EDMONTON—Canada’s largest private home care provider wants to slash its Albertan employees’ wages by 4 per cent, says the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).
AUPE members on the union’s Extendicare negotiations team were shocked when their employer tabled the wage rollback alongside a host of insulting proposals as bargaining resumed last week.
“It’s a slap in the face,” says AUPE Vice-President Bobby-Joe Borodey. “These workers have sacrificed so much to care for Albertans throughout this pandemic, and this is the thanks they get? It’s outrageous.”
Extendicare’s rollback proposal is even more insulting considering how the company has managed its finances. The company solicited millions from the federal government, ostensibly to fight COVID-19, but it had no trouble paying its shareholders over $10 million dollars every financial quarter during the pandemic.
“Imagine paying millions to shareholders, and then claiming you need government support only to try cutting your employees’ wages anyway,” says Borodey. “The rich and powerful just want to squeeze every last penny out of working-class Albertans, even after everything these health care heroes have been through.”
Extendicare’s proposals come shortly after Alberta Health Services (AHS) offered a similar package, including a 4 per cent wage rollback, to AUPE members working in AHS General Support Services.
Borodey says Extendicare’s disrespect towards its own workers is an example of why all profit-motives should be kept out of our health care system.
“The Kenney government’s approach to health care is already a disaster,” she says. “Kenney thinks you can put a price on health care and as a result wants to roll back wages and fire over 11,000 workers. Private providers like Extendicare are even worse because not only do they put a price on health care, but they also hoard that money for profit.
“AUPE members and all Albertans know the value of public health care, and we will organize to fight back and put these villains in their place.”
Vice-President Borodey is available for interviews.
Please contact Alexander Delorme, AUPE Communications Officer: email@example.com or 780-264-9274