EDMONTON—On May 6, 2021, approximately 80 workers at Our Parents’ Home, a continuing care home operated by Revera Retirement, joined the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.
“We’re so proud to see that workers at Our Parents’ Home are standing up for themselves,” says Susan Slade, a vice-president of AUPE. “These workers have spent the past year keeping residents safe. They know that getting organized is one of the best ways to make their workplace safe for themselves and the people they care for.”
The workers won their organizing drive through an ALRB-supervised election with mail-in ballots, which is standard practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to welcome all of these workers to the AUPE family, and let them know that 90,000 AUPE members across Alberta have their back,” Slade says.
The newly unionized workers will now be working towards securing a first contract with their employer. Workers at seven other Revera homes in Alberta are unionized with AUPE.
“These workers want a fair workplace. They want a safe workplace,” Slade says. “They want job security, and protection from harassment and discrimination. They want their working conditions to match the working conditions at other Revera homes that are unionized with AUPE.”
“Since the founding of at Our Parents Home as a facility for Jewish seniors in 2015, workers there have always made sure to provide the best quality care they can,” Slade says. “When Revera, a private company, bought the home in 2020, workers knew that they needed to get organized and ensure that standards of care remained high. They got organized to protect themselves and the residents they care for.”
Because of the pandemic over the past year, support for unions among Canadians has grown substantially, especially given the sacrifices essential workers have made. However, despite rhetoric thanking “frontline heroes,” employers have neglected to concretely improve working conditions.
“These workers are part of a wave of organizing that’s sweeping this country,” Slade says. “Workers know that they deserve respect, dignity, and safety at work. And they know that the only way to achieve it is to organize.”
Real people are organizing in workplaces across Alberta, across Canada, across the world,” Slade says. “The workers at Our Parents’ Home are an example for workers everywhere. When we work together, we can win. We’re so proud to have these inspiring workers in our union.”
Susan Slade is available for comment. Contact Jon Milton, communications officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.