After the announcement that locked out staff were being replaced with a third party contractor, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) isn’t taking the news from Points West Living Cold lake lying down.
The Union points out that the company announced their “collaborative partnership” with Saint Elizabeth Health Care one day after Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, was tabled in the legislature. If passed, the bill would bring in provisions to settle first collective agreements in newly unionized sites such as Points West Living Cold Lake.
“This is a mean-spirited, cowardly move designed to avoid the new labour relations legislation,” said AUPE president Guy Smith. “Points West Living has made union busting a higher priority than providing quality care to the seniors they are responsible for and that’s disturbing.”
AUPE has filed a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, claiming the move is illegal. The union is requesting an injunction to stop the contracting out.
AUPE says that they recently negotiated a contract for Points West staff in Vegreville which contains provisions discouraging management from not covering the shifts of staff on vacation or sick leave as well as maintaining a ban on contracting out.
Locked out staff in Cold Lake maintain a daily picket of the facilities.