Join concerned members of UNA Local 301 at the U of A Hospital on July 24 at 11:30 a.m. Affiliates are encouraged to bring your flags and banners and wear white in solidarity with UNA's Wear White Wednesday Campaign.
WHEN: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: University of Alberta Hospital
122 Street and 84 Avenue (112 Street Sidewalk), Edmonton
United Nurses of Alberta (UNA Local 301) RNs and RPNs at the University of Alberta Hospital (U of A), will be conducting an information walkabout at the U of A Hospital to protest nursing cuts and to inform the public about the detrimental affects of AHS's 'workforce transformation' on patient care. Across the province, nursing positions are disappearing as Alberta Health Services (AHS) implements staffing cuts under the banner of "Workforce Transformation" and the "Clinical Workforce Strategic Plan." AHS is also combining these cuts with offensive bargaining proposals in contract negotiations with nurses. For more information visit http://nursesmakethedifference.squarespace.com/
SPECIFIC CONCERNS AT THE U OF A HOSPITAL
The new workforce transformation collaborative model is being demoed at the University of Alberta Hospital (as well as the Royal Alexandra Hospital) involving one surgical and one medicine unit at each site. Overall there were 23 RNs laid off between the four units. Changes being proposed for the U of A Hospital for the fall include decreased numbers of RNs.
For example, for the surgical units:
Days - decreasing by two RNs
Early evenings - decreasing by two RNs
Late evenings - decreasing by one RN
Nights – decrease one LPN
This is of great concern for members of UNA 301. Their patients are sick and often very unstable. This is an acute care hospital and expert nursing care is needed to ensure patient safety.
Ishani Weera, AFL Organizing and Outreach Director at 780-483-3021 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie-Therese Mageau, UNA 301 at 780-407-7453
April 10, 2012
Dear Fellow Union Members:
Send a message to the Tories, yes! But do your research first!
Recent opinion polls are suggesting that the long-ruling Progressive Conservative party may be on the brink of an historic defeat at the hands of the upstart Wildrose party, led by the telegenic Danielle Smith.
The good news is that Albertans are finally finding the courage to stand up to a party that has been in power for far too long – a party that has become arrogant and which has consistently put the narrow interests of its corporate supporters (especially in the energy industry) ahead of the broader public interest.
The bad news is that many justifiably frustrated voters are turning to the Wildrose as an alternative without actually taking a close look at what the party stands for.
That’s why I’m sending this letter today. I know that many union members around the province are in a “throw-the-bums-out” mood. Frankly, so am I. But before any of our members decide they want to mark their “X” next to a Wildrose candidate, I want to make sure they understand exactly what a Wildrose government would mean to unions, working people and the things we value.
In particular, it’s important for union voters to familiarize themselves with the Wildrose’s positions on labour law, health care, public services, revenue, pensions and energy policy.
In each and every case, the Wildrose has staked out a position that is diametrically opposed to the positions embraced by the Alberta Federation of Labour and its affiliate unions. For example, we want to defend publicly funded and publicly delivered Medicare: they want to dismantle it in favour of American-style privatization.
Perhaps one of the biggest areas of divergence between Alberta’s labour movement and the Wildrose party has to do with labour law. We believe that the laws should be drafted in a way that allows Alberta’s to exercise their right to join a union and bargain collectively. The Wildrose party, on the other hand, wants to gut Alberta’s labour laws and replace them with the same kind of laws that U.S. Tea Party Republicans have used to weaken unions and undermine the collective strength of working people south of the border.
If elected, I’m convinced that Danielle Smith will become Canada’s Scott Walker, the Republican governor that launched an unprecedented attack on unions in Wisconsin about a year ago.
In an effort to help our members better understand the choices in this election, we’ve put together an Election Information Sheet that explains how the Tories have failed us and how the Wildrose threatens us.
I urge you to distribute either this letter by itself or with the attached fact sheet to as many of your activists and members as possible before Election Day on April 23. Please also encourage your members to visit the AFL’s election website at www.election2012.afl.org for more information.
We need to ensure that union voters are informed voters. And we need to do everything we can to stop Wisconsin from moving north.
Gil McGowan, President
Coalition to unveil campaign aimed at sparking public conversation about irresponsible tax and royalty giveaways
EDMONTON – Ever wonder why Alberta, Canada's wealthiest province, is running a $3-billion deficit and saying it can't afford to maintain middle-of-the-road spending on vital public services?
That's the question that a coalition of labour and community groups want Albertans to start asking in the run-up to the next provincial election, expected to be called within the next month.
"Why in a province as wealthy as Alberta is the talk always about cuts and freezes to things that Albertans value, like education and health care," asks Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
"The truth is the only reason our government is running deficits and talking about cutbacks is because they've blown a hole in the revenue base we need to fund services. The cupboard is bare because Alberta's irresponsibly low royalty and corporate tax rates have made it bare."
A news conference will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25th to officially unveil the advocacy campaign that the AFL has developed in partnership with the Public Interest Alberta (PIA), a network of community groups and activists.
The news conference will be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, January 25th in the MacDougall Room, 3rd floor, Chateau Lacombe Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Edmonton (10111 Bellamy Hill).
"Albertans are being told that they have no choice but to accept cuts to things like health care, post-secondary education and various services for the disadvantaged," says PIA Executive Director Bill Moore-Kilgannon.
"But the truth is we DO have choices. By introducing modest increases to tax and royalty rates we could generate the money we need to maintain the kind of high-quality services that Albertans need to face the future with confidence."
At the news conference McGowan and Moore-Kilgannon will unveil three radio ads, a direct mail piece and a campaign website. All of this is in addition to work that the AFL and PIA did to assist in the publication of the book Follow the Money that was released last week.
For more information:
• Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour (780) 218-9888
• Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Director, Public Interest Alberta (780) 993-3736
Issue: The Harper government's bid to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and undermine rural Prairie communities through Bill C-18, now before the Senate.
Action Requested: Take part in an urgent campaign to get the Senate to stop passage of the bill while the matter is before the courts.
When: Before Dec. 14. The government has said it intends to push the legislation through before Christmas even though a Federal Court judge has ruled the Agriculture Minister broke the law by failing to consult farmers. The government says it will appeal that ruling, but won't wait to have the appeal held and is pressing ahead with the legislation.
The Harper government is seeking to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board with the passage of Bill C-18. This move is illegal because the law requires the government to consult with farmers on any changes to the CWB, but the government has refused to consult. It is undemocratic because it ignores a vote held by farmers in which the majority said they wanted to keep the board.
AFL's Position: This is not about wheat. The government's move is fuelled by its ideological opposition to collective action. It wants to undermine the ability of farmers to work collectively to get a better price for their product in the same way it has undermined the ability of workers to bargain collectively by forcing them back to work in recent disputes at Canada Post and Air Canada. If the government succeeds in dismantling the Wheat Board, the only winners will be large corporations. The losers will be smaller family farms who will no longer be able to compete on an equal footing with larger corporate farms and will no longer be able to negotiate with the large corporations that buy their products. Studies show Prairie farmers will lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year – money that is vital to the survival of many of our rural communities. For more details, read the joint statement issued by the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Federations of Labour.
Action: Join the campaign by the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance (CWBA) to contact senators and the Governor-General by email, phone and fax to let them know that if they pass this bill they will be flaunting the law and not acting in the best interests of the Western Canadian farmer and their communities, or in Canada's best interests. The CWBA is asking for messages to be sent by phone and fax as well as email, because the senators' e-mail risks getting backed up, so phone and fax may be the fastest way to get your message through. Provided here is contact info for Alberta senators, followed by a list of other senators provided by the CWBA, whom they feel are most likely to change their vote or not show up for the vote. Contact info for the Governor-General is also provided.
• Elaine McCoy: Tel. 613-995-4293 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-4304; Email. email@example.com
• Tommy Banks: Tel. 613-995-1889 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-1938; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Bert Brown: Tel. 613-944-3434 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-944-3438; Email email@example.com
• Joyce Fairbairn: Tel. 613-996-4382 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-3223; Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
• Grant Mitchell: Tel. 613-995-4254 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-4265; Email. email@example.com
• Claudette Tardif: Tel. 613-947-3589 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-947-3609; Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Senators to contact:
Last name First name Phone Fax Prov
Boisvenu Pierre-Hugues 613-943-4030 613-943-4029 QC
Demers Jacques 613-992-0151 613-992-0128 QC
Rivard Michel 613-947-4107 613-947-4110 QC
Champagne Andrée 613-995-3999 613-995-4034 QC
Nancy Ruth 13-995-4174 613-995-4188 ON
Segal Hugh 613-995-4059 613-995-5259 ON
Andreychuk Raynell 613-947-2239 613-947-2241 SK
Angus W. David 613-947-3193 613-947-3195 QC
Cochrane Ethel M. 613-992-1577 613-995-6691 NL/T
Comeau Gerald J. 613-943-1448 613-943-1556 NS
Di Nino Consiglio 613-943-1454 613-943-1800 QC
Johnson Janis G. 613-943-1430 613-992-5029 MB
Kinsella Noël A. 613-992-4416 613-992-9772 NB
LeBreton Marjory 613-943-0756 613-943-1493 ON
Meighen Michael A. 613-943-1421 613-943-1565 ON
Nolin Pierre Claude 613-943-1451 613-943-1792 QC
Oliver Donald H. 613-943-1445 613-943-1502 NS
St. Germain Gerry 613-947-2242 613-947-2244 BC
Stratton Terry 613-947-2224 613-943-1563 MB
Tkachuk David 613-947-3196 613-947-3198 SK
Rivest Jean-Claude 613-947-2236 613-947-2238 QC
Rt. Hon. David Johnston: Tel. 613-993-8200; Fax 613-998-8760
Prime Minister Harper has stated that he intends to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board by Christmas, 2011. It's time to tell him to Stop the Steamroller.
- Prime Minister Harper has not adequately consulted, as he is required to do, the relevant Canadian wheat and barley farmers on the matter.
- In a plebiscite, 62% of relevant farmers stated that they want the CWB to remain in place.
- This decision could be the beginning of the end for many family farms that form the backbone of Canadian agriculture, and it is unconscionable that a Canadian way of life should be put at risk without the opinions of those families being heard.
Sign this petition and tell the Prime Minister, Cabinet and the House of Commons you are standing up for farmers and the Canadian Wheat Board.
28,292 people have signed on and sent messages. Let's add to that.
Issue: Members of the Occupy Calgary movement and union leaders from the Calgary area will hold a Labour Solidarity Rally at Calgary City Hall at noon on Saturday, November 12th.
Actions Requested: Join the rally to show your support and solidarity for the fight for workers' rights, a fair wage for a good job and an end to greed and the income inequality plaguing our society.
When: Noon, Saturday, November 12th.
The Occupy movement in Calgary, across Canada and around the world is fighting for many of the same things for which the labour movement has campaigned for decades: Workers getting a fair wage; reliable funding for our public services including health care and education; an end to profitable multinational corporations being given billions of our dollars while working people get less and less. Workers are part of the 99%.
AFL's Position: The Occupy movement is protesting income inequality, funding cuts to public services, tax breaks for the wealthy. Despite claims to the contrary, the protestors have legitimate concerns and have come up with specific solutions, such as the Robin Hood Tax on transactions by financial institutions to combat poverty. They have spoken openly about the positive role that unions can play in building a better Calgary, a better Alberta and a better Canada. Occupy Calgary has called for this rally to show solidarity with workers under attack from the Harper government, which has shown its contempt for workers' rights and the ability to bargain collectively.
Even Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney – a former Goldman Sachs investment banker and newly appointed by the G20 as the man to overhaul international banking industry – has acknowledged that the Occupy demonstrations are a "democratic expression of views" and are "entirely constructive." The Occupy movement is helping to keep pressure on governments to introduce vital reforms to the banking industry to prevent the kind of recession that swept the globe in 2008 and caused so much harm to so many.
We support the Occupy movements because they offer a sign of hope that a better, fairer, and more tolerant world may yet emerge from the ashes of the ongoing global financial crisis.
The powers that be have often sought to confront and quash peaceful protests, like those by supporters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Years later, with the benefit of hindsight, those same societies looked back at the protesters and applauded their courage and conviction – and with horror of the attempts by authorities to silence them.
Action: Join the rally at Calgary City Hall at noon on Saturday, November 12th, to show your support and solidarity for the fight for workers' rights, a fair wage for a good job and an end to greed and the income inequality plaguing our society. Help support the Occupy Calgary occupiers by bringing donations of fresh fruit and vegetables and non-perishable food items, clothing and winter apparel, tenting gear, blankets, foldable chairs, tarps, and monetary donations.
The Occupy movement is holding marches and rallies to call for a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions
Issue: The Occupy movement is holding marches and rallies to call for a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions that would raise billions of dollars to protect public services, help tackle poverty and help the most vulnerable adapt to climate change.
Actions Requested: Join the Occupy Edmonton march and rally to push for a Robin Hood Tax. Bring a green mask and feel free to dress up.
When: 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 29th at the Occupy Edmonton camp at 102 Street and Jasper Avenue.
This Saturday, cities all over the world will push for a small thing to make a big difference: a tax on the banks that will make them give back a small percentage of their profits to programs that benefit the people from whom they profit.
The Canadian government is showing no leadership on the Robin Hood Tax. Both Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty have rejected the idea of the tax - and this is in the aftermath of a 1999 motion that made Canada the first country in the world to declare its intention to work towards the adoption of a tax to control international currency speculation.
On October 29, on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France, people will rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 0.05% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let's send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that's sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.
A Robin Hood Tax could help turn this global crisis into a global opportunity, raising billions to protect public services, help tackle global poverty and help the most vulnerable adapt to climate change. We need to show the banks that it is time for them to give a small percentage of their profits back to the world.
AFL's Position: The Occupy movement is fighting to protect public services and poverty. It has offered a real solution with the Robin Hood Tax. The labour movement should support this initiative and join the rally and march.
Action: Join the rally and march beginning at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Occupy Edmonton camp at 102 Street and Jasper Avenue.
Issue: Members of UFCW 401 at the Sobeys store in Forest Lawn, Calgary, are on strike as the employer seeks cuts to wages and benefits.
Action Requested: Join a rally to support the workers at the store at 5105 – 17 Avenue SE, Calgary.
When: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 2nd.
Issue: The Sobeys family is one of Canada's richest, with skyrocketing net worth into the billions of dollars. Canadian Business magazine ranked them in 25th spot on its Rich 100 list in Canada, with a net worth of $2.26 billion, with their wealth growing rapidly in the last two years. Meanwhile, they are pushing for concessions from employees at a Sobeys store in Calgary.
AFL's Position: The AFL is asking union members to support the striking workers by joining them on the picket line whenever possible and by attending the rally on Nov. 2. We are asking retail customers to avoid shopping at all Sobeys outlets until they sign a new collective agreement that respects workers.
Action: Join the rally from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2nd, at the Sobeys outlet store at 5105 - 17th Avenue. S.E., Calgary.
Issue: CAW Local 2002 members at Air Canada will hit the picket lines at Calgary and Edmonton International Airports on the morning of Tuesday, June 14
Actions Requested: Join the picket lines to show your support for workers as they attempt to get a fair contract from Air Canada
When: Between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 14
Air Canada employees have seen a substantial deterioration in compensation and working conditions over the last decade, with real wages after inflation declining to the tune of more than $10,000 per year in purchasing power for members of CAW Local 2002.
Despite this drop in earning power and working with 45-per-cent fewer staff, productivity has soared by 75 per cent – thanks to the efforts of hard-working and dedicated employees. Indeed, Air Canada has won multiple awards for quality service.
Now, with Air Canada recovering from turbulent economic times and reporting financial success, the company has chosen to attack its workers, demanding concessions on pensions, on outsourcing and on part-time work.
While asking employees and their families to tighten their belts – again - Air Canada CEO Calvin Rovinescu enjoyed a 76-per-cent raise last year, with his earnings at $4.55 million. On top of that, he gets more in share appreciation and will be paid a $5-million "retention bonus" in March 2012.
CAW Local 2002 is fighting the attempt to slash the pension plan for existing and future workers and to create a two-tier workforce – and it needs your help. Join them on the picket lines at Calgary and Edmonton International Airports between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14. In Edmonton, you report to the Gulf Stream Room, Executive Royal Inn, 8450 Sparrow Drive, Leduc. In Calgary, report to the Otter Room, Acclaim Hotel, 123 Freeport Boulevard NE, Calgary.
Now that Air Canada is financially successful, it's time to share that success with the workers who have helped them to achieve it. It's only fair.