"We’ve been waiting for decades for these kinds of basic protections. It’s time to bring our labour laws in line with other Canadian provinces,” says Mike Parker, HSAA President
Edmonton (15 May 2017) — Labour law changes announced on May 24 by the Alberta government are steps towards creating fairness for workers, says the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE), the union of health care professionals.
Alberta government updates labour laws to create a more fair playing field
“We welcome moves to protect workers from being fired for taking a day off sick, taking time off to care for a sick child or taking time off as a victim of domestic violence. We’ve been waiting for decades for these kinds of basic protections. It’s time to bring our labour laws in line with other Canadian provinces,” says Mike Parker, President of HSAA/NUPGE, which represents about 25,000 health care professionals.
“We are also pleased to see first contract arbitration included in the legislation in Bill 17, the Fair and Family Friendly Workplaces Act. The absence of protection for employees seeking a first contract has caused workers a great deal of pain and suffering, with employers able to bully them and destroy union drives even after a majority have clearly expressed a desire to belong,” he says.
Automatic certification prevents employers from intimidating and bullying workers
“We are pleased to see some change on the issue of automatic certification of unions after a majority of employees have signed union cards. Making employees take a later secret ballot after cards have been signed allows employers to bully workers into changing their minds with threats of job losses and damaged career prospects,” says Parker.
“For far too many years, labour and employment laws in Alberta have meant the odds have been stacked against employees. The proposed changes in this legislation will move us some way towards restoring fairness and balance. We hope to see more reforms in the future that put Albertan workers on a par with the rest of Canada. Alberta workers are as good as any in Canada and deserve the same rights and protections as all other workers," concludes Parker.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE