EDMONTON Judy Darcy, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, launched a major campaign today to tackle the growing problem of work overload among health care workers in Alberta.
Our members have been telling us theyre tired as hell and theyre not going to take it anymore, said Darcy. Health care workers in Alberta are angry. They want an end to unpaid overtime and doing two jobs while being paid for one.
We are giving CUPE members the tools they need to confront work overload in their workplaces starting immediately. We are saying take your breaks, refuse unsafe work and demand more staff, she added.
Darcy also released the results of membership surveys in health care and education that clearly show the impact of overwork on service delivery and the frustration of workers in both sectors. Darcy was joined by CUPE Alberta president Yvonne Fast and several front line health care workers in making todays announcement.
CUPE is launching this campaign province-wide, said Fast. We are starting with health care but we will expand this campaign to all sectors. Workload has reached epidemic proportions and our members want us to do something about it, added Fast.
The campaign will take shape in CUPE locals throughout the province. CUPE is sending a kit to each and every health care local informing them of their rights under Alberta law as well as proposing solutions to overwork and ideas for local campaigns.
Health care workers across the country are taking action to demand more money and more staff. In BC, Saskatchewan and most recently in Nova Scotia health care workers are backing up their demands with job action. And we are serving notice that Alberta is no different. CUPE members are refusing to be scapegoats for years of under-funding. Its time to take action, she concluded.
CUPE is Canadas largest union, representing 500,000 women and men, including 150,000 health care workers.
For more information, please call Ron Levesque, Communications Representative @ (780) 435-7631 or Pam Beattie, Executive Assistant to Judy Darcy @ (613) 761-8796.