Nurses, teachers, health sciences professionals, and public employees
urge government to listen to majority of Albertans
EDMONTON, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Labour leaders are standing up for the
majority of Albertans who do not want to see public services cut on
At a joint press conference on Monday, March 4, at the Crown Plaza Hotel
in Edmonton, the presidents of the province's six largest public sector
unions and associations urged Alison Redford to listen to Albertans,
most of whom want their public services protected. The Alberta
Federation of Labour, Alberta Teachers' Association, Alberta Union of
Provincial Employees, Canadian Union of Public Employees-Alberta,
Health Sciences Association of Alberta and United Nurses of Alberta
have decided to join their voices together to send a clear message
about the upcoming budget.
Polling, conducted by Environics from February 14-21, shows that more
than 70 per cent of Albertans reject the idea of cuts to public
services. More than three quarters of those polled agree that there
should be an increase on taxes for the wealthy and corporations.
Far from thinking the government should cut public services, the
majority of Albertans believe we should be investing more in health
care, education, and other services. Albertans see a growing province,
a booming economy, soaring corporate profits and low unemployment, and
they're confused as to why health care, education, and community
services still don't have the resources they need to do the job right.
Albertans were clear in their message that they support the need for
some increased revenues, but that they reject the idea of a sales tax.
Only 17 per cent of those polled were in support of a provincial sales
tax, 72 per cent said they would be in favour of returning to a
progressive income tax, and 77 per cent were in favour of increased
taxes on corporations and those who make more than $200,000 per year.
When asked about spending, respondents identified several priorities:
Creating a provincial strategy for long-term care for seniors was a
high priority for 70 per cent of respondents, while protecting
publicly-funded health care against for-profit health care was
identified as a high priority by 57 per cent. Nearly half of
respondents said that hiring more teachers and support staff for
elementary and secondary schools was a high priority.
The government is trying to justify massive cuts to health care and
education by saying oil prices have dipped. Albertans aren't buying it.
Albertans know a growing economy needs adequate investment in public
Because labour leaders were concerned about the direction that budget
discussions had been going, they commissioned a poll by Environics
Research Group to find out what Alberta are looking for. The poll,
which surveyed more than 1,000 Albertans, is considered to have a
margin of error of +/- 3.1, with a 95% confidence level.
Fact sheet - Revenue, spending & public sector wages (February 2013)
Fact sheet - Oil companies' profits (March 2013)
SOURCE: Alberta Federation of Labour
For further information:
Olav Rokne, AFL Communications Director at 780-289-6528 (cell) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.