AUPE members rally on International Workers’ Day

Members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees rallied across Alberta on Monday afternoon protesting short staffing in healthcare facilities and deteriorating working conditions.

There were also workers protesting at the Lethbridge Provincial Building during May Day, which is also known as International Workers’ Day.

Darren Graham, the AUPE Vice-President for the south region says the group recently polled an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 members on the topic of working short.

“They all reported back issues around staffing at their facilities, the lack of employer empathy and increased workloads complexity, which I was talking about with over at the courthouse, for example. We’ve had a real change there in the complexity of work. As well, we’re losing people to health issues, retirements and they’re not being replaced. We’re seeing the same issue in registries where we’re losing long term staff and they’re trying to do like these hirings of casuals for twelve months or what they call wage staff for twelve months. As those staff don’t see any future in that job because they don’t seem to be wanting to hire permanent people, they resign partway through or don’t complete the training, or they apply for a different job that actually is full time.”

Graham told us the survey also mentioned that 40 per cent of members polled reported working without breaks and 25 per cent of them said they work through their lunches.

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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