News Stories of Interest, Monday, March 10, and Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good day. There appear to be no official holidays today (or yesterday for that matter), although it is Johnny Appleseed Day in the USA. How often does that happen? There were, however, several news stories of interest to UNA members and staff here in Alberta yesterday and today. Here are a few:

[ ]Health workers brace for post-budget wage fight

Registered Nurses, technologists and hospital support staff are among the range of employees lining up for negotiations with Alberta Health Services this year as the medical authority gets set to work out its budget with a smaller than promised government funding hike, the Edmonton Journal reported yesterday.

[ ]Redford government under attack for $300,000 letter writers

Roughly $300,000 of a $1.2 million budget boost to the office of Premier Alison Redford will go towards hiring more letter writers that can respond faster to the influx of correspondence sent to the premier. Critics call this hypocritical when public sector unions are being told to do more with less.

[ ]About that missing $400 million for health care …

This year, the federal government is giving Alberta an extra $1.03 billion in health transfers. However, according to Alberta’s new budget released last Thursday, the province is only increasing spending on health by $600 million. Graham Thomson of the Edmonton Journal explains.

[ ]Halifax RNs vote overwhelmingly for strike action

Registered Nurses at the Capital District Health Authority in Halifax voted 90 per cent in favour of strike action yesterday. They are represented by the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union.

[ ]Labour election contributions have Calgary Herald in a swivet

What the Calgary Herald terms “a gaping loophole in provincial election campaign finance rules” allowed an influx of cash and in-kind donations to flow into the campaign coffers of Calgary public school trustee candidates in last fall’s election. Recently released campaign disclosure statements show 21 of 25 trustee candidates received a total of $170,906.89 in contributions, an 82 per cent increase over the 2010 election. Nearly a quarter of that total contribution amount was donated by the Calgary and District Labour Council and the Alberta Federation of Labour.

[ ]Crystal meth addiction on rise in Alberta

Youth outreach workers and counsellors say they aren’t surprised an increasing number of young Albertans are seeking help to overcome addictions related to crystal meth. Data provided by Alberta Health Services shows that 1,116 people between the ages of 12-24 sought treatment for meth-related addictions during the 2012-13 reporting period, a spike of 45 per cent over the four-year average.

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

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