Canada: Alberta unions ramp up fight against government cuts - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Alberta unions ramp up fight against government cuts

08:40  06 november  2019
08:40  06 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Public education advocate questions why religious post-secondary universities were spared cuts

  Public education advocate questions why religious post-secondary universities were spared cuts A public education advocate is concerned the provincial government's grant funding cuts appear to favour religious colleges and universities over other post-secondaries. Alberta's UCP government cut the budget for advanced education by five per cent this year, providing $5.1 billion for operations. That meant grant funding reductions for large institutions like the University of Calgary and University of Alberta, polytechnics like SAIT and NAIT, and smaller institutions like Keyano College and The Banff Centre.Five private institutions didn't see any funding cuts — Ambrose University, Burman University, St.

Tasmanian unions have stepped up their campaign against the state Labor government 's proposed public sector job cuts . The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and Health and Community Services Union (HCSU) on Sunday unveiled a print, radio and television campaign against the cuts .

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a group of people holding a sign: Public employees staged an information picket in front of Calgary's South Health Campus on Tuesday to push back against budget cuts. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Public employees staged an information picket in front of Calgary's South Health Campus on Tuesday to push back against budget cuts. Public sector workers met across Calgary on Tuesday for three union events, vowing to fight back against budget cuts and proposed wage rollbacks announced by the province.

Mike Parker is president of Health Sciences Association of Alberta, which represents 27,000 health-care workers. He was one of dozens marching and waving flags at an information picket in front of Calgary's South Health Campus at noon.

"It is far-reaching and far deeper than we have ever seen in this province. We are closing childrens' mental health programs. We are closing addictions programs. We are attacking the most vulnerable people in this province," Parker said.

Government will seek two per cent wage cuts from broad swath of public sector workers

  Government will seek two per cent wage cuts from broad swath of public sector workers The Alberta government will seek two-to-five per cent wage rollbacks in arbitration with the vast majority of public employees, the province’s finance minister said. It’s a move to bring public sector wages in line with their counterparts in other provinces, Finance Minister Travis Toews said Tuesday. “I have a great deal of respect for so many of our public sector who delivered competently and in a very committed way to Albertans every day,” Toews told reporters at the legislature. “We want to find a responsible way forward on behalf of all Albertans so we can deliver high-quality services into the future.

Alberta labour groups are reaching deep into their warchests to bankroll pricey ad campaigns geared toward mobilizing their members and swaying public opinion as the Tory government ponders cuts and wage rollbacks.

Education unions are ramping up their fight against the Barnett Government 's cuts to education.

"We are all Albertans in this. The last thing we need to do is burn down our health-care and public education systems."

Cuts of the magnitude that Jason Kenney and the UCP are planning will take a weak economy that we have here in Alberta and knock it into recession. - Gil McGowan, AFL president

The United Conservative government said it wants wage rollbacks between two and five per cent for public employees and intends to reduce the workforce, largely through attrition.

It also introduced legislation last week that allows for replacement workers in the case of a union strike and for greater oversight of collective bargaining.

The United Nurses of Alberta have filed a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board over the proposed wage rollbacks ahead of independent arbitration, arguing it's bargaining in bad faith. The government previously said it would seek a wage freeze.

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"This province has a revenue problem and until this government faces up to what the real solutions are they're going to continue to pick on workers," said Heather Smith, president of United Nurses of Alberta.

The picket on Tuesday is part of an ongoing campaign that includes the launch of a new website opposing cuts by the Jason Kenney government.

"The message we're sending today is relatively simple," said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"Cuts of the magnitude that Jason Kenney and the UCP are planning will take a weak economy that we have here in Alberta and knock it into recession."

The presidents of unions affiliated with the AFL, which represent a combined 180,000 workers, met in Calgary Saturday afternoon in advance of an evening town hall inviting Albertans to "join the resistance."

McGowan said the goal is to encourage people to take a look at the government's promises versus its policies.

Workers and concerned citizens filled the Engineered Air Theatre Tuesday evening to hear that message.

Donna Hokiro, national president of the United Steelworkers Union Local 1944, said the private sector only does well with a robust public sector.

"When you take money out of the economy, more people suffer and poverty just escalates," she said.

Ontario elementary teachers to start work-to-rule campaign Nov. 26 .
TORONTO — Ontario's elementary teachers will start a work-to-rule campaign on Nov. 26 that they say will not affect students, but is just the first phase in potentially escalating job action. The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says their action will target ministry and school board administrative tasks. Members are being told not to complete Term 1 report cards, not to participate in any professional learning from their school board or the ministry outside of school hours, and not to do any online training by the ministry.

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