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EDMONTON- Tomorrow, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members who staff Capital Region Housing (CRHC) are holding a rally outside the CRHC building to send a message to the employer that unstable employment for staff will mean some of Edmonton’s most vulnerable communities won’t get the affordable housing all Albertans deserve.

The rally will go from noon to 1:30 pm at 10160 112 St. Media, Edmontonians and supporters are all invited to attend. Pizza will be provided.

CRHC staff have been in bargaining with the organization to renew their collective agreement for several months now, but the employer refuses to agree to job security language and protections against contracting-out,” said AUPE Vice-President James Hart.

“It takes a special kind of person to do this work. Capital Region Housing staff are dedicated to both their jobs and their neighbours, and this is why they’re pushing so hard at the bargaining table.”

CRHC is the largest provider of social housing in the city. The organization offers subsidized community housing, mixed income housing, and rent supplements to those who need some extra support putting down roots in Edmonton.

“The employer might be the face of the organization, but it’s the staff, who maintain the CRHC building, do research, place families in homes, oversee financial assistance and more, that assist clients face-to-face and know their stories.

“Without job security language, they’re at risk of a higher turnover, job vacancies and general understaffing, which can lead to unmanageable workloads. The bottom line is if our members’ employment is on shaky ground, someone else’s living situation is on shaky ground,” adds Hart.

CRHC’s most recent annual report shows that in 2017 alone, the provider received 3,600 applications and assisted 31,000 people with questions.

“Demand for affordable housing in the city is high. Resisting staff, who are simply asking for resources to advocate for their clients, shows complete negligence on the employer’s part.

CRHC might not put affordable housing first, but the hardworking Edmontonians who staff their organization do, and they’re going to make this clear to the employer tomorrow.”