Friends of Medicare stands in solidarity with laboratory workers in their fight for fairness
This morning, Alberta’s medical laboratory workers called on DynaLIFE to return to the bargaining table, and to commit to fairness. Lab workers provide incredibly important services to Albertans, essential for timely diagnostics and treatment. Yet once again, just like when DynaLIFE tried to take away their pension plan, this private company’s profits are being prioritized at the expense of working conditions, public oversight, and patient care. All while Alberta is facing a chronic short-staffing crisis throughout our health care system.
“Rather than focus on providing the services they’re contracted to provide, DynaLIFE has consistently attempted to weaken conditions for their workers in pursuit of more profit,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “Working conditions are care conditions; lab workers in this province deserve better than being disrespected at the bargaining table and Albertans deserve to know that their health care services won't continue to be put into jeopardy for the sake of corporate profit.”
On December 1, following multiple delays, Alberta’s community medical laboratory services were formally transitioned from being publicly delivered by Alberta Precision Laboratories, to being privately delivered by DynaLIFE. In the months since, Albertans in need of blood work have continuously reported ongoing delays, or weeks-long waits for appointments.
Yesterday, in response to this growing frustration, Alberta Health Services announced our public labs would be stepping in to help DynaLIFE provide community lab services in the Calgary region.
“With an election around the corner, the public system has had to once again step in to help fix the failings of privatized health care. Now that the negative impacts of this deal on both workers and patients has become impossible to ignore, we’re seeing the UCP government scrambling to do damage-control for the company,” said Gallaway. “This is exactly what health care workers and advocates were concerned would happen. DynaLIFE is showing Albertans why contracting out our community labs and other health care services to for-profit companies is such a bad idea.”
Friends of Medicare has been outspoken about the government’s privatization of our lab services every step of the way. We stand with the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, and the lab workers they represent, in their call for a fair contract.
- 30 -