Now is the time to step up the fight to Stop the Sell Off!
Despite confusing and contradictory messages from the government and employers, our fight to stop the sale of Carewest and Capital Care and save the jobs of 3,000 AUPE members continues.
If you haven’t already, please sign the Stop The Sell Off! letters here.
Alberta’s UCP government has said it wants to sell Carewest and Capital Care to the highest bidder.
We know this is bad news for residents and for workers. It will likely mean:
- Lower levels of care for the patients and residents we love;
- The loss of our jobs;
- Having to reapply for our jobs at lower wages and benefits; and
- No longer being a member of a secure defined-benefit pension plan that gives us retirement security.
Recently, though, there have been rumblings that the sale of these valuable and important care providers to private interests may be on hold.
The government has not said that it has changed its mind.
It remains committed to the idea that corporations should be given a chance to profit from care.
It continues its frequent attacks on public-sector workers. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it continues to push for wage cuts and jobs cuts in the health-care sector and claim public-sector workers are overpaid.
However, one Carewest director recently told workers that Alberta Health Services (AHS), which owns Carewest and Capital Care, that the sale will not happen “in the next three or four years.”
What’s the truth?
What is certain is that the UCP government is committed to privatization. That has not changed.
When it will proceed to force the sale is unknown, but privatization remains a priority for the government. It could push ahead right away. It could wait until the pandemic is over or conditions have eased.
We believe that statements saying the sale won’t happen for years are not trustworthy. They may simply be an attempt to undermine our efforts to Stop the Sell Off!
We must not let that happen. The more we fight back now, the better chance we have of succeeding.
AUPE negotiators wrote to Carewest, CapitalCare and AHS this week asking them to officially confirm what is happening.
The potential sale has caused a lot of stress for the 3,000 AUPE members, as well as for residents and the families. They deserve the truth and they deserve clarity.
We will let you know when we get responses.
AHS continues to push other privatization initiatives
Even if the sale of both companies is delayed, AHS is pushing ahead with other plans to privatize or outsource some of the work and jobs done by AUPE members.
Our letters also say that the Carewest Executive Leadership Committee emailed all staff on Nov. 6 to say that AHS is considering the privatization or outsourcing of internal departments including food services, transportation and pharmacy and that this process could affect Carewest and that it “will take months to years to be implemented …”
If AHS is planning to outsource these jobs at Carewest, it can be assumed that the same plans exist for CapitalCare.
We know that the outsourcing of jobs has the same consequences for workers and residents as the sale of entire facilities – lower levels of care, lower wages and worse working conditions for staff.
As the Carewest executive said in the email, this could begin within months.
This is another reason we must not ease up in our fight to Stop the Sell Off!
Private beds at CapitalCare’s Gene Zwozdesky Centre?
Our letters to CapitalCare and AHS also seek clarification on the situation at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre expansion of CapitalCare Norwood in Edmonton. Members have heard that it could open with privately operated beds instead of having the beds run by CapitalCare.
We have asked for official confirmation that the original plans and funding to open those beds as a part of the publicly operated Capital Care is still in place.
Join the fight back: Sign the Stop the Sell Off! letters
We need to keep up the pressure and maintain our fight to save jobs and quality care. Please sign the Stop The Sell Off! letters here.
Please stay tuned for updates.