Spotlight on finance
From Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jason Heistad
Happy New Year AUPE members.
A new year means a chance to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and to look forward to what’s ahead. During the Finance Committee report at the 2019 Annual Convention, our membership was given clear direction that we will be allocating adequate resources to engage and mobilize Locals and Chapters.
The intent is to be ready for the next round of bargaining. Our bargaining tables at the Government of Alberta (GOA) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) General Support Services and Nursing Care have already started work to prepare for bargaining. Their existing contracts expire at the end of March.
We have made a commitment to our nearly 97,000 members to show Premier Jason Kenney that we will take action to fight back against his continuing attacks and lack of consultation, which will have serious negative consequences for Albertans.
These attacks are a throwback to the disastrous Ralph Klein era of the 1990s. This behaviour from our current premier shows the total disregard not only the citizens of Alberta, but to all of us who work in public services.
Our fight back against these attacks began last summer after the UCP government introduced Bill 9, The Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act.
Members organized rallies across the province to oppose attacks on our wages and our constitutional right to bargain. Those rallies continued after the government released its austerity budget and announced plans to slash spending, jobs and services.
We have been used as a political target by the UCP government as it attempts to portray public-sector workers as Public Enemy No. 1.
We need to be vigilant and of one voice. We need to tell remind all across this great province of the great services we provide as members of AUPE.
This year, we must galvanize our membership and ramp up our fight. Last year, we celebrated AUPE’s 100th anniversary. We will not allow any government to ruin or dismantle this great Albertan institution.
As AUPE members, we should not and will not let Jason Kenney bring us down as he seeks to change and undermine the face of labour.
This must be the year that we tell our friends, families and those who are indifferent to our services that AUPE and the public services we provide – including education, health care, government services and through boards and agencies – will not go by the wayside.
By standing shoulder to shoulder and helping each other, we will get through the instability Kenney wants to create in 2020.
Be positive and care about one another.