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Health-care heroes rally to get respect from employer

Lowly paid front-line workers fighting for a fair deal

Feb 21, 2024

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CALGARY – About 100 front-line health-care workers sent a message to their employer today: Treat us with the respect we deserve.  

“These people are mad. They have every right to be mad,” says Bonnie Gostola, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), which represents about 100 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Health-Care Aides (HCAs) and workers in housekeeping and food services. 

AUPE members at Swan Evergreen Village continuing-care facility at 2635 Eversyde Ave. S.W., Calgary, have been trying to negotiate a first contract for more than two years. 

“They are paid among the lowest wages in Alberta for the work they do. It’s not so long ago that Albertans were calling these people the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bosses at Swan Evergreen seem to have been forgotten that,” says Gostola 

“These members work extremely hard in challenging circumstances and find a way every day to provide excellent care to the residents while not making a living wage,” she says. 

“I bet Swan Evergreen doesn’t tell potential residents and their families when they pitch the facility that their wage rates are near the bottom in Alberta. But they sure as heck boast about the quality of care their workers provide.” 

Negotiations between the workers and the employer have been sent to a mediator. Gostola says the workers don’t want to see any more delays from the employer when they meet later this week.  

“We expect the employer to come to these meetings fully prepared and able to offer a fair deal that gives these workers the respect they deserve,” she says. “What we don’t want to see again is highly paid employer lawyers who haven’t even briefed themselves on the negotiations.” 


AUPE VP Bonnie Gostola attended the rally and is available for media interviews. 

For more information, please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer, at 403-831-4394 or

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