EDMONTON – The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and Revera have reached an agreement that protects the interests of workers, while also limiting them to working at one continuing-care site during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The union and employer signed a letter of understanding at the weekend. We believe it will protect these front-line workers from losing income they need, while Revera will have workers that work only at their sites,” says Mike Dempsey, vice-president of AUPE, which represents more than 95,000 workers.
“Today (Monday, April 6, 2020), we are writing to 30 employers, operators of private for-profit and not-for-profit continuing-care facilities asking them to commit to the same agreement. All along, AUPE has said that our members will do all they can to care for and protect vulnerable Albertans, at great risk to themselves and their families, but that it is wrong to punish these health-care heroes,” he says.
“Many of these workers have two or three part-time jobs at different care facilities. They do this not by choice, but because they need the income to feed their families and put a roof over their heads. When the change to employment at a single site was first proposed, it would have led to a significant loss of income for many of them because they would have to give up their other jobs,” he says.
The agreement comes after three days of talks at the Alberta Labour Relations Board. It says that AUPE members who choose to work at Revera and lose hours at their other jobs, will be given more hours, up to a 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE).
If this is not enough to make up for the hours they have lost from their other jobs or jobs, Revera will offer overtime to affected workers before offering it to anyone else.
If they are not already part of Revera’s insurance, disability and benefits plan, they will be put on that plan and have access to those benefits.
For six months after the pandemic is declared over, Revera will offer available regular work hours ahead of out-of-scope employees or agency employees.
“AUPE is pleased that we and Revera have found a solution that gives these workers the respect they have earned,” says Dempsey. “If Revera can do it, so can the other employers in continuing care. We’re calling on them to do the right thing for the Albertans in their care and for the Albertans caring for them.”
AUPE has about 17,000 members working in continuing care outside of Alberta Health Services (AHS). Nearly 600 members are employed at the Revera sites covered by this agreement. Those sites are:
St. Albert: River Ridge;
Edmonton: Riverbend, The Churchill, Jasper Place, South Terrace and Miller Crossing;
Red Deer: Aspen Ridge;
Calgary: Edgemont and Scenic Acres.
AUPE vice-president Mike Dempsey is available for interviews.
Please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, Communications, 403-831-4394