Minister turns to them and says, ‘Thank you for your service. Give us back four percent.

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“These workers are frustrated, they are exhausted and now they feel demoralized.”

Shepherd said if the cuts were down to debt reduction, the prime minister shouldn’t have spent $1.3 billion on the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline.

“The Premier has many areas where he has chosen to play and waste Alberta taxpayers’ money. That he then turns to our frontline healthcare workers who have helped us through this pandemic and says, “You’re going to pay for my mistakes,” and tries to attack and vilify them, c ‘unacceptable.

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The union said when the parties originally entered negotiations in February 2020, AHS offered a 1% pay cut.

“The only way to stop them is to fight back. We will do everything we can to protect AUPE members and Albertans who rely on the services they provide,” Slade said.

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AUPE is Alberta’s largest union with over 95,000 members, of which approximately 11,000 are GSS.

Earlier this month it was revealed that AHS was asking nurses to take a 3% pay cut to help control expenses. The province’s health care provider is seeking the pay cut as part of ongoing contract negotiations with the UNA.

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At the time, Finance Minister Travis Toews said the province needed to get its finances back on track as it moved beyond the pandemic.

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