Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:49

AHS CEO’s role is to ensure Albertans’ money is spent responsibly at all times

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Re: “AHS CEO completely ignored issue of affordability,” July 30, Medicine Hat News.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) employs more than 100,000 people across Alberta. These dedicated workers include non-union/exempt and union employees. 
As an organization, we provide fair total compensation that motivates and rewards performance while demonstrating sound fiscal management and sustainability.
AHS recognizes these challenging economic times and that is why difficult steps have been taken. Since April 1, 2012, we have frozen our non-union/exempt salary ranges. These will continue to be frozen until 2018.
It is important to point out that union salaries are determined through the collective bargaining process.
On March 31, 2014, the Alberta Union of Public Employees – General Support Services (AUPE- GSS) collective agreement expired. Last month, an independent arbitrator ruled on an award that compensates more than 28,000 members with a three-year collective agreement.
This new collective agreement includes monetary increases that are retroactive to April 1, 2014. The increases are two per cent as of April 1, 2014, two per cent as of April 1, 2015, and one per cent as of April 1, 2016. 
Because this award was achieved through an arbitration process, AHS will respect and abide by the decision of the arbitrator.
At AHS, we are always looking for new ways to be more effective and efficient. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, at three per cent, AHS administration costs are among the lowest in Canada.
I know Albertans work hard for their money and my role as leader of AHS is to continue to make sure your money is spent responsibly at all times.
Dr. Verna Yiu, Edmonton
(The writer is  president and CEO of Alberta Health Services.)

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