FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Edmonton—The Royal Alberta Museum is eliminating 28 positions at the Royal Alberta Museum, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has learned.
With an email sent out to workers, the museum announced that it could be cutting the jobs permanently by April 1 at the latest. The positions being eliminated are caretaking, maintenance, electrician, and plumbing positions, as well as power plant engineers and grounds supervisors. The employer plans to privatize the positions.
“Once again, Jason Kenney’s rhetoric about jobs and the economy has proven that he is lying to Albertans,” says AUPE Vice President Kevin Barry. “The UCP is interested in job cremation, not job creation.”
As an important piece of Albertans’ cultural heritage, the Royal Alberta Museum deserves to be properly funded and staffed, Barry says. “This is a museum where families can learn about the natural and social history of Alberta. Just because Jason Kenney doesn’t care to learn from history, doesn’t mean that everyone else agrees with him.”
Earlier this year, AUPE filed a bad-faith bargaining complaint against the government with the Alberta Labour Relations Board after they announced an intention to outsource jobs. That complaint was delayed because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the union proceeded to engage with the company’s consultation process on the outsourcing—a process Barry describes as a “sham.”
“We filed submissions, we engaged in their consultation, and we heard nothing but crickets,” Barry says. “We have no evidence that they even considered our submissions at all. The whole consultation was just theatre.”
“The government of Alberta created the Royal Alberta Museum in 1967, and it has always been a public institution,” Barry says. “It is flat-out absurd that anyone would think profit-making should be inserted into this important steward of our heritage.”
“Museum workers, like all those who serve the public, do their jobs because it calls to them,” he says. “Healthcare workers feel called to care for the sick, education workers feel called to help raise the next generation of Albertans, and museum workers feel called to preserve our collective heritage. Jason Kenney won’t take that away from us.”
“We’re going to fight these job cuts with every means we have available to us,” Barry says.
—Kevin Barry is available for comment. For more information, contact Jon Milton, Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org