Calgary, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation released the following response to today’s strike by members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees:
“It’s common sense to let local businesses take care of laundry and catering and we definitely can’t afford office buildings full of managers managing managers,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “It’s disappointing to see union bosses creating so much uncertainty in an uncertain time while the government is making common-sense changes to keep Alberta’s health-care system sustainable.”
The Alberta government announced plans to save $600 million annually by getting local businesses to provide services such as laundry, housekeeping, food preparation and laboratory work. The government also announced a minimum of one hundred management jobs will be phased out.
Alberta Health Services already has a mixed model for laundry and linen services with approximately 68 per cent of those services provided by local businesses across the province.
The Alberta government would save $3.6 billion annually if its per-person health-care spending was in line with Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, according to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s finances. The Alberta government’s debt is projected to reach $100 billion by the end of the fiscal year. Health spending makes up about 40 per cent of the Alberta government’s program spending.
“Union bosses are creating fear about our health-care system when the reality is, we are talking about letting local businesses put Tide pods in the washing machines and they’re already doing a great job,” said Terrazzano. “Union bosses need to dial-back the rhetoric and the government needs to follow through with the common sense changes as soon as possible.”