News Stories of Interest, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013

It’s almost Labour Day … but first, it’s Constitution Day in Kazakhstan, Popular Consultation Day in East Timor, St. Rose of Lima Day in Peru and Victory Day in Turkey. It’s also the International Day of the Disappeared. Here in Alberta, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]AHS under fire for loss of long-term beds at Calgary’s Holy Cross

Health critics are questioning why Alberta Health Services is shutting the door on 77 seniors’ beds in Calgary when the city is dealing with a backlog of hundreds of elderly patients in hospitals and at home waiting for a continuing-care space. The health authority should account for why it’s ending its lease with Holy Cross Centre for the Carewest Rouleau Manor long-term-care centre, even after the building owners said flood repairs at the water-damaged building would be complete within weeks, said Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle. “Alberta Health Services is using the flood as an excuse to take much-needed beds out of the community,” she said.

[ ]Docs’ college to debate call for ban on private MRIs

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta will debate revised standards of practice next week that would make it unethical for doctors to provide preferential access to any insured service based on a patient’s ability to pay. “We don’t think you should be able to buy an MRI or CT scan privately,” said college registrar Dr. Trevor Theman, “that it should all be a publicly funded service.”

[ ]Labour Day reality check – wages are glowing … barely

On an hourly basis, Canadians aged over 15 were making 0.5-per-cent more than they were a year ago in inflation-adjusted terms. Over the past five years, real wages were up by 6.4 per cent, or 1.3 per cent annually. For the past 10 years, the gains were 11.5 per cent (1.2 per cent annually). Unionized workers (up 1.7 per cent) did a lot better than non-unionized ones (up 0.1 per cent) over the past year, although the trend is different over the past decade (10.5 per cent vs. 12.5 per cent).

[ ]Living Waters School District braces for possible AUPE strike

The Living Waters School Division schools in Whitecourt will start the school year on schedule despite growing tension between the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and the division. [ ]AUPE reports its approximately 100 members employer by the district voter to strike if necessary on Wednesday.

[ ]Rabid bat bites Lethbridge resident, who tests positive for rabies

It’s not just West Nile and Hantavirus, a bat that bit a Lethbridge cat, and the cat’s owner, has proved to be rabid. According to the Lethbridge Herald, the woman was bitten “after trying to intervene in a fight between the bat and a cat.” The [ ]CBC reports the woman has tested positive for rabies and has been given anti-rabies vaccine.

[ ]Knee surgery broadcast via Google Glass

A U.S. knee surgeon is among the first to livestream surgery directly from the operating room using Google Glass eyeglasses.

Have a great Labour Day weekend, everyone!

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)

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