Letters from employer are a betrayal driven by the Health Minister
On. Oct. 26, thousands of you took a stand to fight for our health-care system and to fight for critically important jobs.
Your courage was seen not just in Alberta, but across Canada and inspired many. Your spirit will help us all continue the fight.
As a result of these actions, many of you have been disciplined by Alberta Health Services (AHS). The disciplinary measures the employer has taken vary, but the message was the same in all disciplinary letters. Their tone was insulting and the content misleading. We will talk more about that a little later in this update.
First, we need to address what comes next for those of you who have been disciplined.
If you have received a disciplinary letter, please file a grievance. This is one way for you to continue the fight for jobs and for health care.
To file a grievance, or to find out more about this, please contact the Member Resource Centre (MRC). You can send a message here or you can phone 1-800-232-7284.
Tell them you would like your Membership Services Officer (MSO) to know that you want to file a grievance or that you want to discuss it.
It’s important to act quickly.
Grievances must be filed within 15 days (not counting Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays) of receiving your disciplinary letter.
Whatever you decide to do next, know that you have your union behind you. This is where solidarity kicks in.
Employers will always try to frighten you into submission. That only works if you take these battles on alone.
But you are not in this fight alone. You have more than 90,000 fellow members on your team, as well as the AUPE staff. We have trained experts who know how to handle these situations.
We are sure you have lots of questions. For example:
- How long do grievances take?
- How long do letters of warning stay on my file?
- How can I get a letter removed from my file?
- If I have been disciplined, is it safe to continue with union actions?
- What should I do if the employer has threatened to report me to my licensing authority?
Please call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) to get answers to these and other questions. The MRC staff are here to help.
What about the language in the disciplinary letters?
We understand the anger and frustration you must have felt when your read your letters from the employer.
This tone is being set by Health Minister Tyler Shandro. He is pursuing the UCP government’s political agenda that says the work you do is not valuable. His real purpose is to hand over our cherished public health-care system to his corporate pals.
The truth is that it is the government that has left health care understaffed for years, not you. Their hypocrisy is shameful.
It is the government that has put patients at risk with cuts to health-care spending, not you.
It is the government that wants to put quality at risk by outsourcing your jobs and cutting the jobs of 11,000 support workers and 800 clinical care workers.
It is the government that chose to declare war on health-care workers in the middle of the deadliest pandemic in more than 100 years.
What have you done?
You showed up for work every day to care for sick Albertans and keep hospitals running.
You worked to the point of exhaustion by filling in for colleagues who are sick or forced to isolate during the pandemic.
You took a stand to defend public health care and your jobs on Oct. 26.
These letters are a betrayal of all you have done for years, but particularly in the last eight months. The government patted you on the back for a while, only to stab you in the back later. You went from hero to zero.
That hurts. But let than pain fuel your desire to fight back.
And remember. We are AUPE. When we fight, we win.