Saturday, January 31, 2015

“I think it’s token-ism,” Notley said. “Jim Prentice, who makes well over $200,000 a year, saying that he can afford to give up 5 per cent - and then using that as a justification for asking, for instance, an educational aid who works with special needs kids who makes $38,000 a year, to give up money too - that’s unfair.”

It is getting late. I have been reading a book off and on. I realize that I have been hopping from chapter to chapter in a fog of confusion.  I have put the book down now so that I could focus on something I might understand. I have already gone to see my handicapped sister. She had to have a bath today and I went especially to get her into the bath.

Then while she had her bath, I changed the bed sheets and stuffed her ten million stuffed toys into three plastic containers.

When she was done the bath I left for home as I had to make supper. Then I came to bed to read this book.  Yes, I am confused. It maybe because I am reading in an erratic fashion over days and I lose track of what was written before.

In any case, I have put the book down now.  When my brain is more robust I will deal with the book.

 The parents called from England and they explained they are still alive. My aunt in England is taking care of them and as she is fairly competent, I feel they are safe in her hands.

It is time to go read poetry. Soon I will check on my sister at the Good Samaritan to make sure she is OK before I go to bed.

I haven't done anything productive today other than two loads of laundry. The snow has to be cleaned off at my parents' and sister's place but I will do that tomorrow.
We are very slow. But that is just the way it is.

The major confusion I have with the book I am reading also extends to the stuff I read on newspapers.
Here is this article below by Mr. Thomson --- about the Prentice guy-- where he talks about the demoralized public sector.

Why are the Tories confused about this matter?
Don't they understand the problem?

They created the problem themselves.
It's called employee abuse--the end result is---battered civil service employees.

The Tories needed to have folks to blame when things went wrong as they so often do because the world for the most part is chaos that we think is in order.
The chaos is usually configured by human beings with the concept of a plan--such as an educational plan, a career plan, an economic plan and a national security plan.
In the case of the Tories they accept chaos as the natural way of things and so there is no plan.  There never was a plan. Even the Klein error told us that there was no plan.
Unfortunately this sort of situation even when you have a plan requires you to make preparations for problems.
Problems happen and usually money is helpful.
In a family you have to deal with problems by keeping an emergency fund.
In a society you have to deal with problems with a major amount of cash put away rather than nothing in the kitty.  You have to avoid deficit budgets. You have to operate with various pathways available to you that you can label-option A, B, C or more conventionally as plan A, B, and C even if you understand that there isn't really any way to control the chaos other than to mop up the breakages.

When you have a family to support there needs to be some sort of thinking and a framework to guide family survival.
In our family, the plan--if you can call it a plan--since it is simply the way we are--- has been to be debt free, follow our interests, help out folks and be as close to ourselves as we can in our character.
If you extrapolate this simple plan and push it to the society what sort of difference would this have made?
I'd imagine that folks who worked in government would feel that there would be a possibility of tenure of sorts where they would move up the ranks based on ability (they would feel that their work got rewards rather than that cronyism thrived in that cesspool).
I'd imagine that folks in the public institutions would feel that there would be enough money and resources to provide the services and supports their clients (the public) needed (they could be real professionals rather than poorly trained, inexperienced human beings who constantly made mistakes and failed to deliver the right supports/ services to folks in need).
I'd imagine that senior public servants and other professionals like doctors could point out problems in policy without getting canned as they were canned (hint to Mr. Prentice----a history of firing people by not renewing contracts is not a way to encourage employees to tell you the truth --that you are full of shit).
I'd imagine that citizens would not feel that they were being shut out of the democratic process  (silenced/ humiliated/ made into bankrupted entities) to be replaced by the renters of our property (oil and gas industry).

In the case of the Tories, they had no plan.  They zigzagged according to their real bosses in the oil and gas industry.
The folks without a plan were given a plan by the renters (the oil and gas industry).
The Tories and the citizens were thus regulated by the renters rather than the other way around.
In boom years there was a whack of cash but not as much as we could have got if we had a NEP.
Then in the bust years, we had problems as is the case now.


These boom and bust cycles are accepted as normal by Albertans when in reality they are foibles created by vested interest groups such as the majorly incompetent folks in charge of the oil and gas industry who can't even recognize a glut in the world market for oil. I mean think about it folks, these folks were adding to the supply in the world market for their products without thinking of the effect of the excessive production on the price they would get for the oil. Too stupid. As well as believing in magic, the oil and gas industry got the banks and governments to believe in this sort of junk.
You have no common sense in the entire lot.


Then the other corporations buy into the same dumb mentality. You have the construction and housing sectors piling on the debt and expansion. The municipal government fueled by the former mayor who is now our health minister go charging forward towards Utopia --all of this with major bucks from the public purse.
It's such a sham that I can't believe any of these people know how to run a shoe shining business much less a city, a province and a country.


In Alberta we have been lead by a group of incompetent people who bullied everyone who stood in their way and when they told us to jump we simply said--How high should we jump?
And now the Prentice has the nerve to ask why everyone around him is so skittish?
Doesn't he remember Dr. Anne Fanning?
Isn't he old enough to remember the bullying of the Klein error?
Let me remind him.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/another-doctor-alleges-suppression-and-intimidation-1.10092

Another doctor alleges 'suppression' and 'intimidation'

By Charles Rusnell , CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2011 5:08 PM MT Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011 6:59 PM MT
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Another former Edmonton doctor has stepped forward with allegations she was forced from her job and subjected to accusations of incompetence and mental instability after she complained health-care cuts were jeopardizing patient safety and lives.
"Physicians can't advocate for their patients in a culture of suppression and personal intimidation," the doctor said in a prepared statement provided exclusively to CBC News. "Such a culture existed for prolonged periods during my years of tenure in Alberta."
The doctor spoke on the condition of anonymity because she is still bound by a non-disclosure agreement she signed in order to receive severance.
She agreed to speak out after seeing a CBC story about Dr. Ciaran McNamee, the former head of thoracic surgery for Capital Health.
In his 2001 lawsuit against Capital Health and two senior officials, McNamee claimed he had been forced from his job and had his competency and mental health questioned after he raised concerns about lung-cancer patient resources with Conservative members of the legislature and the deputy health minister.
The two sides settled in 2006 without going to trial and so none of the allegations were proven.
The revelations contained in McNamee's lawsuit sparked a political firestorm, with four opposition party leaders taking the unprecedented step of appearing together at a news conference to demand a public inquiry.
Both Premier Ed Stelmach and Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky have dismissed the opposition calls as political posturing.
Zwozdesky said the lawsuit was a dispute between doctors and administrators and he said he saw no evidence that would warrant a public inquiry.
si-anne-fanning220
Dr. Anne Fanning says her contract wasn't renewed after she criticized the province's plans to cut the TB program. (CBC)
Dr. Anne Fanning lost her job as the head of Alberta's tuberculosis program in 1996 after she publicly criticized government plans to cut the TB program. She left Alberta for a job in Geneva with the World Health Program but eventually returned.
"I was fired — my contract was terminated," she told a local newspaper at the time.
Fanning is now semi-retired and agreed to speak to CBC even though she still fears that speaking out may affect what's left of her career.
"I am actually talking to you because I think it's important for professional people to be able to speak about their expertise with a degree of confidence," she said.
The doctor who came forward anonymously Monday said she and other doctors, including McNamee, took their concerns about patient care to Capital Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.
Capital Health and the CPSA were told that "unsafe practices and unresponsive administrative bodies" were "driven by an emphasis on cost-cutting over patient care."
And as a direct result of cost cutting, "patients were exposed to increasing and unnecessary levels of risk of injury and death."
She said that placed doctors and other front-line workers in an untenable position since they felt a professional and moral obligation to provide safe care.
But she said that when doctors complained, the response from administrators was uniform.
"(We) were at first marginalized administratively, and then, if we persisted, we were demoted and then dismissed.
"Even the Alberta College (of Physicians and Surgeons) provided no meaningful assistance regarding our patient care concerns."
However, the Alberta Medical Association did make available funds for "displaced" Alberta physicians to retrain elsewhere.
"Those who spoke out, were, in my estimation, among the most well-credentialled, dedicated and caring physicians in the healthcare system. It was double loss for Alberta when such individuals were purged."
"A campaign of innuendo, slander and even vindictiveness geared at intimidation and career destruction in many cases accompanied our marginalization, demotion and dismissal."
She said potential employers were told "we were mentally unstable, and/or professionally incompetent and/or major troublemakers."
But she said many doctors, specifically McNamee, had proven professional track records and found work at major medical institutions throughout the world.
"I believe medical care in Alberta, and in Canada, is the poorer for our departure," she said.
The doctor said that, based on her experience, the province needs to hold an independent public inquiry in which, "physicians are truly free to come forth with information without fear of reprisal."
She said she is willing to return to Alberta and testify, but only if the inquiry is independent and only with assurances she won't be sued.

This sort of junk is quite prevalent it appears among the doctors who appear to have been subject to pressure to follow the "we're all in this together" mantra of the Tories.  And if you don't go with the mantra? Well, then you're out.

Albertans don't seem to care if everyone in the public service is intimidated and bullied. All they care about is that their taxes don't go up. Mind you I don't want my taxes going up unless we get better managers than the incompetent fools who blow up hospitals in the Klein error to have to rebuild them in the Prentice error.  I don't want any tax increases until the Tories are out of the money hemorrhaging business they are in right now.

The province full of dummies wonders why the civil service is in rapid flux --well I'd say if you can't take care of your own family and your mental health is at risk, it is best to work elsewhere.
These are just some thoughts on the matter.

As for the blame being put on the Redford as if she was the only premier to cast such a pall on the people.
Just look at Klein error premiers on.
The worst premier was Klein.
He set up the sort of antagonistic relationship we now have between government workers and the politicians and it was a deliberate business.
He cast the public sector as the whipping boys and girls and we all happily continue with this sort of whipping to this very day.
But if we really think about this matter, this antagonism was created by the Tories themselves from the Klein error onward and not started by the Redford. This sort of beat the employees business is part of the Tory strategy of managing the voters. They bribe the public sector before elections, they bully them after elections and they fire them when they have no money.
So why is the Prentice pretending confusion over this matter?

This mess was created by the Tories, continued by the Tories and any sort of myth making of how the Prentice is reaching out to the public sector is all baloney.
It's the same strategy that is practiced decade after decade that works and so why discard it? 
I'd say this is all about recapturing a lost market.
Prentice doesn't want to fix Alberta's public service.
He wants to fix the votes in this valuable sector that is only important to the Tories at the time of re-election and becomes the cursed sector every other time.
The folks in the public sector may be finally aware of their stupidity and ditch the abusers.
Hopefully this will happen to some extent-- in the next provincial election where we have a viable alternative in the Notley brand.
Rachel Notley is no fool.
She says it like it is.
She won't get hired by the dumb bunny voters in the next provincial election but this is just as well.

The Tories created all the problems we are now in.
Let them get rehired by the dumb bunny voters in Alberta.
Let them do their deficit budgets until the money is gone.
Then maybe the folks in Alberta will realize who the real communists are.
The folks in the Tory party.

The only reason the Prentice is talking sweet to the folks in the civil service is to ensure that the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta gets their votes. The only reason he is offering the 5% cut to the executive salaries is because the payoff will be so much greater after they get rehired. The executive folks will just do what they want after they are rehired. The public purse is after all their credit card. Do you think they will put up with the 5% cut after the next election? If you believe this --I'd say you're a Tory voter.

I'm sure Mr. Prentice will fool the public servants again--- as this party has a genius for finding loyal stupid voters.
But how long will he fool them with oil prices low?
I'd say just enough for another four years and then this party is done.

But there you go.
The people of Alberta are hanging onto the bitumen dream.
That dream is kaput.
It's kaput for at least another ten years.
It might come to life again if the environmental opposition is managed skillfully by the Prentice who seems to have some experience in fooling the First Nations people. But I don't count on it.
In any case, we have a sensible alternative now.
In another four years,  Rachel Notley will have enough experience to lead the next government. Or the government after that. We can wait.
The Tories will have to win elections without bribes now.
I'm curious how they will do it.
The putting on of the Prentice charm might do it this time around.
Let them win back their battered civil service employees; sooner or later the battered employees will walk out the door and never come back.
And it will be about time they woke up to the devils in their midst.
Mr. Prentice can do all the fluffing of the image he wants to with this Premier's Advisory Committee on the Alberta Public Service---I'm thinking the battered employees have finally understood what they have to do to save themselves--they have to stop voting Tory.


http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/01/31/notley-calls-conservative-pay-cut-token-ism


Alberta needs a strong opposition which can cut the luxury jet flights, luxury accommodations, 'trade promotion' vacations and contracts to pals/family culture of PC. It is rediculous Albertans keep electing PCs who have ripped apart the province to help 1% rich elite only. It is crazy how a resource rich province has been looted.
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  • "It is crazy how a resource rich province has been looted."
  • The money has gone to foreign oil companies. Look at Norway as an example of how things could have gone.


Notley calls Conservative pay cut token-ism

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BY KEVIN MAIMANN, EDMONTON SUN
FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015 05:18 PM MST | UPDATED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015 05:26 PM MST
Rachel NotleyNDP leader Rachel Notley addresses supporters during the NDP's provincial council at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
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Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley blasted Premier Jim Prentice Saturday for making “scapegoats” of public sector workers.
Notley said the NDP will vote in favour of Prentice’s proposed 5 per cent MLA pay cut, but said it is not comparable to the cuts he is asking lower-paid frontline workers to take as the economy tanks.
“I think it’s token-ism,” Notley said. “Jim Prentice, who makes well over $200,000 a year, saying that he can afford to give up 5 per cent - and then using that as a justification for asking, for instance, an educational aid who works with special needs kids who makes $38,000 a year, to give up money too - that’s unfair.”
Notley addressed an enthusiastic crowd of NDP supporters in a packed room at Edmonton’s Crowne Plaza Saturday in preparation for a possible spring election.
The NDP is currently the only opposition party in the legislature that has a leader, with the Liberal Party on the hunt after Raj Sherman stepped down and the Wildrose holding a nomination race after Danielle Smith crossed the floor to the PC Party in December.
Notley said Prentice has been needlessly coy about his election plans and that he will be breaking “his own law” by calling an early election to deal with the financial crisis.
“There is a law in place, and there is a promise made to Albertans that an election wouldn’t happen for another year,” Notley said.
“It’s entirely about what’s in the best interest of Jim Prentice and his political fortunes.”
Notley criticized the PC Party for financial mismanagement and said Ralph Klein-era cuts are not the right way to deal with the loss of revenue caused by falling oil prices.
“Panicked, knee-jerk slashing and burning strategies don’t help our kids, they don’t help our future economic situation, they don’t help regular working families,” she said.
Notley said the NDP would introduce progressive taxation to increase revenue, and suggested Prentice is pulling a “bait and switch” by toying with the idea of a progressive tax himself. She said the Tories have their priorities out of line for agreeing to rebuild the flooded Kananaskis Golf Course for $18 million on one hand and saying Calgary’s new Tom Baker Cancer Centre might have to be postponed to save costs on the other.
Notley said the PC Party is moving toward far-right Wildrose tactics, and predicted ex-Wildrose floor crossers will be sitting in cabinet within the next six months.
“We certainly hear that there is a great desire for Danielle Smith to be put into the cabinet,” she said.
kevin.maimann@sunmedia.ca

@SunKevinM

Thomson: Prentice wants to fix Alberta’s damaged civil service

BY GRAHAM THOMSON, EDMONTON JOURNAL JANUARY 31, 2015
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Thomson: Prentice wants to fix Alberta’s damaged civil service

AUPE members protest labour bills proposed by the Redford administration. The relationship between the civil service and the government was frosty through the final months of Alison Redford’s tenure as premier.

Photograph by: Greg Southam , Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - Someday historians are going to be able to piece together what the heck happened to the Alberta government under Alison Redford — and why she failed so spectacularly just two years after such a promising start.
The story will go beyond her propensity for first-class travel and her well-documented misuse of government aircraft. No doubt playing a major part in the downfall is what the auditor general famously called “the aura of power around Premier Redford and her office” where underlings did not dare stand up to the premier.
We, of course, saw how Redford declared war on front line civil servants through her attempts to force a wage freeze on unionized members and threats to legally muzzle anyone who advocated for public sector strikes.
But now we’re getting a glimpse of what life was like for senior government insiders who dealt directly with Redford.
Some of those peeks came this week in an interview with Premier Jim Prentice on his plans to “reinvigorate” the province’s civil service. Prentice never overtly criticized Redford during the informal chat. In fact, he never mentioned her name but he pointed out that when he arrived in the job last September he quickly realized the senior civil service was demoralized and faced very significant problems reflected in a “shockingly high” turnover rate of staff.
“I was surprised when I stepped in as premier the extent to which it needed repair work,” said Prentice, who offered an example of just how shell-shocked senior bureaucrats had become dealing with the “aura of power.”
“People had been cowed,” said Prentice. “I found a willingness to provide me, as premier, with an enormous amount of information, but no advice. I have something called a weekend-reading binder where I ask that all the information that I need to be aware of in the coming week is provided to me on the weekend and then I usually dedicate Sunday to read it all …. I was receiving five or six hundred pages in the weekend-reading binder of basically information and no advice. So people were fearful of providing advice to the premier.”
One government insider said senior civil servants had “turned turtle” under Redford, afraid to stick their necks out for fear of having them chopped off. They either kept their mouths shut or quit, leading to that “shockingly high” attrition rate and dismal morale.
Prentice says nowadays cabinet meetings with politicians and civil servants, “are much more respectful, it’s a partnership — they are treated professionally, respectfully.”
Prentice said he is encouraging senior bureaucrats, the deputy ministers and their assistants, to speak truth to power: “I expect people to stand up to me and disagree with me. I’ve always expected in my life frank advice, honest advice. I value people that stand up to me, disagree with me and are prepared to have a frank discussion and tell me I’m wrong.”
Oh, he’ll have plenty of people willing to tell him that, especially the not-so-senior civil servants who make much less than the $300,000 a year earned by the top bureaucrats. These “junior” civil servants are the front-line workers, the people who are nervously watching Prentice’s promised overhaul of the bureaucracy organized by Richard Dicerni — a well-respected career civil servant in the federal government who was coaxed out of retirement by Prentice to become the province’s top civil servant.
Dicerni has set up a six-member blue ribbon panel called the Premier’s Advisory Committee on the Alberta Public Service. It’s not exactly rocketing into action. The members won’t meet until sometime in February and they’ll be planning changes over years, not months. You certainly get the impression this is not a quick fix and it’s not about cutbacks or layoffs. According to Prentice, it’s about restoring a sense of professionalism to the senior civil service that will then trickle down to front-line workers and result in better services to the public.
“We are trying to attract bright young talented leaders to the civil service.”
But there is mixed message here, too. The government is not on a hiring spree. In fact, it’s looking at ways to reduce the cost of the civil service.
This week, Prentice announced he and his cabinet colleagues are taking a voluntary five-per-cent salary cut.
Prentice has not said he will ask civil servants to take wage rollbacks, but he did ominously add that Albertans will be watching to see what happens next: “They expect people who work for the government, whether we are elected or whether we are people who are employees, to share part of that burden.”
Prentice cannot impose wage cuts on unionized civil servants mid-contract but experience has demonstrated that Alberta premiers, such as Ralph Klein in 1994, can find ways to wrestle concessions out of public-sector unions by simply cutting ministerial budgets and threatening layoffs.
Prentice seems to be looking for a different, less confrontational way forward — a direction not taken by Redford.




Do you want to see some of the innovations that some of the long term care providers have been using to whittle down the respiratory budget at the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwood, Mr. Prentice ? Well here is a list of questions I have forwarded to the administration at this organization Mr. Prentice. Maybe you can see how all the cost savings were achieved by AHS in the area of long term care then. Maybe you can see that these folks saved money by denying my sister proper care and help. It's curious that everyone is silent on the matter of the problems encountered by my sister. It's curious that everyone wants to move forward. Why would I move forward? There are questions that need answering. Why are we to be fooled by the 5% cut of Prentice and crew? What about the cuts to the long term care system that have resulted in the execrable respiratory care at this facility? What will a 5% cut to the inner circle do for my sister Mr. Prentice?-----The opposition Wildrose, meanwhile, chalked up Thursday’s move as being nothing more than “window dressing” and leader Heather Forsyth called instead for a rollback of eight per cent to bring wages back to levels seen prior to raise approved in the fall of 2012.--------------How about a 50% cut in MLA salaries Mr. Prentice? That might do the trick in cutting down on the entitlement in this political group of parasites.

While our politicians mull over the "volatility" in the marketplace, let us turn away from the twits and do the work of managing chaos by ourselves. I'd say we need to be working hard on our own family businesses. This is not a time for panic or no ideas. We each can get our kids into a business mindset and teach them to be independent contractors. The future is now cheap everything and we can't believe in the employers keeping jobs for us. If you are a nurse, I see the return to the Klein error cutbacks so it's a good idea to become independent companies offering homecare services to the major blimp in seniors that are everywhere about us. The rich will be able to afford such independent home care providers because the alternative is so bad.
If there are employers hiring I'm guessing they will overwork the employees so why go that route? Work for yourself. Set your own hours and determine your own income based on the value you give to the customer who will be there --no matter what because everything the government provides is being provided at the lowest quality level more than ever before.
The failures in government are the failures of citizens who haven't got the brains or the interest to rev up their citizenship or question the hires about their lack of job performance.
While we don't tolerate workers doing the sort of political performances on all stages of government we allow the politicians to yap until the elections about the problems that they do not solve.
My feeling is that the only way to control the stupidity in government is to downsize the matter. We need to cut at the politician level and ensure that the numbers of these entities are few and paid a bare level compensation. That 5% cut that the Prentice is taking is laughable. He and his crew should get a 50% cut in salary. That's the compensation they deserve for all chatter and not ideas.
This cut makes for nice music playing in the background as the Tories segue into the next provincial election but really what sort of a dent does it make in the deficit? Very little. Now how about a 50% cut in all their salaries? Now we're talking. Better yet why not decrease the number of MLAs and MPs? That would be the best deal. We would not be paying for the blood suckers, their hangerons and the rest of their benefits, perks, expenses and entitlements.  Surely the best government is the least government in terms of the politicians?

And with the cost savings from the cuts to salaries of the oil monarchs how about restoring funding to the long term care system where the patients are stuck like ants in a stomped on anthill? Why not take a fresh look at patient care based funding? Why not see the "innovations" that providers of long term care services have come up with to meet their shortfalls in revenue? Think about the years my handicapped sister was left with crappy respiratory services and supplies. Yup. I'd say the government needs to be as frugal with its own politicians as they have been with the most disadvantaged citizens in long term care who have suffered while the oil monarchs have partied on our bucks.

Do you want to see some of the innovations that some of the long term care providers have been using to whittle down the respiratory budget at the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwood, Mr. Prentice ? Well here is a list of questions I have forwarded to the administration at this organization Mr. Prentice. Maybe you can see how all the cost savings were achieved by AHS in the area of long term care then. Maybe you can see that these folks saved money by denying my sister proper care and help.  

It's curious that everyone is silent on the matter of the problems encountered by my sister. It's curious that everyone wants to move forward. Why would I move forward? 
There are questions that need answering.
Why are we to be fooled by the 5% cut of Prentice and crew?
What about the cuts to the long term care system that have resulted in the execrable respiratory care at this facility?
What will a 5% cut to the inner circle do for my sister Mr. Prentice?



From: Julie Ali 
Date: Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 6:02 PM
Subject: Re:
To: Laurie Williams <Llwillia@gss.org>
Cc: Pam Purdy <ppurdy@gss.org>, efoster@gss.org, sterlson@gss.org, carl.amrhein@albertahealthservices.ca, jillian.barber@albertahealthservices.ca, ahs.corp@albertahealthservices.ca, edmonton whitemud <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>, calgary.foothills@assembly.ab.ca


Hi,

While I was dropping off my parents for their holiday in England, I talked to my other sister today about her availability. 
She is going to look at her calendar. It will have to be an evening meeting as she is at work during the day.
I will get back to you about the evening that is available to her. 

Can you indicate to us which evenings are best for you at this time?

With reference to this meeting, it would be useful to have some information before we meet. 

I'd like an outline of what topics will be covered.

Some suggestions follow.  Copies of the policies would be required. I'd like them before we meet. 

1.  The Good Samaritan Society policy for disclosure of information to family and to the individuals in that family where access has been granted. 

What are the levels of information disclosure?
 For example what is the policy to get a copy of the medications?  
What is the policy to find out the results of the urine culture and sensitivity results? 
What are the policies for verbal and written communications in person, in person and in the presence of my sister and over the phone.
Who has the ability to provide information eg. charge nurse, LPNs, pharmacist, social worker, physician, etc.


These are areas where we are experiencing difficulty in access. 
I have requested that Pam Purdy consult with your legal counsel to verify the laws of the land.

I feel I should have access and it appears that the nurses and the care manager plus the social worker don't believe in this matter.

This is very interesting to me--- as a novel problem--- since everyone else outside of the Good Samaritan Society have been open about information access. 

Some staff have expressed concerns about being terminated if they give me information; they have not been willing to give us any information in case they get "fired". 
This is the first place where I have ever encountered this sort of threat for providing general or specific information which all other health care providers have been willing to give to me.
In addition the Office of the Public Guardian has indicated that access should be provided to me.
So why is there this stonewalling?  I don't know. Maybe you have the answer? 

2. The Good Samaritan Society policy for adverse events. 

So far there have been a number of adverse events. Some of these events have repeated such as the problem with the failure to put on the BiPaP machine and the failure to provide me with the stroller that actually stores oxygen rather than depleting it.  

What is the policy for dealing with these adverse events?

 Was the adverse event policy followed in the case of my sister? 

If so what were the outcomes of the investigations?

 What is the policy for disclosing such findings to family members? 

What is the policy for repeats of the same adverse events? Do you simply repeat the same steps as before or is disciplinary action taken with reference to incompetent staff? 

3. What is the Good Samaritan Society policy for failure to adhere to professional standards?

For example I was told by Erin Foster in the presence of Lilia -the RRT that the policy when a BiPaP machine breaks is to wait until the patient goes bad and call in EMS.  This is to save money I guess. If EMS refuses to take the patient to the emergency then the patient is left on oxygen. My sister was left with a malfunctioning BiPap machine for five days. 

Where is the policy for letting a patient go bad when a BiPaP machine goes bad?
 Corinne confirmed that this was the policy to me when I complained about the malfunctioning BiPap machine. I only got a replacement when I told the administration I was going to the Mandel guy with my bill for rental of the BiPaP machine from Vitalaire.

Can you provide a copy of this going bad policy so that I can complain to the Nursing association of the failure of nurses, to do their professional duty of doing no harm to a patient and also their complete failure with reference to abiding by the ethical requirements of their profession? This is the only place where all the nurses are oblivious to the unethical matter of letting patients suffer while they wait for someone to make a decision about a malfunction piece of equipment. In my sister's case it took five days. I am surprised the Good Samaritan Society hasn't had a lawsuit over this matter. But perhaps this is because patient families were as innocent as I was about the messes at this place.  Once I have this policy I will go ahead and make my complaints to the nursing association.

4. Can you provide me with a policy that the social worker, Sandy used to ignore repeated requests for a replacement of the BiPaP mask for my sister? 

I assume she was told not to do her professional duty because the facility did not have the money to pay for a mask for my sister. 

Otherwise why would she not have given me the information that was specified in a letter to William Taylor that the Good Samaritan Society is responsible for mask replacements and BiPap machine provision? 
Surely--of all people--- the social worker knows who pays for what? 

And yet I had no sort of response from her or Mr.Taylor that they were responsible for these matters, despite being told by the minister in a letter that they were responsible. 

Did they both forget? I have given Sandy a copy of the original minister's letter and Mr. Horne's letter so that she won't forget for other patients.  I have also given this same letter as a copy to Pam Purdy and Erin Foster to remind them who pays for what.

I  can only imagine that all these folks were told to offload the bills to families and not provide information about the responsibilities of the facility. Strangely enough, the mask was paid for ASAP when Mr. William Taylor got the news I was sending the bill to the minister of health.

It's so confusing. Despite the many times the government of Alberta reminds staff at the Good Samaritan Society---about the responsibilities of the facility, they remain muddled. So is there a policy that guides them into failing their professional duties in this way?

At the last yearly conference Erin Foster wrote down with Sandy present that I was simply inquiring about the mask.  Inquiring. Right.  Do you have a policy for the ethical requirements of a social worker who is supposed to know that the BiPap masks are to be replaced by the Good Samaritan Society and fails to inform families of this requirement?

5. Can you provide me with a policy that covers the hiring of former RRTs or the policy for the drop in visits of such former employees such as Miranda Bowen who covered for the facility when there was no RRT for 2 out of the 5 years my sister has been at the facility? What sort of policy covers the work of volunteers like this? How does the facility ensure that these former employees are doing a good job? 

6.  Can you provide me with the information I am interested in --which is how everyone at this facility knew about the deplorable state of my sister's masks which were in pieces and simply kept yapping to my father about the need to replace this mask and  yet nothing was done by the facility to do this until I went and bought the mask and was sending the bill to the former minister  of health --Mr. Horne?

7. Can you provide me with the policy with reference to documenting all respiratory work?

Where are all mask and machine purchases documented? 
Are these purchases now associated with patients rather than in a floating pool?
Can you confirm that patients receive yearly mask and six month liner replacements as per the Aids To Daily Living formula?
Can you confirm that all patients at this facility will get regular data card downloads?
Can you confirm that trouble shooting will be done when problems arise?
I mean no one did any sort of trouble shooting for my sister.
Lilia just said it was good to do the downloads. Well that is fine but surely she could have done them and followed up on the problems I detected?
So why didn't she do what I had to do?
Why did the facility ignore the problems?

Can you provide me with the policy with reference to the documentation of tubing, cannula, hoses?
 Can you provide me with proof that there are weekly hospital grade disinfection of the machine, hose, mask?  
Can you provide me with the schedule of the RRT? 
Can you tell me exactly what she does with reference to assessment of my sister?
 Can you tell me what the respiratory work is at this facility with reference to sending patients to the pulmonary specialist, referring for blood gas work, doing the oximeter readings, modulating oxygen settings? 
I want to know every aspect of how my sister is being cared for in terms of her respiratory care at this facility.
 And I want all of this to be documented so that if another FOIP request is required there will be full history of the care and whether the standards were being met or not.

8. Can you indicate to me the reason why there was no RRT for 2 out of 5 years? Was the Good Samaritan Society not tracking the absences?  Why wasn't a RRT hired from the other respiratory vendors? In the absence of nurses at the Good Samaritan Society ---there is now hiring of agency nurses. So why was there a complete refusal to hire an agency RRT?  

A list of them is provided here:



9. Can you indicate to us why we don't have a RRT for sufficient hours? Why does this RRT make her own hours? Why can't there be a RRT with hours just like the OT?  
In my  mind, the employee should not be dictating work hours. 
The employer sets hours.
The employer should set hours that meet the needs of the patients and this should be during regular working hours and not at the convenience of the employee.

10.  There will be more questions. This isn't the last meeting but it will be useful if some of these matters are discussed.  You may call this meeting "going forward" steps. I will call it an "informational meeting". Once I have gone through the information in that box, I feel there will be further questions. 


The information that I have requested previously has not been investigated as yet. 

There is always a willingness to review whatever the Good Samaritan Society wishes to review with us.

 However I still have to go over the information in the box that has been provided that covers the medical history for the period of time I am interested in.

In this meeting I have provided you with a suggested agenda that covers some of the topics that have not been dealt with by the site administrator or the care manager or your legal counsel.  I wish these topics to be discussed but your agenda may be different than mine. 

 Can you provide an agenda with these policies as an e-mail attachment so that I can review this information before our meeting?

Can you also indicate who will be at this meeting?

Once I know when it is convenient for you to meet with us, I will get my sister to review the dates and contact you again. 



Thank you.

Julie Ali

On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 7:07 AM, Laurie Williams <Llwillia@gss.org> wrote:
Hi Julie
The agenda is to provide you with a response to your request for information  , as well as "going forward" steps.

Laurie Williams
Director of Operations
The Good Samaritan Society
8861-75st
Edmonton, AB
T6C 4G8


On 2015-01-29, at 11:18 PM, "Julie Ali"  wrote:
Hi Laurie,
May I ask what the agenda of this meeting is?
Thanks
Julie 

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:30 AM, Laurie Williams <Llwillia@gss.org> wrote:
hello Julie
I am not sure if you remember me, we had met while I was supporting Bill Taylor at Millwoods.   I want to inform you that I have now returned to Millwoods as the Director of Operations.  I am wondering if you would have time to meet with me ?    If you are available on Wed Feb 4 after 10 30 am or Thurs Feb 5 after 1 pm  please advise.  We could meet at Millwoods Center.
Alternatively if those dates do not work for you,  please advise alternate dates and times. I am open to meeting in the evening should that fit your schedule better ?
Thank you

Laurie Williams
Director of Operations
The Good Samaritan Society



http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/1274977/alberta-premier-jim-prentice-announces-5-wage-cut-for-cabinet/



Robson Fletcher / Metro file photoAlberta Premier Jim Prentice is seen in this file photo.

The government payroll got lighter Thursday after Premier Jim Prentice announced a five-per cent cut to cabinet wages, with MLAs and possibly government workers next in line.
Following a meeting, Prentice said his cabinet agreed to cut their pay and he will ask MLAs to take the same hit next week, while continuing to suggest public servants will have to sacrifice.
“I think this is the kind of leadership that Albertans expect from their elected officials in these challenging times,” he said.
Prentice said if all MLAs agreed to the cut it would save about $600,000. He said personally it would mean he would make $10,887 less next year and ministers would see $10,050 less on their paycheques.
If MLAs agree to cut, when it goes to their member services committee, it will cost them $6,700 per year.
Prentice said discussions with provincial unions are ongoing, but he believes Albertans will want to see the pain shared.
“They expect people who work for the government, whether we’re elected or whether they’re employees to share part of that burden,” he said.
Calgary-Currie MLA Christine Cusanelli, who is not in the Prentice cabinet, said she had no issues with taking a pay cut.
“We’re going to be facing very difficult times ahead,” she said shortly after the premier’s announcement Thursday.
“Everybody in every sector is going to feel the crunch and we need to be prepared to show that we are actual leaders who will make a sacrifice.”
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith said the premier sacrificing part of his salary has no impact on his members’ willingness to sacrifice theirs.
“For us it makes no difference; we have a collective agreement that we signed with the Government of Alberta,” he said. “We expect the government to honour that collective agreement.”
Smith said Prentice’s pledge was purely based on optics and wage rollbacks for his members wouldn’t come close to solving the province’s financial crisis, which is being driven by a rapid decline in the price of oil.
“I think Premier Prentice believes this is going to put more pressure on us to capitulate and it doesn’t,” Smith said.
Oil prices have plunged from more than US$100 a barrel last summer to less than $50 a barrel today, siphoning billions of dollars from the treasury.
Alberta teachers said the province should look elsewhere to plug the province’s financial holes.
“All of this has been groundwork to try to point the finger at public-sector workers,” said Mark Ramsankar, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. “We’ve got trouble in the province, we’ve got an issue with our finances. Rather than deal with taxes, we’re going to start with employees first.”
Asked if his organization would ever consider a wage cut, Ramsankar replied, “The flat answer is no. Teachers have had three years of (zero per cent raises).”
Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, lashed out at Prentice on social media.
“Prentice (is) setting up for (an) attack on public sector wages, even though MLAs have enjoyed far bigger wages and increases than front-line workers,” he wrote.
The opposition Wildrose, meanwhile, chalked up Thursday’s move as being nothing more than “window dressing” and leader Heather Forsyth called instead for a rollback of eight per cent to bring wages back to levels seen prior to raise approved in the fall of 2012.