Shandro and AHS want huge cuts—GSS members have job security for now
Jason Kenney’s UCP government wants to kill 9,700 General Support Services (GSS) jobs. He wants to cut jobs in laundry and linen services, environmental services, laboratory services, and food services.
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced today that Alberta Health Services (AHS) will proceed with these cuts as per the Ernst & Young report.
In response, President Guy Smith held a media conference vowing AUPE members will take whatever action is necessary to stop these cuts.
“AUPE members know that when we fight, we win,” said Smith after the conference. “Premier Kenney and his government are choosing to threaten us now because they’re scared. Premier Kenney is scared of what AUPE members are capable of when we all take action together. He knows he will lose.”
Meanwhile, your AHS GSS negotiating team agreed to pause bargaining and extend job protections until March 31, 2021. We are front-line workers, and we agreed to this extension to protect our jobs for the interim as well as the services Albertans depend on.
We are extremely concerned about a second COVID-19 wave, and decided security and safety was in the best interest of AHS GSS members and all Albertans. AHS GSS members have the most to lose: we have more jobs to lose than any other group in the health care sector. GSS jobs make health care work, and without us the system falls apart.
Prepare to Fight Back
Premier Kenney’s UCP government is threatening all AHS GSS members. It’s not a matter of if these cuts come, but when.
Threatening health care heroes during a pandemic threatens Albertans’ health and safety in turn. Anyone who threatens to do so is a villain—whether its Premier Kenney or his henchmen Health Minister Shandro and Finance Minister Toews—and AUPE members are prepared to give those villains a thrashing on behalf of all Albertans and the health care services we depend on.
Share this update with your coworkers. Have the conversation about what you are prepared to do next. Take this time to prepare for the fight of your lives. If AUPE members decide to take action, know that your union will support you every step of the way.
Potential Impacts of These Cuts
Privatizing and cutting GSS jobs has proven to resulted in:
- Cuts in Wages
- Cuts and/or elimination of benefits
- Cuts and/or elimination of pensions
- Elimination of union protections
- Overworked staff
- Longer wait times
- Subpar food for patients, including negligence when it comes to special dietary needs.
- Dirty linens for patients
- Viral outbreaks in facilities
- Dangerous lab mix-ups
- Less money going into Albertan communities, more tax dollars leaving the province to private owners.
There are no savings to be found in this plan, only a decrease in services so that private providers can make a buck off of privatized health care while risking the health and safety of every Albertan who needs medical care.
We have the power to stop this reckless, greedy attack, but only if we stand together. Please contact a member of your AHS GSS Negotiating Team or AUPE Resource Staff with any questions you have.
AHS GSS Negotiating Team
Julie Woodford - firstname.lastname@example.org
Charity Hill (A) – email@example.com
Deborah Nawroski – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tammy Lanktree (A) - email@example.com
Darren Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Kicia (A) - email@example.com
Dave Ibach – firstname.lastname@example.org
Loree Preete (A) – email@example.com
Stacey Ross - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dusan Milutinovic (A) - email@example.com
Lamont Health Care Centre GSS
Jessica Kroeker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Palichuk - email@example.com
AUPE Resource Staff for AHS GSS
Chris Dickson, Lead Negotiator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Rattray, Negotiator – email@example.com
Farid Iskandar, Organizer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Jacobson, Organizer - email@example.com
Alexander Delorme, Communications - firstname.lastname@example.org