AUPE accuses Alberta Health Services of bad-faith bargaining

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says it has reinstated a “bargaining in bad faith” complaint against Alberta Health Services.
Guy Smith, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, accuses AHS of bargaining in bad faith (CBC)

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says it has reinstated a "bargaining in bad faith" complaint against Alberta Health Services.

The union accuses AHS of taking a potentially illegal bargaining approach to negotiations with more than 25,000 front-line staff.

"The original complaint, filed with the Alberta Labour Relations Board in early 2015, surfaced from (AHS) CEO Vickie Kaminski and her administration's push to move collective bargaining backwards for general support services staff," AUPE president Guy Smith said in a news release.

Smith said AHS ordered its initial wage proposal of one per cent each year for three years to be pulled from the table in January and replaced with zeros. Other non-monetary proposals were also removed, he said.

"It's an irresponsible and regressive bargaining approach that completely ignores the employer's obligation to negotiate in good faith," said Smith.

The union put its complaint on hold in May after the new NDP government won the provincial election.

But since then, Smith said, AHS has done nothing to change the situation.

"The situation is serious and it's time the NDP government directs AHS to engage in fair and meaningful negotiations," said Smith.

General support services employees clean surgical instruments, stock hospitals with supplies, prepare food, provide financial analysis, clean and sanitize areas, register patients, disinfect emergency rooms, provide security, and maintain computer systems, Smith said.

AUPE is Alberta's largest union with 89,000 members.


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