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EDMONTON – Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and Alberta Health Services reached an agreement that will see health care employees across the province return to work with a guarantee “there will be no legal action or workplace discipline taken against them for job action that occurred on Feb. 16, 2012.”

The agreement will also restart negotiations between the two sides with a binding mediation/arbitration process with labour arbitrator Andy Sims.

“I am now calling on all of our GSS members to return to work immediately in order to ensure they are protected,” said AUPE President Guy Smith.

“The agreement we secured will only protect members for today’s job action.”

Addressing members Smith said: “It is important for every one of you to know that you can go back to work with your heads held high. Your action allowed us to secure a process that will be binding on Alberta Health Services, and we are confident that the arbitrator we selected will maintain an atmosphere of respect and fairness in the negotiations.”

“I am extremely proud of the thousands of GSS members across the province who took part in today’s job action. This was a hallmark event for our union. Your actions raised the profile of your jobs immensely, dominated headlines across the province, and debate in the Legislature. I applaud all of you for your commitment,” said Smith.

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For more information, contact:

Guy Smith, President, AUPE, 780-930-3301 or 780-265-2294 (cellular phone)

Mark Wells, Senior Communications Advisor, AUPE 780-930-3311 or 780-904-0688 (cellular phone)

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