Apr 14, 2021
After a year of pandemic pain, we gather again to mourn for workers
News article summary (meta description)
COVID-19 has brought increased risk to life and health
Apr 14, 2021
AUPE’s Constitution sets out the duties of the Occupational Heath & Safety Committee as follows:
The Occupational Health & Safety Committee shall:
With the support of AUPE's Education Department, the OHS Committee is proud to offer all AUPE members three valuable new resources.
This package helps members elected to the role of Local OHS Liaison understand and fulfill their duties.
It also makes suggestions how to go beyond basics. Any worker can use these resources to:
The Rolyn Sumlak Award honors members who show dedication in encouraging health and safety measures in the workplace. The winner of the award will be an example to other members in raising awareness of Occupational Health and Safety issues and strives for a higher standard in health and safety on the job.
The award is named for an AUPE member who was killed on the job while working for the government of Alberta and is presented each year at the union’s annual International Day of Mourning Ceremony to a deserving member.
Click here to download the nomination form.
Dennis Mikalson, Local 012
Doug Moecki, Local 011
Ann Hamilton, Local 009
Stanley Tomlinson, Local 003
Tony Banack, Local 003
Nola Hambleton, Local 001
Susan Sawchuk, Local 057
Debbie Simmons, Local 009
Leane Lagasse, Local 001
Mike Rennich, Local 003
Michael Kennedy, Local 054
Wesley Rusnell, Local 009
Len Pederson, Local 002
Tracey Courtepatte, Local 049
Marlene Belich, Local 002
Shirley Doerkson (in memoriam), Local 001
Coleen Young, Local 047
Roy Warnock, Local 071
Katherine Blake, Local 006
Ron Wright, Local 003
Tony Mah, Local 038
Joanne Spencer, Local 046
Rick Stewart, Local 005
Karl Pederson, Local 004
Monte Bobinski, Local 003
Lorraine Ellis-Barnaby, Local 002
Mary Franklin, Local 042
Hal Griffith, Local 003
Jim Wilson, Local 060
Roseline Bouchie, Local 001
Barry Madsen, Local 071
Sharon MacLean, Local 043
Beverly Hill, Local 040
Larry Mydan, Local 002
Wanda Parlin, Local 046
Michael Dyer, Local 004
Roy Jackman, Local 003
Marjorie Hooker, Local 054
Melanie Thompson, Local 054
Mark Ellis, Local 012
Karie Burchill, Local 006
John Jones, Local 057
Lindsay Logan, Local 060
More than twenty years ago, the Canadian Labour Congress declared April 28 a National Day of Mourning for workers who have been killed, suffer disease or are injured at work. Every year since, union members throughout the world mark the Day of Mourning to remember workers killed and injured on the job, the impact on their friends, colleagues and family members, and to recommit themselves to fighting every day for workplace safety.
In 2009, AUPE unveiled a memorial sculpture dedicated to AUPE members killed or injured on the job. The sculpture portrays AUPE members and family from each of the unions’ four sectors gathered solemnly in remembrance around a miner’s lantern – a key symbol of safety and hope in the International Day of Mourning.
Each year, a poem is read at the Day of Mourning gathering. The poem was written in the memory of Rolyn Sumlak, who died Oct. 9, 1990, by his friend and AUPE Local 012 colleague Dennis Mikalsen. On Apr. 28,1996, AUPE Health and Safety Specialist Dennis Malayko had the honour of reading this poem at the United Nations as part of a two-person labour delegation.
Someone died the other day,
An accident is what they say
The boom went up and hit the line
The medics came but not in time
How could it happen we stare and say
We practice safety every day
We grieve with the family and do our best
To help each other through this test
Suddenly emerged from unseen forts
Inspectors chastise and make reports
Where were they before the day
A safety hazard took a life away
In a hurry running late
Do it now or it can wait
But the works important
Priority one, we can do it , if we run
Need more training, that's "OK"
But it can wait for another day
What? Staff unhappy all will be well
When we hear from personnel
Safety's important, it's not a game
That was the line before the budget came
Reduce your workload that's not what we meant
When we cut staff by ten percent
The more we do the more needs done
Building empires is really fun
Do your work and really care
The more you do the better I fare
The death of our brother was tragic and wrong
But he cared and our memories will be cherished and long
With his passing, our brother left something to do
The torch has been passed to me and to you
Most employers and workers that AUPE represents are regulated under Provincial jurisdiction. Some employers, like Cargill, are regulated under Federal jurisdiction. If you are not sure which legislation you are regulated under, please contact your local OH&S committee.
Occupational Health and Safety Programs are an important and developing tool for safer workplaces in Alberta. The Government of Alberta OHS Program for government worksites, implemented in April 2009, was the first comprehensive employer and employee developed program in Alberta. The purpose of any OH&S Program is to create safer, healthier workplaces for our members by giving staff and managers the information they require to create a consistent, code-compliant safety program.
Plans are moving forward for a Health Sector OH&S Program to ensure consistency in the hospitals and long-term care facilities. Lobbying for this program continues at this time, therefore no estimated implementation date is available.
After an employee of the Government of Alberta has been off on general illness for a period of eighty (80) days, they could be found eligible for LTD benefits by the Plan Adjudicator (Great West Life). LTD benefits are 70 per cent of your salary at the start of general illness (see Article 33A of the Master Agreement). We would strongly recommend to allow time for processing, review and decision, that an application for LTD benefits be made in a timely fashion (as a guide approximately 30 days after being on general illness leave). The application form (Employee’s Statement) and the Notice of Appeal (in the event the application is denied or LTD benefits are discontinued) are now electronically available at the links below.
OHS advocates should use the online health and safety issue reporting form to document OHS issues at their worksites.