EDMONTON – Today’s Labour Board ruling rejecting CUPE’s “stay” application shows the Alberta government’s lack of respect for workers. The decision will move 2,500 workers from CUPE into other unions in a forced “top down” restructuring of health care.“The government decision makers and Alberta Health Services didn’t do their homework on effective health care restructuring and good labour relations,” says Dennis Mol, the Alberta President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). “Using a Board decision to force health care restructuring on these CUPE members shows a lack of respect for workers.”
Today’s decision follows last month’s ruling in which the Board held that paramedics and support workers be placed in other unions as a result of the creation of one province-wide health care region. CUPE is looking at challenging that decision in court.
“CUPE is proud of the representation that we have provided to these health care workers and paramedic professionals,” said Mol. “Local 189 in Medicine Hat has represented these CUPE members since 1953. Losing them and other affected members in Lethbridge’s Local 408 and affected Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members across the province—without these workers having a say in the decision—is a travesty for democracy.”
Mol said CUPE continues to take the position that paramedics should be representing paramedics and that a fifth labour relations bargaining unit could have been created for the union’s EMS professionals and the affected workers.
“These CUPE members are committed to providing quality health care. They deserve to be treated better. Instead, they are working in turmoil and uncertainty as these decisions roll out to the regions,” Mol said.
Dennis Mol, President – CUPE Alberta Division
Dianne Wyntjes, Regional Director – CUPE Alberta