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Bargaining Update: Covenant Health NC and GSS

Covenant Health blindly follows AHS’s and Kenney’s Privatization Plan

Oct 15, 2020

Covenant Health blindly follows AHS’s and Kenney’s Privatization Plan

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Covenant Health said it will follow Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) lead with regards to Premier Kenney’s plan for huge cuts and privatization of hospital services, including clinical services, laundry and linen services, environmental services, laboratory services, and food services.

The UCP announced these massive cuts on October 13. The cuts and privatization will affect 9,700 AHS GSS jobs and 11,000 total jobs.

In a memo to Covenant Health employees, CEO Patrick Dumelie said: “We are committed to working collaboratively with our colleagues at AHS to ensure the ongoing alignment of these efforts and consistency of approach across the province. We will continue to work with AHS to identify opportunities for partnership and to finalize the projects we’ll undertake independently as an organization.”

Translation? Covenant Health will follow AHS’s lead on cutting jobs and privatization, but the number of affected jobs is currently unknown. It is extremely disappointing to see Covenant Health fall in line with the same proposals put forward by AHS and Jason Kenney’s UCP Government.

It is especially galling since Covenant Health workers continue to risk our well-being to provide care to our fellow Albertans during a global pandemic. We expect better of our employer.

Dumelie further commented that AHS’s plan to privatize linen and laundry services “will impact a number of rural Covenant sites.” Dumelie did not disclose which sites and how many Covenant Health employees will be impacted.

President Guy Smith vowed AUPE members will take whatever action is necessary to stop these cuts.

Prepare to Fight Back

Premier Kenney’s UCP government is threatening all Covenant Health members. It’s not a matter of if these cuts come, but when.

Intimidating health care heroes during a pandemic endangers Albertans’ health and safety in turn. Anyone who does 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 to fight back. 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 health care jobs have proven to resulted in:

  • Layoffs
  • 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.

Next team meeting dates: Oct 21 and 22

Your Nursing Care team is meeting on October 21, and your General Support Services team is meeting on October 22. We will be discussing these cuts and our strategy moving forward.

We have the power to stop these cuts, but only if we stand together. Please contact a member of your Covenant Health Negotiating Team or AUPE Resource Staff with any questions you have. Solidarity!

Covenant Health GSS Negotiating Team

Lorie Christenson,
Corey Kucher,
Christee Langkamp,
Judy Prokopchuk (A),

Covenant Health NC Negotiating Team

Local 040
Kathy Bandmann,
Beverly Hill,
Ambrosia Dyson (A),

Local 046
Mary Watson,
Laura Johnstone,
Derrek Luu (A),

AUPE Resource Staff

Chris Dickson, Negotiator -
Madelaine Sommers, Organizer -
Michelle Szalynski, Organizer -
Alexander Delorme, Communications -

News Category

  • Bargaining updates


  • 040 - Covenant ANC and GSS
  • 046 - AHS and Covenant Edmonton Zone ANC


  • Health care

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