AUPE media advisory: Fight the Cuts information picket at Calgary’s South Health Campus (Nov. 5)
CALGARY – Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members will hold an information picket protest on Tuesday, November 5, at Calgary’s South Health Campus from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
“The Alberta government has declared war on its own citizens, on the workers who provide vital services including health care, education and support for the disabled and on the Albertans who need those services to survive,” says Bobby-Joe Borodey, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), which represent 96,000 workers.
“AUPE members are angrier than I have ever seen. For years, we have been working short, to the point of exhaustion and burnout – and for modest rates of pay. The anger that has built up is now in danger of spilling out into the streets,” she says.
“More than 1,000 AUPE activists gathered at our recent convention in Edmonton. They unanimously endorsed a resolution to fully support any groups of members that take direct action against their employer. This serious decision was made in recognition that this government will stop at nothing to attack front-line workers.
“Jason Kenney is trying to drive a wedge between private and public sector workers in the hope we won’t notice he’s taking our money, killing jobs and destroying services, just so he can give billions of dollars to giant corporations already making massive profits,” says Borodey.
“Albertans won’t be fooled. We will stand together. We will fight back. And when we fight, we win.”
Borodey will attend the event and will be available to media.
EVENT: Fight the Cuts Information Picket
DATE: Tuesday, November 5
TIME: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
LOCATION: South Health Campus, 4494 Front Street S.E., Calgary, picketing along Seton Boulevard.
How big is the cut to the budget? Using the government’s own projections in the budget for population growth and inflation, the cuts equal 17 per cent over four years (2.8 per cent funding cut, plus 14.2 per cent predicted for population growth and inflation).
How many jobs will be lost: The budget says the public sector will be shrunk by 7.7 per cent over four years, which means the loss of more than 16,000 full-time jobs. This will affect every corner of the province and have a significant impact on private-sector jobs and local economies.
How many jobs will be created by the budget? None. According to the budget, the government’s no-strings-attached gift of billions of dollars to already profitable corporations will result in the creation of zero jobs over four years.
How much is Alberta’s population growing? Alberta gains about 70,000 people every year.
What provisions does the budget make to provide for the growing population? None.Population growth adds the equivalent of a city the size of Medicine Hat every year, but the budget provides zero resources to support them. That means longer wait times for services including health care, more overcrowded classrooms, fewer supports for the disabled, fewer supports for post-secondary students, less help for all Albertans when they need it most.
What is the government planning for AUPE wages? The government is seeking a two per-cent cut to wages for nursing care and general support services staff employed by Albert Health Services (AHS), after they have already endured a two-year freeze. We expect similar demands to be placed on members employed elsewhere. The budget includes zero money for wage increases in the public sector for four years, meaning we could be facing years of wage freezes or cuts. Factoring in the effect of inflation, our members could be looking at double-digit cuts to pay.
For more information, please contact:
Terry Inigo-Jones, AUPE communications officer: 403-831-4394