2016 Edition 4
In This Issue...
Social Worker Marilyn Bird has overcome addiction and homelessness and is back doing what she loves - helping others in need.
Paramedic Veronica Ryl says shifting weather, waves and thunderstorms are among the challenges the team will face in its world-record attempt.
You may have heard the names of your new executive officers, but how much do you really know about them?
What do police in Montreal wearing colourful camouflage pants instead of their uniforms have to do with you? What do postal workers facing a strike or lockout have to do with you? On the surface, you may think not much. You’re not affected by what cops are wearing on the other side of the country. You may be a little more affected by a postal dispute, but you probably don’t feel directly involved, right?
We are in a new era in the history of HSAA and I am thrilled to be a part of it. As your new vice-president, I am certainly stepping into an exciting role. That said, I am also bringing with me my nine years of experience on your board of directors and my 38 years as a proud HSAA member. That means history and experience along with the willingness to look at things through a different lens and hopefully create something even better.
They’re finally coming. The family of Syrian refugees that HSAA is sponsoring to come to Canada was cleared by the Canadian government and was due to arrive in Calgary late in November. The news came on Friday, Oct. 7, and the rush began to find them a home and furnish it.
Lane Bates wanted to be a firefighter and save lives before he died at age five, says his mom Michelle.
We’re right here – not in Bangalore, Ireland, the Maritimes or the southern U.S. – and we’re here to help you! When people hear “call centre,” they sometimes picture workers in cubicles in some far-fetched corner of the globe, toiling in anonymity, linked to the caller seeking assistance only by a phone line.
Ever wonder what your union can do for you? If you have, read some of the comments below from members who have been helped by their labour relations officers (LROs), staff in our Members’ Resource Centre (MRC) and in other departments.
HSAA labour-relations officer (LRO) Craig Johnston passed away in August at the age of 61. He will be missed by the members he represented in his 20 years working in labour relations and by his colleagues.
A Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2015 stated the right to strike is a fundamental right for unionized workers. This made it obvious Alberta’s prohibition on strikes and lockouts for public-sector workers is no longer appropriate and must be changed.
Memo to addictions counsellors: Your voices have been heard!
Are you turning down free money? If you’re working part time for an employer which participates in the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), you might be doing just that. We’re hearing that there are an alarmingly high number of part-time employees who are not contributing to the pension plan even when it is available to them.
From hockey gloves to baseball gloves, HSAA member and pharmacist Garrett Wiebe took part in yet another Guinness World Record challenge to help raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF).
When the Whitecourt Teen Centre and the Boys and Girls Club needed help providing nutritious meals and snacks for local school students, they turned to HSAA for help.
A typical day in my life involves making lunches, sending kids to school, heading to work, making dinner and co-ordinating various children and family activities on evenings and weekends. Day in and day out, this is my routine. In May, I stepped out of my comfortable little box and went to Southern China with EMAS (Education, Medical Aid and Service). EMAS teams do projects all over the world, providing basic medical care, surgery, dental care and eye care.
Recent announcements by the Alberta government of new and upgraded beds for seniors’ care facilities appear to show the province moving in the right direction in providing improved care for the elderly. Yet as shown in a new report from Parkland Institute, Losing Ground: Alberta’s Residential Elder Care Crisis, neither the quantity of the new beds nor the potential quality of care is sufficient.
There was a time, not so long ago, when childhood barely existed. Sure, there were children, but they were often expected to work as hard as adults, living out often short lives of danger and misery.
You asked, and your board is delivering. HSAA’s board of directors is committed to enhancing member engagement with your union and your ideas on how to bring your colleagues together in social settings. From sports events to movies to hayrides and paint nights, your ideas are being put into action with amazing results.
It is with mixed feelings that I announce the retirement of Luanne Rowswell after 40 years of service. She was very knowledgeable and an asset to any team that she joined.
Do you have an opinion? If you do have an opinion – let’s face it, everybody has an opinion – then we need to know what that is. In order to do that, we need to have a personal email address for every member.
You would likely never think of travelling without emergency medical insurance as it is well known that a medical emergency can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. What seems to not be so well known is that retirees with these plans can end up unexpectedly uninsured, risking financial ruin. It is essential that you inform yourself of all the rules of an emergency medical policy, including what is and what is not covered, as well as fully understanding the terms “pre-existing conditions,” “stable” and “controlled” as the wording of these terms can place you at risk of having a claim denied.
Regular readers of Challenger will have seen repeated mention of HSAA’s strategic plan: Our members and the public will understand and value unions. It is without apology that we continually reiterate this plan as it is the basis of all we do. When the board decided on it some five years ago, they recognized that it was a bold statement that would take many years to accomplish. Board members recognized that union density was at a record low and that public sentiment in Alberta was not on our side. But they had a vision of a better world because they recognized that when unions are strong, people in all walks of life do better.
As the seasons change and the sunny days turn into a frozen, snow-encrusted winter wonderland, smokers may be feeling the inclination to kick the habit. The thought of standing outside for yet another winter simply to indulge that vice may be the nudge needed to take the next step. OK, it’s decided. Now what?