Edmonton The Canadian Union of Public Employees in Alberta re-affirmed its strength and commitment to fight for public health care after losing 6,200 members through government forced representation votes.
We are very proud of the campaign fought by our members and staff. The results were very close in a number of regions even though CUPE held the smaller share of the membership going into the vote. That is a strong endorsement of CUPE and our record on both collective bargaining and fighting for public health care, said CUPE Alberta president Bruce McLeod.
The results released today by the Alberta Labour Relations Board for the Aspen and David Thompson health regions means that general support service employees will become members of AUPE following similar results for five other health regions released yesterday and Monday.
It should be remembered by everyone that CUPE continues to represent 5,600 health care workers in Alberta in both the acute and long-term care sectors and 180,000 health care workers across Canada. In addition, here in Alberta we represent another 21,000 in municipalities, schools, post-secondary facilities and social services, said McLeod.
All those members are depending on our strength in collective bargaining and they are depending on us to step up the battle against health care privatization. Today that is our job and our priority, he said.
For example, the Calgary Health Region has announced its intention to examine a public-private partnership option for its new hospital. Yesterday the Peace Country Region made a decision to look into public-private financing for a number of its capital projects, he said.
CUPE has led the way in exposing the dangers of public-private partnerships to both the taxpayer and to the quality of service. Its simple. Public-private partnerships cost governments and taxpayers too much money and they hand too much control of our public services over to the private sector. We have the research, the experience and I believe it is our duty to do our best to stop this dangerous trend, said McLeod.
CUPE represents general support service workers in the hospital sector in the Chinook and Palliser Regions and in Edmonton at the Misericordia Hospital, Grey Nuns and the Edmonton General. In addition CUPE represents workers at long term care facilities such as Extendicare, Good Samaritan Society, Carewest and Intercare and at facilities across the province.
We were the first to negotiate a strong collective agreement for health care workers in Alberta and we will continue to keep up our record, said McLeod. At the same time, CUPE is on the front line fighting for public health care here in Alberta and across the country. CUPE members can continue to count on us for that, he added.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 26,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca.
For more information:
(780) 484-7644 or (780) 288-1230 (cellular)