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Good Samaritan Society: Town Hall Highlights

Update for Local 042, Good Samaritan Society

Jan 30, 2023

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Thank you to everyone who joined the Good Samaritan Society Virtual Town Halls on January 23 and 24.

We also recognize the many workers who wanted to join the town halls but were unable to, due to scheduling conflicts.

Your negotiating team and AUPE staff are committed to keeping you informed so we wanted to share some key information, dates and action items discussed at the town hall meetings.

Town Hall Highlights

Essential Services Agreement (ESA) Update (Continuing Care)

  • We've been meeting with your employer since September 2021 and are close to wrapping up the part of the agreement that includes the terms and conditions that govern the agreement.
  • Now we’re on to the next part, which includes the schedules:
    • This is where member participation is crucial to finalizing this agreement.
    • Your employer gives AUPE a proposed schedule of who they think needs to work during a lockout or strike. But we don't want to take your employer's word for it. That's why we need your opinion on their proposal.
    • We rely on members to let us know if the proposals from the employer need to be changed through a counter proposal.
    • Your participation is so important to this process, so we’ve negotiated provisions with the employer so we can meet with you on site. We will also provide relief staff, if available, for the days we’ll be meeting with members so that you don’t fall behind on work during that time.

Right now, Essential Service Officers are reaching out to Chapter Executives to schedule education and engagement sessions to make sure they are aware of the consultation process. ESA on-site consultations for George Henning and Spruce Grove Centre are set for January 31, 2023, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Your negotiating team has recommended using focus groups, group sessions and limited, targeted consultations to speed up the process.

We want to secure an agreement in a timely fashion so we can file the ESA with the Alberta Labour Relations Board and move forward in the bargaining process.

Update from the Negotiating Team

  • In November 2022, AUPE assigned a new negotiator to bargain for both the Group Home and Continuing Care tables. Together, we reviewed history and charted a plan towards a conclusion.
  • We met the employer for Continuing Care on Dec. 12 and on Dec. 14 for the Group Homes. At those meetings, we tabled a proposal for the Group Homes but held firm on the Continuing Care proposal, given in September.
  • We understand members may be feeling frustrated and want to assure you that concluding these negotiations is a priority for everyone.
  • Following those two sessions in December, your negotiating team, along with AUPE staff in Communications, Organizing, and Essential Services met to discuss our plan before the next meeting dates in March.

Group Homes

As shared in the bargaining update, your committee significantly amended our last position on bargaining proposals prior to meeting with the Good Samaritan Society (listed below). And the Good Samaritan Society once again shared that they came with no authority to spend any money.

  • Domestic Violence leave (unpaid)
  • No caps per visit for Extended Health Benefits
  • Current dental fee guide
  • New Shift Differentia

Continuing Care

  • The ball was in the employer’s court. It was their responsibility to respond to the package when we met in December, but they came back empty-handed. They were not prepared for real negotiations, in fact, they thought we were going to further amend our position to make it easier for them. We did not.
  • The Good Samaritan Society finally agreed to bring a monetary package in March. The employer did not agree to bring a monetary package just because we asked. They agreed because we held firm and demanded it. The Good Samaritan Society now knows that AUPE members will not be pushed around and shoved aside.

We know your employer’s opening position won’t be an acceptable offer, but if we take action now, we can motivate a better offer right from the start. That’s why participating in events like Town Halls and using our collective power is so important – right now.

We are going to need your support to show the Good Samaritan Society how strong we are, and how united we are in these negotiations and to pressure them to bring an offer that reflects the importance of the job you do and recognizes that you have not had a wage increase in many years.

Organizing Update

  • Organizers are here and ready to assist you and your coworkers to organize and mobilize to build up strong worksite power and show your employer that you stand united in achieving a fair Collective Agreement. So please don’t hesitate to reach out.
  • We’ve been running phone banks and organizing town halls, but we can do more!
  • Let us know if there are opportunities to piggyback on meetings and events in the works so we can reach even more members and build our momentum.
  • We are here to support with campaign ideas, materials and best practices to help you get results. We can help you show your employer you are united by:
    • Planning to wear all the same colour like red
    • Walking into work together
    • Standing together in a circle in front of the manager’s office on your 15-minute break
    • Rallies (we need at least two-weeks' notice)

Campaigns like these help your negotiating team keep the pressure on the employer when at the bargaining table.

Your organizers assigned to you are Mary Riemer ( and Michelle Szalynski ( You can also email for support.

Question and Answers at the Town Hall

“If I work casual at Spruce Grove but hold a position at another facility, can I go to the Spruce Grove ESA consultation to voice my concerns?”

  • A. Yes, but please contact us ahead of time so we can make sure we have the appropriate staffing proposals supplied to us by the employer when we meet with you. Your time is very valuable and we want to be as efficient with it as possible.

“For ESAs, who is promising the dates in March for the other site proposals? Is it coming from Good Samaritan Society head office or is it at each site manager’s discretion?”

  • A. At the negotiation table the employer representative is a consultant, who has committed to providing us with the remaining proposals by mid-March and she has been providing the contacts for the managers that have been identified.

Next Steps

  • When we put out the call out for action it's important that members respond.
  • Share this update with your coworkers.
  • Connect with your organizers to find out how you can help unite your coworkers and keep your employer’s feet to the fire.
  • You will get updates from us following each set of dates with the Good Samaritan Society, or as decisions are made on next steps.
    • Continuing Care: March 3, March 15
    • Group Homes: March 6, March 16


Betty Wiebe

Debbie Caplette

Diana Bigelow

Tahera Khalfan


Daljinder Bassi

Donald Loiselle

Aaron Truman


Kate Robinson, Negotiations

Mary Riemer, Organizing

Michelle Szalynski, Organizing

Maureen Mariampillai, Communications

News Category

  • Bargaining updates


  • 042 - The Good Samaritan Society


  • Health care

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