Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.

City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) walked off the job Monday Oct. 26, 2020 in protest of province-wide cuts put forth by Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

According to AUPE the hospital workers were on strike to “defend their jobs and the public health-care system that keeps Albertans safe and alive.”

The strikes began Monday morning at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alta., followed by groups across the province, including Wetaskiwin and Leduc joining in. Alberta Health Services also confirmed a walkout at the University of Alberta Hospital at noon on Monday Oct. 26, 2020.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff picketed in front of the Wetaskiwin hospital along 47 Street, carrying signs sharing their concerns.

Staff declined to be quoted in order to protect their jobs with anonymity.

AUPE says that registered nurses were not involved in the walk-out, however, unit clerks, housekeeping, food services, laundry staff, licensed practical nurses, health-care aids and maintenance workers were involved.

AUPE President Guy Smith says that the final push for a strike came from AUPE member frustration at the recent announcement by Health Minister Tyler Shandro that 11,000 Alberta Health Services jobs would be cut.

Shandro announced that 9,700 jobs will be lost through outsourcing support services and AHS was asked to eliminate 100 management positions. Outsourcing support services would include laundry, community lab, and food services. Shandro says these changes will save the government upwards of $600 million annually when completed.

“By constantly short-staffing public health care, this government is pushing our members to the breaking point exactly when Albertans need them the most,” Smith said in an statement. Smith adds that on the morning of Oct. 26, 2020, the nursing and support workers, “decided today that there was no other option but to fight to protect Albertans at risk, especially during the deadliest pandemic in a century.”

President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Travis Toews said in a statement Oct. 26, that he is aware of the strikes and voiced the government’s concerns regarding patient health and the impact the walk out has on their wellbeing.

In his statement Toews said the wellbeing of patients in the province, “has been put at risk this morning.”

Toews also said, “Alberta Health Services is taking immediate action with the Labour Relations Board to end this illegal activity. Those involved in this illegal action will be held accountable.”

AUPE represents more than 90,000 workers, including approximately 58,000 in health care.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

Bashaw School, which is part of the Battle River School Division, will have to deal with some of the affects of the recent provincial budget as the division is challenged with a large funding shortfall.
Photo by Jordie Dwyer
Outbreak declared at Bashaw School with second confirmed case

Grades 7 to 12 classes to start online learning Nov. 30

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

(Photo submitted)
Bentley couple celebrates 60th anniversary

They still laugh, hold hands, play crib and fish says daughter

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council asks for a mask bylaw to be brought forward for consideration

The bylaw would require face coverings in all indoor Town-owned and operated facilities

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

A sign instructs people to wear masks in downtown Calgary on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Pub and restaurant owners are trying to figure out how to comply with a stricter COVID-19 measure in Alberta that dictates only six people from the same household can sit at one table. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Brewpub owner pleased Alberta not closing sit-down dining as COVID-19 cases soar

Alberta’s caseload of COVID-19 infections has been growing for weeks

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at B.C. campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Most Read