Alberta Minister Says The 'Illegal' Health Care Strikes Are Putting Patients In Danger
Union spokesperson says "patient care and safety is our number one concern."
On the morning of Monday, October 26, health care workers across the province walked out of work in an.
"The main demand is to stop the privatization because there’s going to be 11,000 GSS (General Support Services) jobs lost and thousands of nursing jobs lost," Angela Smyth, the Local 45 Chair in Canmore, Alberta,.
Minister Toews has released a statement in response which says he has "been aware of a number of illegal strikes taking place in hospitals and health care settings across the province."
He goes on to say that this is putting patients at risk. Though, Bobby-Joe Borodey, Vice President with AUPE told Narcity in an interview that "patient care and safety is [their] number one concern."
We are prepared to ensure that life and limb is taken care of and we apologize for the disruption that this will cause, however the only change that’s ever made is when disruption occurs.
Toews' statement went on to say that "Alberta spends 42% of its budget on health – which has increased 17% since 2015. Health spending is at record highs and is expected to be $20.9 billion this year – this does not include $769 million earmarked specifically for COVID-19."
He also made it clear that there will be consequences following these actions.
"Alberta Health Services is taking immediate action with the Alberta Labour Relations Board to end this illegal activity. Those involved in this illegal action will be held accountable," wrote the minister.
Borodey told Narcity that the union is getting calls every 15-30 minutes saying another hospital has joined in the strike.
Health careincluding some in Canmore, Calgary, and Edmonton are participating.