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SUNDRE – The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees issued a bargaining in bad faith complaint against Alberta Health Services today for its failure to disclose plans to close public long-term care beds in Sundre.

The closure, scheduled for June, would impact Auxiliary Nursing Care and General Support Services jobs at Sundre Hospital and Care Centre.

“The union has been bargaining for ANC staff with AHS since March 2015 and we’re currently awaiting an arbitrator’s decision regarding GSS staff,” said AUPE president Guy Smith. “At no time during pre-bargaining or bargaining for either group did AHS disclose its intentions to end public long-term care services in Sundre. This is a violation of the employer’s bargaining disclosure obligations.

“If the NDP allows this closure to proceed, front-line staff, including licensed practical nurses, health-care aides and some general support staff, will likely face position abolishment, lay-offs or transfers out of the community,” Smith said.

AUPE is seeking an order to immediately cease and desist the decommissioning of public long-term care beds in Sundre.

AUPE launched the Save Sundre LTC campaign April 1, asking NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman to stop AHS’s plans to close the beds in Sundre.

“The NDP promised to create 2,000 public long-term care beds. If the NDP government allows these beds to close, it will be a move in the opposite direction of what the party promised,” said AUPE vice-president Karen Weiers. “That’s unacceptable.”

Family members of residents, Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon, Mayor Terry Leslie, community members, staff and others have spoken out against the closure.

Close to 600 petition signatures have already been collected and more than 125 letters have been sent to NDP Health Minister Hoffman and all MLAs asking the government to keep Sundre’s long-term care unit open.

A large town hall to outline next steps in the Save Sundre LTC campaign is set for April 6 at the Sundre Legion, 135 – 6 St. SE, at 6:30 p.m.

Sundre is located approximately 115 kilometres north west of Calgary.

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For more information:

Guy Smith, AUPE president: 780-265-2294

Karen Weiers, AUPE vice-president: 403-561-2482

Tyler Bedford, AUPE senior communications advisor: 780-930-3406

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