AHS tables –4% wage rollback as bargaining restarts
When your AHS GSS Negotiating Team last reported on bargaining, Alberta Health Services showed how little they respect us by cancelling our previously scheduled bargaining meetings.
Now that AHS has been forced to meet us for bargaining, they have shown how little they respect us by tabling an insulting and outrageous set of proposals, including a four per cent wage rollback for all AHS GSS members.
A four per cent wage rollback would be devastating for us and our families. Many of us already work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and some of us are single parents. We cannot afford wage rollbacks like this, especially after the increased workload and stress thanks to the pandemic. Before bargaining went on hold for the pandemic, AHS had tabled a one per cent wage rollback. Is AHS saying we have become even less valuable since the pandemic began?
Even worse, Alberta’s Finance Minister Travis Toews has told the media we would receive job security if we accepted these cuts. That is not true. AHS’s proposed agreement would still let them contract out our jobs, like the 11,000 jobs threatened last October. In fact, GSS members working in retail food services are under threat of losing their jobs right now, and that would not change if we accepted these new proposals.
To be clear: any jobs AHS is considering contracting out would not have job security. This was confirmed by the employer during our bargaining meetings.
The Kenney government could tell AHS to begin the contracting-out process for any classification at any time. Everyone is at risk. There is no job security.
More insulting proposals
AHS didn’t stop with a wage rollback. They also want to reduce our pay by cutting weekend premiums, shift differentials, and holiday pay.
For the evening shift differential, AHS wants to cut the premium from $2.75 to $1.95 per hour. They also want the differential period to start at 1900 hours instead of 1500 hours.
AHS wants to cut the night shift differential from $5.00 to $2.78 per hour. Additionally, AHS does not want to pay this premium for all our hours when most of our shift takes place between 2300 hours and 0700 hours. Instead, they want to pay the premium only for the hours we actually work during that period, and only if there’s two or more hours.
They are attacking our weekend premiums too. In addition to cutting the premium from $3.25 to $2.11 per hour, AHS wants to change the weekend premium period to start at 0001 hours on Saturday instead of 1500 hours on Friday.
Adding insult to injury, AHS no longer wants to pay us double time when we are forced to work Christmas Day and the August Civic Holiday. This goes for part-time staff as well.
These would be lower than the premiums we had in 2009! For AHS to make such insulting proposals is to deny the reality of what shift differentials and weekend premiums are for. These modest increases in hourly pay are supposed to make up for us losing time with our families, especially our kids, who we can normally only see after school and on weekends. Asking for these cuts at the bargaining table shows AHS doesn’t care about our families, nor making up for family-time lost when we have to work.
Stay informed – fight back!
Our next bargaining meetings are scheduled for September. Please make sure you share this information with your co-workers. If you did not receive this update in your personal email, please go to aupe.org/user/register to sign up for our regular email updates.
Your AHS GSS Negotiating Team will continue to update you on bargaining and what we can do to save our livelihoods and resist AHS’s insulting proposals. Now is the time to get involved and show AHS and this government just how powerful we are.
AHS GSS Negotiating Team
Tammy Lanktree – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Dickson, Lead Negotiator - email@example.com
Jason Rattray, Negotiator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Farid Iskandar, Organizer - email@example.com
Kate Jacobson, Organizer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Darcy Thiessen, Organizer - email@example.com
Alexander Delorme, Communications - firstname.lastname@example.org