Toews not honest about job security for AHS workers
EDMONTON—Finance Minister Travis Toews is not being honest with Albertans when he says Alberta Health Services (AHS) General Support Services (GSS) workers would receive job security if they took a four per cent pay cut, says the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).
On Friday, July 16, Minister Toews issued a media release in which he attempted to justify his outrageous proposal to cut front-line health care workers’ wages by four per cent. He said workers would receive job security if they accepted this offer at the bargaining table. This is not true.
The truth is that AHS would still be able to contract out GSS jobs under the new agreement. This includes the 11,000 workers Health Minister Shandro announced last October would be fired.
“To twist the truth and mislead Albertans like this is unconscionable,” says AUPE Vice-President Susan Slade. “Minister Toews wants workers to think this is a fair trade, but he fails to mention this would not protect those 11,000 jobs the government has already put on the chopping block.”
Slade went on to say that hundreds of AUPE members working in hospital retail food services are currently facing the prospect of losing their jobs under this very process.
“We are literally holding town halls—today—with AHS GSS workers in retail food services who this government wants to fire,” she says. “They are under a tremendous amount of pressure and are fighting for their livelihoods, and they need to know that Toew’s make-believe job security would not save their jobs.”
The government has tried to pull a bait-and-switch with workers like this before, but Slade is confident workers will see through the UCP’s spin.
“In 1993, Premier Ralph Klein imposed ‘voluntary’ wage cuts to save jobs,” she says. “But right afterward he slashed the public service by more than 20 per cent. Albertans won’t be fooled again.”
Vice-President Slade is available for interviews.
Please contact Mimi Williams, AUPE Communications Officer:780-240-3562 or firstname.lastname@example.org