Employer awaited government funding won’t correct underlying issues
Although we made some progress in past negotiations, notably on the creation of new guaranteed hours positions and some other non-monetary language in the collective agreement, negotiations hit a wall when it came to monetary discussions when CBI tabled their monetary proposal back in June (see attachment for details).
CBI advised us that they hoped to be able to improve their monetary offer once they had details of the government funding. (The Government of Alberta announced a huge expansion of home care funding in June.) However, in advance of our scheduled bargaining dates of September 28 and 29, the employer cancelled because they still have heard no further details from the government about how this funding will be rolled out. They also indicated that they would cancel scheduled bargaining in October as well if they still have no word from the government.
With no guaranteed hours, home care workers see their income fluctuate wildly, and CBI treats us all as casual employees, regardless of how many years we have been working there. CBI is constantly failing members and clients. They don’t respond to requests for extra time when scheduling procedures which means employees aren’t paid for much of the time and money they spend caring for clients or travelling. For clients this means poorer quality of care and less time with their caregivers.
In addition, CBI workers are concerned that a possible influx of funding will not address the core problems in their working conditions or improve home care for their clients. For years, private, for-profit companies like CBI have been permitted to hold onto huge portions of public funding intended for wages. Although neither the government nor the private companies will disclose the details, past information indicates that CBI is holding back approximately 30% of the funding for health-care aide (HCA) wages and as much as 50% of the funding for licensed practical nurse (LPN) wages.
Pouring millions more dollars of public funds into companies like CBI without fixing these issues will only compound the problems, and it’s leaving home care workers squeezed in the meantime. As a result, it’s even more important that we speak out to raise awareness about the failure of home care for both workers and clients.
CBI must also acknowledge the negative impact their approach to compensation and benefits is having on clients, worker safety, and their own operations. CBI cannot keep HCAs and LPNs working when other health care facilities are paying these positions 20 to 40 per cent more.
Your negotiating team is inviting members to get involved! For example, we are inviting CBI members to join us in lobbying elected MLAs. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact a member of your negotiating team or AUPE resource staff.
AUPE NEGOTIATING TEAM – CBI HOME HEALTH
Tina Laforce Chair
email@example.com or 587-335-2292
firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-984-8355
email@example.com or 587-501-2071
firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-221-4080
Racheldk@hotmail.com or 780-893-1772
AUPE RESOURCE STAFF
Merryn Edwards Negotiations
email@example.com or 780-952-1951
Tracy Noble Organizing
firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-304-2859
Kavi Chahal Communications