SAIL picket line upsetting some residents
30 health care aides off the job since May 8
Some people who live at Edmonton's Supports for Artspace Independent Living or SAIL say the seven-week labour dispute is hurting them.
SAIL assists about thirty seniors and people with disabilities who live together at the Artspace Co-op at 93rd Street and 101A Avenue, east of downtown Edmonton.
Thirty health care aides represented by Alberta Union of Provincial Employees are locked out and walking a picket line outside the building.
Resident Megan Sykes relies on workers to help her live independently. She says the situation is stressful.
"I have epilepsy, I have depression,” she said. “My depression came back because they are telling ‘Meghan, tell the workers we need more money. Tell them.’”
Replacement workers are now helping the residents. Sykes wishes the strikers would take their picket line elsewhere.
"Why don't they go to Alberta Health and strike?” she said. “They are hurting the innocent here. We have fought for years and years and years to get on our own.”
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees workers wants improved pay and benefits.
SAIL president Roxanne Ulanicki says higher pay isn't an option.
"We have a sole source of income from Alberta Health Services which we use to manage this program and we've offered them everything we can within that budget,” she said.
“And they’ve declined and so we are kind of at a stalemate...if we offered them any more money, we would go bankrupt.”
But AUPE says the strikers aren’t going away.
“We're going to be there for whether it's seven more weeks or seven months,” AUPE negotiator Kevin Davediuk said. “We're going to wait until those ladies get a fair collective agreement.”
Workers at SAIL walked off the job on May 8. AUPE says the employer locked the workers out on May 16 after they tried to return to work over concerns about the care replacement workers were giving their clients.