The Honorable Rachel Notley,
We want to commend you on leading your party, as government, for a full term and look forward to another term of the NDP next spring. We appreciate your efforts in implementing a number of initiatives for the human services sector and the vulnerable Albertans we serve. As you are aware, ALIGN represents a number of agencies that contract with Children Services to provide a range of services from community support to campus based residential treatment care and everywhere in between. ALIGN also represents Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) agencies.
Over the last year, implementation of Bill 17 and Bill 30 have had some unforeseen and unintended consequences for workers in this sector. While the intention is admirable, the added costs of providing service with respect to the changes required in each piece of legislation are unintentionally prohibitive. ..Read Full Letter
Excerpt: Bill 17 – The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act
We have been working along with Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) and Alberta Home Visitation Network Association (AHVNA) and the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Children’s Services and Labour to explore regulatory options to changes in overtime requirements in Bill 17. During that time, numerous options were explored and some moments of frustration occurred as well as conflicting information and false starts. We have advocated for the flexibility required to manage the issue. Through meeting with the three Deputy Ministers we have arrived at a confirmation that the existing Caregiver Exemption should be interpreted broadly and applied to most direct service roles across Child Intervention, Home Visitation, PDD and FSCD. As a result of our negotiations and the legislative requirements, and nature of staffing for 24/7 operations, there has been significant added costs for statutory pay and overtime. Many agencies have had to stop offering… Read Full Letter
Excerpt Bill 30 – An Act to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Working Albertans
We continue to discuss the impact and concerns related to changes to OHS requirements in Bill 30 with Ministry officials at Community and Social Services, Children Services and Alberta Labour including the human resource, administrative and financial impacts. Those issues include OHS expectations related to violence, right to refuse work, supervisory expectations and Health and Safety Committees. Although we support the intent and spirit of the legislation it has created some unexpected financial hardships. We have shared our concerns with ministry officials regarding these requirements and the challenges regarding recruitment, retention and training needs as well as the potential for an employer to have numerous smaller “worksites”. Alberta Labour has confirmed that..Read Full Letter