Thursday, February 16, 2012

Raj Sherman Rallies Striking Hospital Support Workers


This morning hospital support workers at the Royal Alexandra Hospital staged a wildcat strike, which is reportedly already spreading to the University of Alberta hospital and other facilities. Support workers are asking for a three percent raise, which seems pretty reasonable to me given the work they do and the rate of inflation. Official Opposition Leader Raj Sherman is really on fire here - his passion for fairness and the need to support working people really shines through.

Edited to add: the strike is over

2 comments:

"Jeffing Of Age" said...

We had similar issues a few years ago out here. The health authority gave in to the demands for better wages, and then waited for the support workers' contract to expire. When it did, the workers were all replaced with those from a rival contractor with a much lower bid.

Despite that the ousted support workers were making do with low wages to begin with, at least they were experienced. The new workers work for less, have almost no training, and no real experience in hospital protocols.

Imagine, if you will, being processed through ER and given a bed. Has that bed been cleaned properly from the patient who used it before you? Has the room been sanitized or just swept? Do the porters know how to move you without hurting you? Is there a security guard on your unit at night? Are your bedside utensils sanitary? When was the bathroom last washed?

I am afraid that the Alex is going to see the same thing happen. At least Dr. Raj seems to have some inkling of that, but without real power, all he can do now is shake his fist at the government and yell with the rest of us. And try not to get sick.

Here's hoping it all works out, I trust you will follow up on this post when there's more news.

Earl J. Woods said...

You've captured the crux of the matter precisely. The wildcat strike is over now, lasting less than a day; here's the Globe and Mail's take on it: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/deal-ends-wildcat-strike-at-alberta-hospitals/article2341411/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2341411