Posted on May 13, 2020
NDP CALLS ON UCP TO STEP UP AND SUPPORT DISABILITIES WORKERS AS ECONOMIC RELAUNCH APPROACHES
EDMONTON - Alberta’s NDP Opposition is calling on Jason Kenney and the UCP to do more to support and protect Albertans with disabilities and the dedicated staff who are working with them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These front line workers are heroes, and they deserve recognition and respect from this government,” said Marie Renaud, NDP Community and Social Services Critic. “The services they provide to those Albertans with disabilities are essential and they deserve to be given the tools needed for them to continue to perform this critical work.
The NDP Official Opposition is specifically calling on the Government to:
- Increase wages for all disabilities support services workers to public-sector rates (this would be on average a $4 per hour dollar increase).
- Provide consistent shipments of Personal Protection Equipment to service providers - including for relaunch needs - and cover the costs of this life saving equipment.
“Disability workers deserve to be paid fairly and in recognition of the additional risk they take on to serve their clients during this pandemic,” said Renaud. “The government should also be providing personal protective equipment so that disability service providers can ensure both the safety of their staff and the disabled Albertans they work with.
“Community Disability Support workers have shown outstanding commitment and professionalism during the pandemic and they deserve financial and social recognition for the critical work they do,” said Shauna Pilipchuk, President of the Alberta Disabilities Workers Association. “They are being asked to manage extremely high expectations and challenging working conditions to fully support people in a safe and meaningful way. The current pay does not represent the depth of knowledge and scope of practice that a community support worker is required to have. It is the government’s turn to step up and provide some well-earned recognition to this long undervalued workforce.”
Renaud said the Government needs to do better for our disabilities support workers.
“These are reasonable requests that will recognize the critical work these workers do, ensure staff retention, and protect Albertans with disabilities,” she said.