News Briefs

By Natalie Sit

Health Care woes

The provincial government’s current labour laws are the source of health care problems, according to Alberta Federation of Labour President Audrey Cormack.

Under Alberta labour law essential government workers, including health care workers, do not have the right-to-strike. Instead, disputes are resolved through government-appointed arbitration panels.

"By making it illegal for these workers to strike, the government has essentially created an environment in which employers hold all the cards," said Cormack. "The regional health authorities have no incentive to bargain in good faith."

According to Cormack, Alberta health care workers receive less competitive wages when compared to their provincial counterparts because of the labour law and arbitration process.

We’re number two!

Three University of Calgary manufacturing engineer students won second place in an international competition.

The competition, sponsored by the Institute of Industrial Engineers and Rockwell Software, required teams to submit designs for a transportation system for a large amusement park while balancing customer satisfaction with cost.

U of C students Ryan Popilchak, Yannai Segal and Jose Salamo, were one of 40 teams from North America to enter a report and a copy of their model. The U of C team joined four other finalists in Phase Two in Cleveland, Ohio.

The University of Central Florida won first place.

Progress in Herald strike

Several issues were resolved on Tuesday in the dispute between the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union and the Calgary Herald, including the issue of seniority. In addition, CEP indicated they are willing to change their position on the issue of seniority.

Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Employment Shelly Ewart-Johnson invited the two sides to meet. CEP, on strike now for 210 days, hopes further discussions will lead to a collective agreement.

Prize to help regain "brain drain" losses

The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research announced a prize to reward top researchers and help keep Canadian scientists in Canada.

Starting July 1, the AHFMR Research Prize will be awarded to researchers who hold an unconditional AHFMR personnel award. Award amounts are either $10,000 or $20,000 per researcher.

"The AHFMR Research Prize was developed with the help of our national and international advisors, university administration and government," said AHFMR Chief Executive Officer and President Dr. Matt Spence. "The AHFMR Research Prize will help our universities gain and retain the brightest and the best."

The AHFMR Research Prize will hand out $2 million along with the $43 million announced in March for the new AHFMR personnel awards.

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