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MEDICINE HAT - Hospital scrubs are getting accessorized.

CUPE members at the Palliser Health Authority have begun wearing buttons as a protest over the slow pace of negotiations for a new contract.

Employees have been wearing the buttons, which say ‘health care support workers: critical to care,’ since Wednesday. CUPE President Colleen Morrison says they are popular with her members.

“Wearing buttons may not seem like much, but it forces board members and management to face the fact that employees are not happy,” said Morrison. “And if members of the public see the buttons and start asking questions - so much the better.”

Morrison said the union members are upset with the fact that Palliser has not been willing to negotiate in months. The next scheduled negotiating dates are not until November.

“It’s bad enough that they are asking us to give up things like bereavement leave, or to accept a dental plan based on 1997 rates,” said Morrison. “But now they won’t even agree to sit down at a table, look us in the eye and explain their actions.”

“Employees are hopping mad at Palliser. Wearing a button is a good way to let off a little steam.”