We didn’t want it to come to this, but it has – demonstrators are planning rallies outside of your workplaces today (set to start at 2 p.m.) to oppose pandemic protocols. The Royal Alexandra Hospital and Foothills Medical Centre are the two healthcare centres on their list of targets.
We’ve seen how similar demonstrations transpired in other Canadian cities, such as Vancouver and Toronto. Ambulances were blocked. Immunocompromised cancer patients were forced to elbow their way through unmasked crowds. Patients were put under immense pressure. And frontline healthcare workers – heroes like you who have been caring for all people, regardless of their political views – were verbally abused and intimidated.
AUPE Vice-President Bonnie Gostola assures healthcare members that “we’re not warning you about the potential for similar situations to happen in Alberta to scare you. You’re some of the bravest Albertans we know! We’re telling you so that you’re mentally prepared, and to remind you that you’re not alone. If you’re forced to walk through an antagonistic crowd today or any day, remember that your entire union of 90,000 members is cheering for you and standing with you in spirit, across the province.”
After all that you’ve endured over the past year, the last thing you deserve is to be lambasted by the very people you support while the provincial government leaves you to drown in the 4th wave, despite all the sacrifices you’ve made to protect Albertans. You’ve experienced enough stress and strain. You’ve also carried this province on your back for over 14 months. Let us lighten the load by drowning out the noise of the misinformed minority who don’t seem to understand what a critical role you play in our communities: you are appreciated, you are supported, and you are a united force that leads with compassion and care, which is more powerful than ignorance.
AUPE’s Crisis Support Service line is open 24/7 and can be reached at 1-844-744-7026 for any members experiencing extreme stress and anxiety. This service is available even if the crisis is not work-related.
And to all the healthcare workers in provinces across Canada facing similar rallies today -- we stand with you too!