Hey, Hi, Hello!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I apologize for being away so long, I really can’t say much other than that living in this province the last few moths has been an endless barrage of horrible policy and gaslighting and I just lost the will to write articles that all basically scream the same message: This Government is Horribly Corrupt.
Who would have guessed that a morally bankrupt zealot with a history of questionable ethics who is under investigation for campaign fraud would lead a less than upstanding government? Anyways…
I’m sure anybody reading this today is fully aware of what went down yesterday with the wildcat strikes at 48 healthcare facilities across the province and the disappointing response of the Labour Relations Board. Some people expressed suspicion that the LRB may be tied to the government somehow, so I went looking and it did not take me long to find some interesting history.
The LRB was also involved in attempting to force the Alberta Federation of Labour to return documents granted to them regarding Klein’s controversial Bill 27. Labour Relations Amendment Act, which came into force in 2003. The Act made significant changes to bargaining rights for healthcare workers in Alberta, excluding Nurse Practitioners from unionization, terminating the right to strike for all healthcare workers and removing negotiated severance provisions from collective agreements. It restructured the healthcare sector and enforced intermingling votes within unions as a result. Unions unsuccessful in those votes we not permitted to organize the unorganized.
“Bill 27 strips the right to strike from thousands of people working in community health care. It attacks the right of ALL health care workers to choose their own union. It denies workers access to severance pay-outs if their jobs are contracted out. It removes decision-making power from impartial tribunals like the Labour Relations Board and hand it over to the provincial cabinet And it sets up a process that will almost certainly give regional health authorities the power to impose inferior agreements on health care workers. From our perspective at the AFL, Bill 27 is just the first shot in what may turn into a war on workers waged by the Alberta government against unions in this province.” *Excerpt from AFL website posting of 2003 speech
Now, you may be wondering why Labour Relations Board was so concerned with the documents obtained by the AFL, you see, the AFL happened to come across some documents that indicated that the LRB was involved in helping draft that government legislation. The LRB was understandably unhappy that these documents had been released and so they took the AFL to court to try to get the docs back. They were denied. They were also “ordered to disclose portions of documents that reveal who was involved in creating, drafting, editing or commenting on legislation, as well as the dates of those communications.” The Judge ruled the LRB “failed in its legal duties under FOIP by issuing an incomplete response and by delaying the release of other documents.” according to the AFL at the time.
The AFL, with the support of 45 union leaders, decided to “put pressure on the board by signing an open letter to Ralph Klein demanding the resignations of some of their members. Mark Asbell, Les Wallace and Nancy Schlesinger.” Ms. Schlesinger is the Vice-Chair and Essential Services commissioner for the LRB and according to the LRB website, Les Wallace is still a part-time member.
I’m not saying there is bias at play, all I’m saying is that there seems to be a pattern here.