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Edmonton - Negotiators for the Canadian Union of Public Employees reached an agreement yesterday with 12 of Albertas 17 Regional Health Boards. This agreement covers CUPE members who work in health care facilities in rural and small municipalities across the province.

“Our CUPE negotiating committee feels that while it isnt everything we wanted or what our members deserve it does go a long way to removing some of the inequities caused by Kleins slashing of health care in the early 90s”, said Sandy Miller, President of CUPEs Alberta Health Care Council. “We will be recommending acceptance by our membership”.

A ratification package with the terms of the settlement will be sent out to CUPE members in the next few days. Miller said that they expect the ratification vote to be completed around the province prior to the expiry of the current agreement on March 31st. The details of the settlement will not be released until the members have voted on whether to accept or reject the settlement.

CUPEs negotiating team is to be congratulated for getting this agreement in what can only be described as a difficult bargaining climate”, said Terry Mutton, President of CUPE Alberta. “This agreement is the first time in a long time that weve been able to reach a province wide health care agreement before the expiry of the current agreement.”

CUPE, Canadas largest union, represents 485,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities and transportation.

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For more information, please call Don MacAskill at (780) 484-7644.

The agreement covers the following employees classifications: Clerical staff (Receptionists, Admitting officers, Secretaries, Accounting Clerks) Food Services (Aides, Cashiers, Cooks, Bakers, Butchers), Cleaning (Housekeeping, Laundry), Medical Support (Pharmacy Assistants, Therapy Aides, Laboratory Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Nursing Attendants, Pathology Assistants, O.R. Technicians, Darkroom Technicians, Hairdressers, Computer Operators, Medical Equipment Technicians), Materials and Supply Management (Service Aides and Attendants, Printing Assistants, Stores Attendants, Drivers, Printing Service Operators, Purchasing Assistants). Maintenance Staff, Power Engineers and Trades (Draftspersons, Electronics Technicians, Gardeners, Painters Mechanics, Welders, Millwrights, Carpenters, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians, Plumbers, Steam Fitters, Sheet Metal Workers).

The Regional Health Authorities which are party to the new agreement include the following Regional Health Authorities:

3 (Headwaters), 6 (David Thompson), 7 (East Central), 8 (Westview), 9 (Crossroads), 11 (Aspen), 12 (Lakeland), 13 (Mistahia), 14 (Peace), 16 (Northern Lights), 17 (Northwestern)