Calgary Catholic School Dispute Caused By Overworking Teachers, Says AFL

The lock-out of Calgary Catholic School Teachers which began this morning is the inevitable result of years of provincial cutbacks to education says Audrey Cormack, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"Years of budget cutbacks to our education system has created exhausted, stressed and overworked teachers," says Cormack. "Every school year, they are being asked to teach bigger classes, to supervise more activities, to coordinate a greater range of programming. There comes a point where there is no more blood in the stone. "Teachers are saying "enough!", and rightly so."

Shortly before the lock out, negotiations were making progress. The remaining issues surround the definition, use and remuneration for "non-teaching responsibilities". Cormack states that these issues are about stress and workload, which need to be addressed.
Cormack also strongly criticizes the School Board for deciding to go ahead with the lock-out. "The teachers do not want to disrupt the students' education. Their approach has been to minimize the dispute's effect on the students. Obviously the Board doesn't have a similar commitment."

Cormack warns the provincial government not to meddle in the dispute by invoking a "disputes inquiry board". The government used such a board in the Calgary public teachers' strike last spring to quash the strike. They have already threatened to use it in the Catholic schools' dispute. A disputes inquiry board imposes a 30-day delay on any strike or lockout while a minister-appointed board examines the issues.

"While the lock-out may be unfortunate, the solution is not to end it with an arbitrary government edict," says Cormack. "It is a sledgehammer that crashes down on the principle of free collective bargaining."

"It does not address the issues in dispute," adds Cormack, "it simply pushes the problem 30 days into the future."

"We wouldn't be in this situation had the government six years ago recognized that education is an investment, not a burden," concludes Cormack.

For more information call:

Audrey Cormack, AFL President: 483-3021 (wk) 499-6530 (cell) 428-9367 (hm)

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WCB continues to "blame the victim"

EDMONTON - Alberta's Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) is continuing its "long-established practice of blaming the victim" when it comes to issues of workplace health and safety, says the president of the province's largest labour organization.

Audrey Cormack, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, says that the WCB's latest injury-prevention campaign is a bust because it focuses exclusively on workers - and ignores the responsibilities of employers and the government.

"Educating workers about workplace safety is important," says Cormack. "But it's only half of the solution. Employers and government also have an important role to play. More pressure needs to be placed on employers to ensure healthy and safe working conditions. And the government needs to become much more aggressive in finding and punishing employers who fail to observer minimum health standards."

Cormack's comments were made after the WCB released a "safety alert" calling on Albertans to avoid workplace injuries by being careful on the job. The safety alert was the latest component of a WCB campaign launched in the spring aimed at reducing injury rates. The campaign urges Albertans to avoid injuries by "working safe."

"Once again, the WCB is putting the responsibility for workplace safety on the shoulders of working people, when in reality it should be a responsibility that's shared with the employer, the government and the WCB," says Cormack. "Telling people not to hurt themselves is not going to solve the problem. We'll only be able to reduce injury rates if we combine education efforts with higher health and safety standards, more aggressive inspections and stiffer fines and penalties."

"If the WCB is really concerned about reducing injury rates," Cormack says, "they should support the implementation of measures that have worked in other jurisdictions. For example, in places like B.C. and Quebec businesses over a certain size are required to have joint employee-management health and safety committees. Where these committees are in place, injury rates have fallen substantially," says Cormack.

"Instead of wasting their time producing frivolous "safety alerts" calling on people to stretch before lifting heavy objects, the WCB should turn its attention to more serious concerns," says Cormack. "For example, they should be trying to figure out why the number of workplace fatalities in this province has shot up from 74 in 1993 to well over 100 per year in 1997 and 1998. And they should be addressing the serious concerns that have been raised recently about the quality of service available to injured workers. This campaign of blaming workers for their own injuries just doesn't cut it - it does nothing to address the real problems."

For more information call:

Audrey Cormack, AFL President: 483-3021 (wk) 499-6530 (cell) 428-9367 (hm)


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AFL raises concerns about WCB satisfaction survey

EDMONTON - The "customer satisfaction" survey that is being used by the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) to defend itself from mounting public criticism is deeply flawed and misleading, says the president of Alberta's largest union organization.

"Over the past few weeks, spokespeople from the WCB have repeatedly trotted out results from their annual client satisfaction survey. They've been using the survey to back up claims that things are running smoothly at the Board and that most people are satisfied with the service they receive," says Audrey Cormack, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"Unfortunately, the survey is deeply flawed. The Board only questioned people whose claims have been settled and whose files have been closed. People who are still waiting for a decision on their claims were excluded - as were people who are still receiving compensation payments or services such as rehabilitation therapy, vocational training, or employment counselling."

As a result of the survey's design, Cormack says the Board has failed to get an accurate picture of how its clients - injured workers and employers - really feel about the service they receive.

"The survey neglects to consider the views of the people who are most likely to be dissatisfied," says Cormack. "Given this situation, it's no wonder the WCB gets such high marks. That's what happens when you only question the people who are least likely to complain."

The WCB's satisfaction survey is conducted every year and the results are published in the Board's annual report. The 1998 survey showed satisfaction rates among the people surveyed were up slightly from 1997.

"I have no problem with surveys - they can be useful tools," says Cormack. "But I'm concerned that be excluding so many people, the survey paints a false picture. I'm also concerned that the Board is hiding behind these numbers and using them as an excuse to not address the pressing concerns about service and accountability that are being raised by workers and employers around the province."

For more information call:

Audrey Cormack, AFL President: 483-3021 (wk) 499-6530 (cell) 428-9367 (hm)

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WCB needs fixing, but privatization is not the answer, says AFL

EDMONTON - The Alberta Workers Compensation Board (WCB) does not always treat injured workers fairly, but replacing it with a system of private insurance will not fix the problem, says the leader of Alberta's largest union organization.

"It's true that the WCB doesn't always work in the best interests of injured workers," says Audrey Cormack, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Too many legitimate claims are rejected and too many injured workers are forced to wait months or even years for the benefits they need and deserve.

But just because the system is flawed doesn't mean that it should be scrapped entirely. We have to be careful not to the throw the baby out with the bath water."

Cormack's comments come in the wake of rising criticism of the WCB and calls for the introduction of a private, for-profit system of compensation for injured workers. Cormack says she agrees with many of the criticisms that have been leveled against the WCB - but she says privatization would make things worse, not better.

"The big complaints about the current system have to do with accountability, the appeals process and the manner in which claims are assessed," says Cormack. "Many people feel that legitimate claims are being downgraded or rejected in order to save the WCB money. And they think the WCB is not open and transparent enough. But privatization won't fix any of these problems. If anything, profit-seeking insurance companies will have an even bigger incentive to deny claims - and they will be even less open to public scrutiny."

Cormack says the question of whether or not it makes sense to privatize the WCB has been studied numerous times over the past ten years. In almost all cases, she points out, academics and other people investigating the issue have concluded that Canada's current system of publicly-controlled compensation for injured workers is far superior to the private, for-profit systems that exist in places like the United States.

Among other things, the various studies have concluded that private insurance companies operating in competitive compensation systems tend to

  • provide lower benefit rates to injured workers
  • put a much lower priority on rehabilitation of injured workers
  • charge higher premiums for many employers - in fact, under some private systems, employers in high risk industries find it almost impossible to get coverage.

In addition, in competitive systems there are often no formal appeal procedures for workers who are not satisfied with decisions made by the private insurance companies. A worker's only recourse is often to hire a lawyer - at great expense - and attempt to fight it out in the court system.

Aside from all of these problems with private insurance systems, Cormack says privatization would undermine the Meredith Principle - which has acted as the cornerstone of Canada's workers' compensation system for more than 80 years.

According to the Meredith principle, individual injured workers give up their right to sue their employers in exchange for a guarantee of fair compensation. But Cormack points out that under most private compensation schemes, workers retain their right to sue. This exposes employers to much higher levels of financial liability and greatly increases costs for individual workers as they pursue their claims.

"It's a lose-lose scenario for workers and employers," says Cormack. "When you look at the systems that exist in the United States, it's clear that the interests of working people in Alberta would not be well-served by introducing a market-model for workers' compensation in the province. Privatization would mean lower benefits and fewer opportunities for rehabilitation for most workers; higher premiums for many employers; and reduced accountability to the public. With these facts in mind, I find it hard to understand how anyone could support privatization."

For more information call:

Audrey Cormack, AFL President: 483-3021 (wk) 499-6530 (cell) 428-9367 (hm)


Gil McGowan, Director of Communications:  483-3021 (wk)


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Organized labour continues to make an important contribution to Alberta society

EDMONTON - The last Labour Day of the 20th century provides us with a unique opportunity to reflect upon all the positive contributions that the labour movement has made to our province over the past 100 years, says Audrey Cormack, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. It also gives us a chance to begin planning for a new century of workplace activism, she adds.

"When you look at how things have changed over the past 100 years, you really develop an appreciation for what unions have accomplished," says Cormack. "At the turn of the last century, there were no rights or protections in place for workers. There were no health and safety laws. There were no pensions or health care plans. There was no minimum wage. And workers were entirely at the whim of their employers. Unions changed all of that."

Through a commitment to defend workers and to fight for social change, unions in Canada and Alberta forced a large number of positive changes - everything from the 40-hour work week to WCB to unemployment insurance, to health benefits and pensions.

"Unions raised the bar for all workers," says Cormack.

Of course, there are those who claim that organized labour's victories are all in the past, that unions have outlived their usefulness. But Cormack says nothing could be farther from the truth.

"The weeks leading up to Labour Day 1999 have offered some grim reminders of why unions are as important as ever," she says.

"The horrible explosion at the Home oil recycling plant in Calgary brought home for all of us the need to remain vigilant when it comes to issues of health and safety. The desperate hunger strike by a group of injured workers in front of the WCB office encouraged us to think about what is going wrong with the workers' compensation system. And repeated reports of employers violating basic employment standards have reminded us that many working Albertans are still not being treated fairly by their bosses."

When it comes to issues like health and safety, WCB and the protection of basic workplace rights, Cormack says that there is still clearly a major role for unions to play. There is also an important role for unions to play when it comes to broader social, political and economic issues, she adds.

"On social and economic issues, unions have always been at the forefront of the struggle to defend workers' interests," says Cormack. "For example, the labour movement led the fight to defeat the Conservatives' private hospital bill, Bill 37. Unions also played a pivotal role in convincing the Klein government to increase Alberta's abysmally low minimum wage. Every day, union activists continue to work with community groups on a wide range of social and economic justice issues. Without unions, much of this important work would not be done."

Given all the challenges that confront working people at the end of the 20th century, Cormack says it's clear that unions have not lost their relevance or importance.

"Far from it," she says. "Just look at what's been happening in the world economy and the local economy over the past 20 years. Declining real wages. On-going job insecurity. Deep cuts to public services. Corporations moving jobs to low-wage countries in the Third world. The polarization between people who work too many hours and those who don't have enough work. In this kind of environment, working people clearly still need the kind of protection that unions provide - maybe now more than ever."

Cormack says that the benefits of belonging to a union are as clear today as they have ever been. She points out that union member's fare better on almost every scale than their non-union counterparts.

For example, the average union wage in Canada is $18.57 per hour compared to $14.04 for non-union workers. Union workers are also far more likely to be paid premium wages for the overtime hours they work; they are much more likely to have a pension plan; and they are more likely to have access to extended health and dental benefits.

At the same time, studies have shown that unionized workers have more job security and higher levels of job satisfaction. These higher levels of job satisfaction, in turn, lead to higher levels of productivity in unionized firms.

"Based on all the research that is available, it's clear that it still makes sense to belong to a union," says Cormack. "Unions are good for workers because they improve wages, benefits and job security. Unions are also good for the economy as a whole because they boost consumer-spending power improve the stability of our communities. Unions are even good for business because they improve productivity. It's a win-win situation."

Cormack says that despite the current boom in the Alberta economy, the need for unions in the province is as great as ever. She points out that between 1983 and 1998 the real wages of hourly-paid workers in Alberta fell by 12 per cent. At the same time, more people have been forced into part-time jobs or low-paid self-employment.

"There are major changes sweeping through the economy and the workplace. More and more, working people are being treated like commodities - like post-it notes that can be used and then discarded," says Cormack. "In this kind of environment, unionized workers are in a much better position to protect their rights. Unions can provide shelter against the storm."

This message - that unions can help workers defend themselves against the ravages of the global economy - has not been lost on Alberta workers, says Cormack. Union organizing activity in the province is on the upswing and unions are growing.

"Despite Alberta's lousy labour laws, the provincial labour movement is continuing to expand and grow," says Cormack, pointing out that union membership in the province has grown from 253,000 in 1997 to 268,000 in 1998 and 280,000 so far in 1999. In other words, union membership in Alberta has increased by 11 percent in just two years. This growth rate outpaces the overall growth in the workforce - and gives Alberta the distinction of having one of the fastest growing provincial labour movements in the country.

"This trend towards growing union membership is something that we are very proud of," says Cormack. "But we don't intend to rest on our laurels."

In the next year - and into the new century - Cormack says that unions in Alberta will continue to put a priority on organizing new members - and the AFL will continue fighting to bring workplace justice to an ever-wider group of working Albertans.

In addition to supporting the organizing efforts of individual unions, Cormack says the AFL will also continue its campaign against private health and chronic under-funding in important public services like education and health care. Given that the provincial government has recorded approximately $10 billion in budget surpluses over the past six years, she says the time has clearly come for significant on-going re-investment in public services and programs. Cormack says the AFL will continue putting pressure on the government to increase staff at hospitals, reduce classroom sizes and boost transfers to municipalities.

"As was the case at the beginning of the 20th century, working people are now confronted with a wide range of challenges," says Cormack. "As we enter the 21st century, the labour movement will continue to defend the gains that have been made over the past 100 years. We will also turn our attention to new challenges - like globalization, racism and discrimination and protecting the environment.

"In short, we will go into the 21st century the same way we went into the 20th century - fighting hard to protect the rights and interests of working people."

For more information call:
Audrey Cormack
Alberta Federation of Labour  @   483-3021 (work)  499-6530 (cell)   428-9367 (home)

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On-going budget surpluses prove that Tories are mismanaging tax dollars

EDMONTON - As a result of the provincial government's on-going obsession with debt repayment, Albertans are not getting the kind of high-quality public services they deserve - and which they can afford, says the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"This government has spent the past seven years trying to convince Albertans that we can no longer afford to maintain the quality of public services in this province," says Audrey Cormack.

"But the huge budget surpluses that have been recorded over the past six years prove that this isn't the case. The truth is that this government has an embarrassment of riches. There is no good reason why citizens living in such a wealthy province should be forced to accept chronically under-funded services like education and health care."

Cormack's comments came after it was revealed that the government is predicting a $2 billion budget surplus for the 1999-2000 fiscal year. This would be on top of the $8 billion in surpluses accumulated since 1994.

"It's hard to understand how a province that has so much potential revenue at its disposal could have problems with over-crowded classrooms, health care waiting lists and crumbling roads," says Cormack. "Yet that's exactly what's happening. Members of the Klein government should be ashamed of themselves."

The problems currently being experienced in education, health care and other public services are the direct result of the government's obsession with eliminating every cent of debt, says Cormack. She says the government's "radical approach" to issues of debt repayment is best exemplified by the so-called Fiscal Responsibility Act, which prohibits the government from spending any portion of its surplus on programs. Only one-time expenditures are allowed.

"What this legislation means is that we are locked into inadequate levels of spending on programs like health care, education and transportation for the next 20 years," says Cormack, adding that one-time cash infusions won't change the situation.

"The one-time spending initiative promised by the Premier and the Treasurer won't solve the problems in our hospital and schools," she says. "What good is it to build a new hospital or school if you don't have on-going program funding to staff it? And what good is using a one-time grant to pave a road if you don't have enough program funding to maintain it properly?"

Cormack says the time has come for the government to admit that the so-called debt crisis of the early 90s is over and to adopt a more balanced approach to debt repayment and program spending.

"Alberta's debt is under control. We currently only spend about $1 billion - or 6.8 percent of the annual budget - on debt servicing. This is a truly enviable position. Surely we could ease off on efforts to eliminate the debt entirely. Instead, the government should turn its attention to an area where there is a real crisis - and that's the area of on-going program spending for important public services."

For more information call:

Audrey Cormack
Alberta Federation of Labour  @   483-3021 (work)  499-6530 (cell)   428-9367 (home)

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Albertans deserve more protection in the workplace

EDMONTON - The Alberta government is not doing nearly enough to protect workers - especially young workers, women and immigrants - from abuse and unfair treatment in the workplace, says the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"Over the past few years, the number of employment standards complaints filed with the government has jumped by 50 percent - from 4,951 in 1993 to 7,405 in 1998," says AFL Secretary Treasurer Les Steel. "These numbers tell a disturbing story. It's clear that Albertans are not getting the kind of protection they deserve in the workplace."

Steels comments came in response to a proposal made earlier today by the New Democrat Opposition regarding the establishment of an independent office to advocate on behalf of workers who have been unfairly treated by their employers.

In a news conference, ND labour critic Raj Pannu said a Workers' Advocate is needed to assist in resolving individual complaints and, more importantly, to pressure the government into putting a higher priority on investigating complaints and enforcing its own employment standards rules.

"The sad truth is that the current government often turns a blind eye on employers who mistreat their workers," says Steel. "Alberta's Employment Standards rules are not that bad - the problem is they are not aggressively enforced."

Steel says the ND proposal would be an important step in the right direction - but he says it would only be part of the solution. If the government really wants to "clean up its act" on employment standards, he says it would need to take a number of other steps.

For example, Steel says more inspectors should be hired to investigate complaints. This is especially important considering that the Labour department's workforce was nearly cut in half as a result of the Klein budget cuts. Steel also says the government should move away from it's current "complaint driven" system for investigation. Too often, problem employers go undetected and unpunished because employees are too afraid to complain. What's needed, says Steel, is a system in which government investigators can launch their own independent investigations and spot checks.

Finally, Steel says the government has to get serious about levying substantial fines against employers who consistently ignore the rights of their workers. He says that a "big stick" is the only thing that problem employers understand.

"In the end, what's really needed is for this government to make a strong commitment to protecting the rights of working people," says Steel. "Establishing a Workers' Advocate office would be an important step in the right direction."

For further information contact:

Les Steel, AFL Secretary Treasurer     @     483-3021 (wk) / 499-4135 (cell)

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Nurses deserve thanks for standing up in defense of quality Medicare

EDMONTON - Nurses in Alberta deserve the heartfelt thanks and congratulations of all Albertans for their strong stand in defense of quality health care - both at the bargaining table and away from it, says a spokesman for the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"All Albertans owe the nurses and their union, the United Nurses of Alberta, a great debt of gratitude," said AFL Secretary Treasurer Les Steel after learning that the nurses had ratified their latest collective agreement with health care boards and the operators of long-term care facilities around the province.

"The latest contract negotiations were just part of the nurses' on-going battle to defend the quality and accessibility of health services in Alberta," said Steel. "At no time were the nurses only thinking of themselves. Right from the beginning, their major goal was to preserve and protect the quality of care in Alberta's health care system.

"That's why they called for the hiring of new staff - so we could ease the critical staff shortages affecting hospitals and other health facilities across the province. And that's why they called for salary increases - so we could attract the nurses we need to make the system work effectively."

Steel says that the nurses have been at the forefront of the campaign to protect Medicare in Alberta ever since the Klein government started it's budget slashing campaign in 1993 - a campaign that resulted in the closure of almost half the hospital beds in Edmonton and Calgary and which threw literally thousands of health care workers out of work.

"I think the Alberta health care system would be in even worse shape than it is if it wasn't for the actions taken by the nurses and other health care workers. These workers have led the fight against under-funding and under-staffing. What little re-investment in health care that there has been is, to a large extent, the result of the work done by UNA and other health care workers and unions."

Steel admits that the latest collective agreement is not everything the nurses wanted. But he said several important steps have been taken in the right direction - especially when it comes to things like scheduling, wages and workload.

"The struggle continues," said Steel. "Over the next few years, there will be more battles - over things like funding, adequate staffing levels and the spread of private, for-profit health care. As usual, the nurses will be at the forefront - along with all the other health care unions in this province."

For more information call:

Les Steel, AFL Secretary Treasurer:  483-3021 (W)   or   499-4135 (Cell)


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Georgia-Pacific workers win important victory

EDMONTON - Workers at the Georgia-Pacific Wallboard plant in Northeast Edmonton are back at work today after voting to accept a new collective agreement which offers pay increases and no concessions or job losses. The deal comes after a six and a half month strike by members of Boilermakers Union Local D-513.

"The company retreated on all of its major concession demands," said Jeff Wood, President of Local D-513.

"This represents an important victory not only for the workers at Georgia-Pacific, but it is also an important symbolic victory for all workers," said Les Steel, Secretary Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "A small group of 50 workers took on a huge American corporation with U.S.-style bargaining tactics and won. Their solidarity and sense of fairness saw them through."

Georgia-Pacific forced the strike last December by locking workers out and demanding a series of concessions, which would have led to longer lay-off periods for workers and significant reductions in overtime pay and health benefits.

There were no major concessions in the deal that was accepted in a membership vote last week. The deal included wage increases and improvements to some benefits. "The workers came out of this with a fair deal and they didn't have to take any concessions. The company backed off," said Wood.

Georgia-Pacific is the largest building products manufacturer in North America. Based in Atlanta, they brought their style of management to Edmonton when they bought the plant a couple years ago. Throughout the strike, they refused to bargain directly and insisted their position was non-negotiable. "The workers proved them wrong," said Steel.

In addition to defeating the concession demands, the union successfully negotiated job protection and solid severance arrangements. It was revealed during negotiations that the

company plans to open a new "super-plant" three years from now. It will be located either in southern B.C. or southern Alberta. The union won a guarantee of union certification at the new plant as well as first-pick at jobs at the new plant.

"I believe the company's real agenda in this strike was to bust the union and set up a new non-union super-plant. The company forgot that Alberta workers are not defeated that easily," said Steel. "The Boilermakers members stood firm and the company's agenda failed."

"We said all along we just wanted to get back to work. Now we are back and we are very happy about it. We won an important victory," said Wood.

"I think employers should take note of this settlement. It is a message to employers that Alberta workers will defend our rights to the very end," concluded Steel.

For more information call:

Jeff Wood, President, Boilermakers Local D-513:

945-9328 (Cell - before 2 pm)   or   462-7254 (Home - for messages)

Les Steel, AFL Secretary-Treasurer:

483-3021 (W)   or   499-4135 (Cell)


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Government "debt party" an insult to Albertans

EDMONTON - Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has another thing coming if he thinks a few free hot dogs and drinks will make up for years of brutal budget cuts, wage rollbacks and public-sector lay-offs, says a spokesperson for Alberta's largest labour organization.
"The Premier wants to throw a party, but what would really be more appropriate is a wake," said Les Steel, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Most Albertans are in no mood to celebrate the declining quality and accessibility of public services in this province."

Steel's comments were made in response to a public party held on the steps of the Legislature over the lunch hour today. The party - which included free hot dogs, drinks and ice cream - was staged to thank public-sector workers and members of the general public for their help in paying off the province's so-called "net debt."

"This government has balanced its books on the backs of public-sector workers and at the expense of public services," said Steel. "They have cut funding for health care, education and municipalities. They have undermined support for the poor, the elderly and the sick. They have thrown thousands of people in the public service out of work. And now the Premier wants the very people who have been hurt most by the cuts to join him in a celebration? It's insulting and it's insensitive."

Steel says that if the Premier really wants to thank public-sector workers for their contributions, he should increase their wages, provide better guarantees of job security and ease workloads by hiring more staff in core areas like health care and education. He also said the general public would be in a better mood to party if the government had taken a more balanced approach to fiscal issues.

"Paying off the net debt may be a cause for celebration for bankers and conservative politicians but it's a milestone that doesn't mean much to most Albertans. They know it was only reached by sacrificing the quality of our core public services," says Steel.
"If the Premier really wants Albertans to celebrate, then he should reverse chronic under-funding in areas like education, health care and municipal services. That would be a real cause for celebration. Using all of the budget surplus to pay down Alberta's debt is reckless and irresponsible. It's like a family using all of its income to pay-off the mortgage and leaving nothing to feed and clothe the kids. The bank may like it, but it's not really in the best interest of the family."

For more information call: Les Steel, Secretary Treasurer:  483-3021 (w) or  499-4135 (Cell)

Note: Mr. Steel will also be available at the Legislature grounds between noon and 1 p.m.

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