Covenant Health NC members eager to return to bargaining
Your negotiating team has been busy preparing to get back to the bargaining table for the past several weeks. Unfortunately bargaining, which was scheduled to commence on January 25 and 26, has been postponed due to a change on the employer’s negotiating team. We will resume negotiations on February 22, 2021.
That’s almost a full year since we last met with the employer, when we commenced bargaining on February 27 and 28.
At that time, we submitted a full package of proposals that included the issues you identified as your top priorities through your bargaining survey responses: job security and work-life balance.
The employer also submitted a full package: a package full of concessions. Your negotiating team noted at the time that even the tone of the employer’s negotiators had changed. Where they had been respectful during previous rounds of bargaining, this time they had adopted the combative and adversarial stance against health care workers that we’ve seen from Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
The employer’s proposed rollbacks and concessions showed just how little they value Covenant Health Nursing Care workers before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us and their actions since have done little to change that.
At the same time Health Minister Tyler Shandro was holding press conferences applauding all of you health care heroes on the front line, he and Alberta Health Services were marching forward with their dismantling of the public health care system, announcing the slashing of 11,000 jobs from the system in October. Covenant Health made it clear at the time they are marching to the same tune.
The very little value that this government places on your labour goes beyond their insulting bargaining proposal. Remember that Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro chose to pass up over $300 million in federal funds that could have been used to top-up your wages during this pandemic and chose to explicitly exclude you from those who did benefit from the meager top-ups they did provide.
This pandemic has shown Albertans just how vital your work is to their own well-being. They know that the employer’s proposal to give you a zero per cent wage increase for each of the next four years is an insult. Wanting to cut your shift differentials and premiums - money you are paid to compensate you for time away from your families - after you have put those families at risk for the past ten months is an outrage. If we stand together, we can stop them.
If you have co-workers who do not receive these updates, please refer them to this link so we can be sure to have their up-to-date contact information.
Your negotiating team will continue to prepare to meet the employer at the table. We’re ready to fight for what you’ve told us is important to you.
Please share this update and talk with your co-workers about what actions you’re prepared to take to fight back against the upcoming cuts to jobs, wages, and benefits. Now, more than ever, it’s important that you’re ready to fight for what’s important to you, too!
Remember, if you experience anxiety or vulnerability due to traumatic or crisis events occurring at work, help is available. Please call AUPE’s Crisis Support Service at 1-844-744-7026. This service is available for members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
Covenant Health NC Negotiating Team
Local 040 Kathy Bandmann, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bev Hill, email@example.com
Local 046 Mary Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Johnstone, email@example.com
AUPE Resource Staff
Chris Dickson, Negotiator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Madelaine Sommers, Organizer - email@example.com
Trevor Zimmerman, Organizer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mimi Williams, Communications - email@example.com