United Nurses of Alberta members and other front-line public employees will rally on Thursday, March 20, at multiple locations throughout Alberta to defend their modest pensions against imposed cuts to their retirement savings unilaterally introduced by the Redford Government.
Their message: Nobody voted on these cuts and by breaking the promise it made to front-line public employees, the Alberta Government sends the message no one can trust the agreements it makes.
Before imposing big changes, the government should have engaged in negotiations with front line public employees so that solutions everyone could have lived with could have been agreed upon.
The average public sector pension in Alberta is only about $14,000.
Imposed pension cuts will make it more difficult for hospitals, schools, universities and other public sector employers to find and keep skilled and dedicated front line employees. This, in turn, is bound to have an impact on the quality of public services in Alberta.
Recent announcements by the government suggest it has backed down on key issues, but in reality it is continuing to break the promise made to front-line workers like UNA nurses by imposing pension cuts rather than negotiating them.
As a result, affected workers are rallying over lunchtime throughout the province today at worksites in Edmonton, St. Albert, Calgary, Hinton, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Peace River and Camrose. Informal smaller-scale activities are expected near many other public sector worksites throughout the province.
Senior elected officers of the major Alberta public sector unions will be available at all sites for interviews with media. UNA’s Executive Officers will be at the following locations:
– Heather Smith, President, Red Deer Regional Hospital, Red Deer
– Karen Craik, Executive Secretary Treasurer, South Health Campus, Calgary
– Jane Sustrik, First VP, University of Alberta Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton
– Daphne Wallace, Second VP, Peter Lougheed Hospital and Foothills Medical Centre
– University of Alberta Hospital, 8440 112 Street NW, Edmonton
– Grey Nuns Hospital, 1100 Youville Drive, Edmonton
– Misericordia Hospital, 16940 87 Avenue NW, Edmonton
– Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton
– Edmonton City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton
– Sturgeon General Hospital, 201 Boudreau Road, St. Albert
– South Calgary Health Campus, 4448 Front Street
– Rockyview General Hospital, 7007 14 Street SW
– Foothills Medical Centre, 1403 29 Street NW
– Peter Lougheed Hospital, 3500 26 Avenue NE
– Alberta Children’s Hospital, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW
– Calgary City Hall, 800 Macleod Trail SE
– University of Calgary Campus, specific location to be announced
– Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, 666 5 Street SW
– Esplanade/Medicine Hat Public Library, 401 1 Street SE
– Fort McMurray Provincial Building/City Hall, 9915 Franklin Avenue
– Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, 7 Hospital Street
– Red Deer Regional Hospital, 3942 50A Avenue
– Red Deer College, 100 College Boulevard
– Red Deer City Hall, 4914 48 Avenue
– Grande Prairie Provincial Building, 10320 99 Street
– Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, 10409 98 Street
– Chinook Regional Hospital, 960 19 Street S
– Lethbridge Provincial Building, 200 5 Avenue S
– University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive W
– Outside MLA Robin Campbell’s constituency office, 554 Carmichael Lane
– St. Mary’s Hospital, 4607 53 Street
– Office of MLA Frank Oberle, 9907 101 Street