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AUPE raid attempt fails

EDMONTON, AB. – Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members at Capital Care have a new contract giving them 8.5% in wage increases, (more for some job classifications) improved medical benefits, and topped up wages when collecting WCB.

The 570 employees, members of CUPE Local 1158, ratified the agreement last night. They represent nursing assistants, cleaners and kitchen staff at a number of Long Term Care Facilities operated by Capital Care.

CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz said the ratification was particularly significant because the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) attempted to raid this bargaining unit.

Anytime there is a raid going on, bargaining becomes more difficult,” said Lanovaz. “Raids cause division and employers can play that to their advantage at the table.”

That we were able to get a good deal speaks volumes about how united this group is.”

Lanovaz said this was the second time this year that AUPE has tried and failed to raid a group of CUPE members. In its first try, AUPE attempted to represent general service staff in the Chinook Health Region in Lethbridge. That attempt failed after employees voted by an almost two-to-one margin to remain with CUPE. The raid attempt at Capital Care fizzled after AUPE was unable to collect enough signatures to force a vote.

How long do our two unions have to keep spending thousands of dollars fighting each other before AUPE realizes it is getting us nowhere?” said Lanovaz. “We would be better off investing that money into serving our own members or trying to organize people who have no union.”

Lanovaz said both unions should try to work together in common causes rather than battle each other.