OPSEU/SEFPO leadership stands in solidarity with Alberta healthcare workers in their fight against funding cuts and privatization.
OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas spoke out against the Alberta government’s cuts to the healthcare system, noting that privatizing these jobs would hurt not only the workers, but the public as well.
“At a point in time when Canadians are relying on our public healthcare system the most, it’s absurd that the Alberta government would make cuts that negatively impact the quality of care the public receives,” said Thomas. “This is the time for more, not less, investment in public healthcare.”
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) workers walked off their jobs this past Monday after Alberta’s Health Minister, Tyler Shandro, announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs, including laundry services, community lab and food services, and outsource these positions to third-party companies.
Sara Labelle, Chair of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Hospital Professionals Division, called the Alberta government’s announcement a blatant act of disrespect and lack of appreciation for the province’s healthcare workers.
“Healthcare workers have been giving their all during this pandemic to save the lives of Canadians and provide a high standard of care to every person who enters our hospitals,” said Labelle. “It’s appalling that after all the sacrifices these workers have made, the Alberta government would announce layoffs and cuts to healthcare.”
AUPE members were ordered back to work on Tuesday, and their union will continue to fight against this action, with the support and solidarity of unions across Canada.