March 14, 2022
Health Care Workers Deserve Our Respect and Support, not Wage Rollbacks
The Alberta Government is seeking wage rollbacks as high as 10.93% in bargaining with the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)
Heading into the weekend, Albertans learned on Twitter of the UCP’s shameful bargaining proposal to cut the wages of frontline health care workers, with proposed rollbacks as high as 10.93%.
“Albertans know that our health care workers have gone above and beyond in getting us through this pandemic,” said Chris Gallaway, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “HSAA members have literally put their own lives at risk to save the lives of countless Albertans. Now the UCP government has decided to repay that sacrifice by attempting to slash their wages.”
Many areas of our health care system have yet to recover from the toll of this pandemic, our EMS system is experiencing steady red alerts, and health care facilities across the province continue to announce closures due to staffing shortages.
“It’s clear that what Alberta needs most in this challenging time is a skilled workforce that is supported to see our health care system through the work that lays ahead. Instead, this government is attacking the very frontline workers that we all depend on,” said Gallaway, “It’s shameful and should be rescinded.”
Understaffing and staff retention are growing issues in health care. Alberta needs government leadership to train, recruit and retain the health care workers we urgently need, and a workforce plan to prepare us for the years ahead. Yet just like our health care system, Alberta’s universities, colleges, and post-secondary institutions have been under attack and experiencing deep cuts since the UCP government took power
“With looming staff shortages throughout our public health care system, we need our government to be working proactively with post-secondary institutions to ensure we have the skilled workforce we need, now and moving forward,” said Gallaway. “Instead, Albertans are seeing a hostile approach with secret bargaining mandates and deep cuts to these important institutions. Not to mention, large tuition fee hikes for the students who could become our next generation of health care workers.”
“Working conditions are care conditions. Especially after all we’ve been through, Alberta’s health care workers deserve better than to be disrespected at the bargaining table, and Albertans deserve to know that their future health care won't be put into further jeopardy by short-sighted government policy,” concluded Gallaway.
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