2017 Edition 1
In This Issue...
The following guest opinion column was published in the Edmonton Journal on Jan. 3, 2017. The family, originally expected to arrive in October, finally made it to Calgary after Christmas. Photographed above is the family of four being welcomed by HSAA members and supporters.
Smiles may be the furthest thing from our minds when we think of Syrian refugees fleeing from war, but they may prove to be the key to their future. The value of smiles were a common theme in three interviews with people prominent in HSAA bringing a family of four from Lebanon to start a new, safe life in Calgary.
Worried about bringing Syrian refugees to Canada from Lebanon? Don’t be, says Sam Nammoura, co-founder of the volunteer Syrian Refugees Support Group. This family hasn’t just been screened, it’s been “extreme vetted” three times.
The bargaining is about to begin – at least for nearly 20,000 HSAA members employed by Alberta Health Service (AHS) and Covenant Health. What will that mean for you as workers in Alberta, with our economy still suffering from a collapse in oil prices, and the resulting loss of tens of thousands of good jobs, and the government facing deficits of billions of dollars? How do we bargain new collective agreements in this atmosphere?
Solidarity is a word you hear a lot in the labour movement – so much that it can almost be a cliché, the kind of language that makes people unfamiliar with unions feel a little uncomfortable. But what does it really mean?
2017 is well under way, and we’re as busy as ever at the HSAA offices.
In almost every HSAA member interview there is a familiar quote that comes up. It may show up with different wording but the theme is always the same… “I’ve always known I wanted to work in a career that helps people. I feel like this is where I’m meant to be.”
Your union is working hard to ensure you’re working safely. HSAA health and safety advisor Ray Geldreich is serving as a voting member on two national committees that are creating standards for workplaces.
Essential services have been maintained by workers numerous times during strikes in Alberta, including the General Strike of 1919.
Hungry children find it hard to learn – and children that cannot learn find it hard to succeed in life. It’s this simple fact that led to the creation of the Breakfast for Learning program in Canada – http://www.breakfastforlearning.ca/– and also led to HSAA’s Social Justice Committee to agree to support the program with $10,000 per year for five years. Last year was the fourth year of that commitment.
A $1,000 donation from HSAA’s Social Justice Committee helped make a success of a humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic.
Health spending falls behind growth, inflation; Alberta dental fees up to 44 per cent higher; Canadian CEOs set record for high income; Alberta losing hundreds of public care beds
I get a lot of questions from members about job classifications, since it’s an area with which very few people are familiar. Common ones include: How are jobs classifications decided? How are the different levels within job classifications determined?
It’s as regular as clockwork – lobby groups claiming public health costs are rising and unsustainable.
But the fact is, Canadians’ public health care spending has been cut by five per cent since 2011, according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).
Do our public services, including health care and education, treat us all equally? The answer is no, says 18-year old Kirsten Webster, the daughter of HSAA member Kari Webster, a laboratory assistant with Alberta Health Services (AHS) at the Morinville Clinic.