Friday, 31 October 2014


It look a long time to get the following videos.  The phone the original file was on disappeared, as did the clips that were shared on Facebook.

The original long file was split into 5 shorter clips for upload to Facebook.  These shorter clips were finally found, just a few days ago.  There is a bit of time overlap in some of them.

First, some context.

This took place on August 6, 2014.

The person in the vehicle used to be a SAIL employee.  After the strike started, she quit working for SAIL and left the union.

She still comes to provide Self Managed Care for non-SAIL users in Artspace.  This is a program where individuals can independently hire caregivers to provide the care they need.  Typically, it's because they need more care than SAIL is able to support, or simply by personal choice.  This is all part of AHS's different home care services that help people maintain independence and not be forced to live in institutions.

Which means that she is not a replacement worker, nor is she a union member.  There is no valid reason for her to be targeted by her former co-workers.

That hasn't stopped them from targeting her repeatedly.

Not only is there no valid reason for them to be blocking her, this is happening completely off site.

Here's an image from Google maps to show where things are.

Artspace Co-op consists of the high rise, where the SAIL office is, and the townhouses across the street.

The cluster of arrows shows where AUPE usually "pickets".  Not a very accurate word for what they are doing.  It's more like "hang out," or "sit around", "wander", "loiter" or "trespass" - again and again and again.

Those aren't the only areas they hang out.  Sometimes, they'll sit on the guardrail on the outer edge of the curve to the side lane.  Other times, they'll wander farther down the street on the townhouse side.  Especially when they want to scope out some of the units and watch people's windows. Or, when it suites their fancy, they target people.  Other times, they'll wander around to the end of 94th St.  

Along with her former co-workers, we have the picket captain, Jaime Urbina, and the familiar face of Deb Arcand.

After months of harassment, when the picketers were finally approached to lay off of her, they apparently offered a "compromise."  They'd leave her alone, so long as she stayed inside and didn't go out on her employer's balcony.

And then they question why people in Artspace say they feel like hostages?

To this day, if she is seen on her employers balcony, they target her, either by calling out or whipping out the recording devices.

Part 4 is notable, because this is when AUPE VP, Karen Weier is first seen.

Yes, an AUPE VP took part in the mobbing of a person no longer connect to the labour dispute, on an off-site location.

An amazing amount of abusive behaviour has been allowed at Artspace, all because it was somehow justified and excused as being part of a "labour dispute."

This event, however, blows all those excuses away.

The person being targeted is no longer involved in the labour dispute, and hadn't been for some months.

The person targeted is not a union member, and again, had not been for some months.

The person is not a replacement worker with SAIL, but someone who is working for an independent employer who is an Artspace member, therefore her job has no connection to the labour dispute.

All of this takes place well off-site, on a public street.

Oh, and if you've watched all the videos, you'll have caught the part where she mentions how long she's been mobbed.

They did this for almost 1 1/2 hours.

Video of the Day: Mornings at Artspace

The following is a video montage of AUPE activities in front of our home.

This is only from a 1 week period in October, and only includes video of the picketers going after the replacement workers.

Right under the bedroom windows of Artspace members.

What is not in here are samples of the loud talking, laughing and shouting.  Artspace members are being awakened by this as early as 5 am, and people are repeatedly awakened throughout this morning shift.

Having groups of antagonistic people hanging around outside our home is bad enough during the afternoons.  This is happening in the early morning hours.  AUPE begins to arrive at 5 am.  Or 5:30.  Or closer to 6.  Some days they are gone by 7:30 am.  Others, they are still around past 8 am.

Here's a quote from a supporter in an earlier post.

... all i know is that when we were on strike we were told the cops could arrest us for not continually walking, and for walking anywhere but on a designated area of the sidewalk outside the building we were picketing. this is ludicrous. ... and we complied because we didn't want to get in any trouble.

There is none of that here.

While they spend the bulk of their afternoons at the West accessible garden bed (now also 2 of the East accessible garden beds), in the mornings they tend to hang out in the parking lot driveways.

Or on the street.

Or in front of the townhouses.

Or at their vehicles.

Plus there's usually at least a couple at the end of 94th St., at the back of the high rise.

Basically, they just stand or sit around wherever the mood seems to strike.

On top of wondering why they are here at all, we have to ask, why is AUPE not held to the same standards of behaviour as other unions?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Why Are You Here?

Yes, I know, we've just written a post about this, but it remains the question that is asked the most often, and it makes even less sense now than just a week ago.

AUPE, why are you here?

What's of great benefit for Artspace members is that our volunteer boards - whether it's the co-op board or the SAIL board - are very open and transparent.  For those members that take the time to ask questions, they answer them.  And why wouldn't they?  After all, they are all volunteer members of our community, elected by their fellow co-op members; their friends and neighbours.

Among the complaints and accusations AUPE has made against the SAIL board is that the finances had not been audited in years, therefore there was no accountability of taxpayer dollars funding SAIL, and very publicly making all sorts of wild accusations of fraud and dishonesty, implicating our entire community - and even visiting family members - in the process.

The only accurate claim they made was that there had not been any audits in years.  The SAIL board gave AUPE their financials, in what we now recognise was a rather naive belief that AUPE would see the numbers and recognise that there was no way SAIL could afford their demands.  We're used to dealing with people who are open and honest in their dealings; not an organisation that would accuse them of having hidden sets of books, or insinuating that financial documents were shredded, burned, etc., then yell out twisted versions of the financial information, shared in the confidence of negotiations, on the street.

Of course, they did so knowing that an audit was started and without waiting for its conclusion.

So what would happen if the audit confirmed SAIL's financials, and that they could not meet the demands made by AUPE?  One member was told by Desiree Schell that, if the audit showed SAIL could not afford the demands, then that would be it.  The strike would be over, because there would be no reason for them to be here.

Well, the audit was completed, and it confirmed SAIL's position.  There is no secret, hidden or missing money.  SAIL's funding is what it is, and they can't afford AUPE's demands.

SAIL sent that audit to AUPE.

A while ago.

Yet not only are they still here, but AUPE is still trying to make complaints against SAIL.  They're still trying to continue with the now even more frivolous "bad faith" complaint against SAIL.

They're still coming out here in the wee hours of the morning, waking people up with their shouting, then coming back in the afternoons and, when they're not picking and choosing who to abuse and accuse, doing this.

Except for the last couple of afternoons; they seem to be trying to hide from this security camera and moved over to the Eastern raised bed gardens.

As if that changes anything.

All of this for 15 employees, only a few of which are full time.

That's right.  Fifteen, not 29.  After the new contract with AHS, with reduced care hours being funded, half the staff were laid off, based on seniority.  So along with former SAIL staff that quit before the strike began showing up to take part in the siege of our community, we have former SAIL staff that got laid off 2 months ago.  The rest are AUPE imports.

There is nothing for AUPE to gain by being here.

Every day they show up here is another day of AUPE making itself look worse.

So why are they still here?

Monday, 27 October 2014

No sense

With all the stuff that's still been going on lately, many of us around here - and not just people who live here, but visitors, friends, family, etc. - are still asking one question.

Why are the picketers here?

At all.

It's not like they're accomplishing anything, other than give all unions a bad name.  As one person put it,

... all i know is that when we were on strike we were told the cops could arrest us for not continually walking, and for walking anywhere but on a designated area of the sidewalk outside the building we were picketing. this is ludicrous. ... and we complied because we didn't want to get in any trouble.

This, coming from someone who is a strong union supporter, and who loves their own union.

When it comes to what's happening here, there doesn't seem to be any "designated area" at all. They spend most their time in front of the West garden bed, but they'll also be in front of the driveways to the high rise parking (above and below ground), in the street, on the sidewalk across the street, in the curve of the street, where it turns to the side lane, and on the cul de sac at the back of the high rise, which is in front of people's private homes.  People who have no connection to Artspace, other than being geographically close.  They get to hear people shouting at the replacement workers in the wee hours of the morning, as well as have a bunch of people hanging out in front of their homes.

As for the folks outside, they don't even bother to walk around at all.  Usually, we have this - at least in the afternoons. 

It's not like the police are doing anything, as in this example, when an officer came for an unrelated manner.  

For some reason, AUPE isn't even being held to the same standards of behaviour as other unions, never mind basic human decency.

They're just sitting around, blocking the sidewalk.

If they're not sitting around, they're standing around.  They certainly don't walk continually.  And were would they be walking?  It's not like they're in front of the SAIL office to begin with. 

Let's take a look at the purpose of picketing

The purpose of picketing is to exert pressure on the employer by persuading other people not to do work for, or do business with, the employer. 

Well, the first problem with this is that they're not targeting the employer; they are targeting our home, the Artspace co-op.  With the SAIL model, most of this doesn't even apply.  The closest to meeting the above requirement is when they verbally abuse the replacement workers.  Yelling "garbage" and "scab" at the replacement workers isn't persuasion.  It's intimidation.

However, a picket line must be peaceful and cannot be used to forcibly prevent people from entering an employer's premises.

We can all see for ourselves how that's not been what's going on.  Especially since they've been blocking people from entering and exiting their homes.

Usually, striking or locked-out employees are only entitled to picket where they normally perform the work that's an integral and substantial part of the employer's operation and which is under the control and direction of the employer. 

Again, they're not picketing where they normally work.  People's private homes don't count, and the office is not where they are picketing.

Other operations of the employer may not normally be picketed. For example, if you operate your business at more than one location, your striking or locked-out employees are only permitted to picket the location for which their union is certified and at which they perform their work for you. They are prohibited from picketing your other locations if they do not normally perform work at those locations.

Once again, this doesn't apply.  SAIL has only one location; the office in unit 103.  It does not operate their business anywhere else.

As an exception to this general rule, picketing may also be conducted at other sites, with permission from the board, in circumstances where an employer attempts to have "struck work" performed these other sites. In other words, if you move work, normally performed by striking or locked-out employees, to another location in order to continue service or production during the strike/lockout, that location may be subject to picketing.

SAIL is not having "struck work" performed anywhere else; SAIL business is done in the SAIL office.  That the employees leave the office to enter people's private homes doesn't change anything; they are providing home care in the same way as other care workers who do home care, and those private homes are not part of the employer's work site.

Think of it this way; AHS funds home care all over the province.  Home care workers travel from home to home to provide this care.  Let's say that these home care workers decided to go on strike.  Who is the employer?  AHS (or, in the case of contract workers, the contracting company).  Not the people receiving care.  So the place to picket would be an AHS office, or the office of the contracting company.

With SAIL, there is only one employer location.  The SAIL office.

Similarly, striking or locked-out employees may be entitled to picket the place of business of an "ally" employer. 

SAIL does not have any "ally employer."  The closest to it would be AHS.

The board will declare another employer to be an ally of the struck employer in circumstances where the ally assists the employer in a lockout or in resisting a lawful strike. 

Does not apply.

Ally picketing is restricted to the site at which the ally performs work for the benefit of the employer who is directly involved.

Again, this does not apply, yet they are targeting our private homes.

Finally, where more than one employer carries on business at the same site (referred to as a "common site"), the board generally restricts picketing so that it affects only the employer involved in the labour dispute or the ally of that employer. 

Yet their actions are affecting an entire neighbourhood and community.

This restriction is relaxed, so that regulated picketing at a common site can occur and will affect third parties to some degree, in circumstances where the union has no other way of picketing at the workplace of the striking or locked-out employees.

AUPE could have picketed the SAIL office; they chose not to.

So here we have all these examples of how picketing is supposed to be done, none of which is actually happening.

Instead, they keep coming back, day after day, week after week, month after month.

For what?

There's just no point for them to be in front of Artspace at all.  We don't have any influence on the labour dispute.  Even the volunteer SAIL board members have no control over the funding, so they can't do anything, either.

They are accomplishing nothing out there.

They are in front of our private homes, so there is no persuading of people not to enter the place of business; even with the replacement workers, they're just harassing them.

There are no products of the employer to persuade people not to deal in or handle.

There is no one to convince not to do business with the employer.  The closest to is would be to ask the user members to refuse SAIL services, which doesn't work when the services involved are things like getting out of bed, eating or even personal hygiene.  As mentioned before, this isn't a coal mine or a factory, where production can be halted, or where people can go shop elsewhere.

So what are they accomplishing?

Well, there are a few things they are accomplishing.

They have alienated a lot of potential supporters.

They have given all AUPE members a bad name.

They are giving all unions a bad name.

AUPE probably cost the SAIL staff their jobs.  If SAIL were forced to accept AUPE's demands, which they can't afford, they'd go under, and the staff would lose their jobs.  If AUPE succeeds in bankrupting SAIL through frivolous litigation, again, the staff would lose their jobs.  There's no win here.  For anyone.

All of that doesn't count the damage they've done to people who live here, resulting in everything from increased in medication, to hospitalizations.

Every day they are out there, they make it worse.

For themselves.

It just makes no sense!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Video of targeted abuse, with transcript

In the past while, the picketers seem to have become increasingly frustrated by their inability to engage in the behaviours they had been given free reign to do, early in the strike.  In seeing security footage, they appear to have increasingly focused their anger and abuse at one of our members in particular; the person they believe owns this blog.

It seems that, no matter how many different people post, or how many disclaimers are made, they refuse to accept that this blog has no owner.  This blog is not any one person.

But then, they still refuse to accept that Artspace and SAIL are two different entities.

There was one incident of note on October 16; the first day of AUPE's conference, a few blocks away.  The member has submitted an incident report, and the video was sent to the police.  The member describes coming home early in the morning to find access to her parking spot blocked by Deb Arcand, with a frequent picketer, Rachel Shepherd, standing nearby. Now we have a transcript as well.

It didn't end there, however, as there was another incident on the 22nd.  The police were again contacted, and another incident report submitted.

Here are both videos, with transcripts.

DA = Deb Arcand
RS = Rachel Shepherd

DA: Yeah, you having a good morning? Are you having a good morning? Do you have your video camera on? I hope so.
Driver: Its 6:50 by my console
DA: [unintelligible] Remember me? I'm the one you called a bigot. Because I asked you what kind of a Christian you are that you think it’s nice that a hundred and fifty nine people got laid off of work.

I can't believe that somebody would say something like that.

Y’want to talk about Christians. Do you want me to cite some Matthews for you?

I can't believe that somebody who lives in a country like this gets joy out of other peoples hardship. That you think that these women aren't worth a decent wage. That you’re better than them.

And you make sure you put it on your blog.

Have your cameras ready because you know, yes, convention is on.

Be prepared. You don't know when, but be prepared. So don't go too far away from home today, Anna.

Its people like you that have made this strike go on and on and on.

Instead of looking at the facts and saying, yes these girls are worth some benefits. And that these girls are worth some sick time and these girls do deserve the contract. Because I bet you and your husband had good jobs. And I bet your husband is entitled to a pension. But you don't think these girls are entitled to anything.

[A picketer across the street whoops]
You think we live in a third world country? This is Canada.

And they deserve what everybody else gets.

Bye have a good day you make me ill. You know that, you make me ill. Disgusts me that there’s people like you that live in this province.

RS: Put it on your blog.

DA: Disgusts me
[Car noise]
RS: … park in your stall.

[engine shut off; key noises]
DA: You’re crooked.
[car noises]
RS: [unintelligible] …people that don't know the facts seem to have a voice on so much.
DA: You think you're better than these people, hey Anna. You think you're better than them.
[sounds of driver exiting vehicle and walking]
Driver: I have nothing to say to you
DA: [unintelligible] …you think you can intimidate people, yet you have nothing to say.
RS: No… this… hide behind the blog.
[picketers across the street begin to shout and call “shame” and “shame on you.”]
DA: Because you can’t speak to somebody to their face. Instead you go on a blog and you…

[shouted from across the street: “chicken”]
DA: …spiel out garbage.

[From across the street: “shame”]
DA: And you run down people. And you dissociate yourself from people who stand up for other people’s rights …
RS: It’s nice to be anonymous, isn’t it?
DA: …and you think you’re better than others? You're not. You're worse. You don't deserve what you have.
RS: Loser

DA: Ah… that’s not a confession.

In this next video, Deb Arcand is waiting alone for the Artscape member.  In the incident report, the driver describes seeing 4 picketers, three on the sidewalk in front of the high rise parking driveways, and Judy, the current acting strike captain, standing in the street in front of them.  Deb Arcand was blocked from view by parked vehicles until after the driver had passed the picketers.  Details from the incident report are included in the transcript.

Driver, to recording: Oh, look at that.  Deb Arcand is waiting for me again.  
DA: Good morning, Anna!  How you doing? 
[Driver begins backing up and re-positioning the vehicle.]
Don't want to talk to me today, Anna.
Don't want to talk... Oh you figured it out, did you? [Deb moves out of the way, allowing the driver through.] Telling everybody I was blocking you. Shining a flashlight in your eyes. No, I’m videoing you, like you video us. Remember? 
Remember, Anna.
[driver parks and exits vehicle]
You having a good day, Anna? 
I hope so. I’m having a really wonderful day. 
[Deb Arcand moves behind the vehicle, on the sidewalk.  Driver briefly holds phone up towards Deb while walking to her unit.]
That’s nice. Good for you, Anna. You should turn it on, though and take your GPS off. I at least am recording. 
I have to record my good Christian lady who thinks that it’s good that a hundred and fifty nine [unintelligible] lose their jobs. 
 ‘cause I certainly don’t think that’s a good [fades out]. 
 Have a good day, Anna. 
 See you the next time I come out. 
 You’re the reason I get up at five o’clock in the morning. 
 So I can see you.

In talking to the police, the driver has learned that, when the police spoke to Arcand after the first incident, she claimed that she did not block the vehicle, and that she had video to prove it. 

She claimed the driver came to her.

This has flabbergasted all who have heard it.

Just to make it clear.

Driver is on the street and needs to turn into their parking spot.

One the sidewalk, in front of the parking spot, is a person.  The driver begins turning into their parking spot.

The person does not move out of the way, preventing the driver from entering the parking spot.

According to Arcand's logic, because the driver turned towards her own parking spot, then waited for Arcand to move, she was not blocking that person.

Of course, the video shows she is quite clearly blocking the way, and the police agree with that.

For some reason, that resulted in only a warning.

In the second incident, because Arcand moved after the driver re-positioned her vehicle,  she was not considered to be blocking the way.

The harassment, of course, is obvious, as was the threat to continue to target this person.

There are also several other points that stand out.

This person used to have a parking spot next to the entry of the above ground high rise parking.  This put the family's vehicle in the middle of a lot of picketer activity, and the driver was targeted for harassment early on, as can be seen by other dashboard videos the driver submitted for this blog.

It was because of this harassment that they were assigned a new parking spot on the townhouse side, where they live.  

The townhouse parking is almost half way up the block from the high rise, and across the street from Inner City Housing townhouses.

AUPE has designated the address of the high rise (the main building, not the unit the place of employment is) as the picket site, however, they have also picketed around the back, and have camped out on the townhouse side, across from the high rise, or would camp out in the shade under a tree near the townhouse parking, something they haven't done since the weather cooled down.

In order to block this person's parking spot, they have to go out of their way, and away from the address AUPE has stated is the picket address.

Under normal circumstances, this would be criminal harassment.

Almost, but not quite

For a moment, it seemed we had a break on Saturday.  No picketers hanging about.


This is a screen capture from security video.

This person was identified as Jaime Urbina.  He'd been recognised by someone the picketers frequently targeted - and still harass every chance they get.  When he saw her on her employer's balcony, where this security camera sat in full view, he began recording her.

He, however, took pains to keep himself hidden.

Aside from when he started recording into a member's balcony, he was like in the photo above, with his hood up and the visor turned into the window.

As if, after all this time, he wouldn't be identified?

He spent more than 40 minutes, sitting in his vehicle.

Just keeping an eye on us in our homes.  Probably waiting to see if any of the other picketers would show up.

And this is why so many of us call them the creepers.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Technical Difficulties ongoing

We are still finding many posts with graphics that have disappeared.  This is being corrected, however as each post needs to be individually updated to replace the images, it will take some time.

Thank you for your patience.

Some thoughts for Artspace members

There have been discussions among members that are worth combining and addressing here.

One of our members is still admitted to the hospital, and will be for at least some time longer.  A few of us have been in touch with this person.  What is remarkable is that, with all the struggles this person is going through, this person is constantly concerned about our community; what is happening, how is everyone else doing, is everyone else all right.

What an amazing, self-less and kind person.

This has led to quite a few of us talking about the long term effects of stress and anxiety from AUPE picketer behaviour on ourselves, our friends, family and neighbours.

The long term effects of stress and anxiety do not go away easily.  Especially when the triggers are still here, outside our home, yelling "garbage" and "shame" in the early hours, loud enough to waken people in the upper levels, with their windows closed.  When the people who created such a hostile and adversarial environment continue to sit around outside our homes in the afternoon, picking and choosing who to harass, who to manipulate, who to exploit, and who to leave alone.

As one person pointed out, this isn't a coal mine.  This isn't a place where production can stop.  This isn't a place that where what's going on can be compartmentalised out of our daily lives.

For most strikes, at a place of business, a factory or an office, the people involved can all go home at the end of the day. There is a place of sanctuary where a person can escape.

For the invaders outside, they come in for a few hours in the morning, a few more hours in the afternoon (maybe; we never quite know when - or if - they'll show up, for how long, or what their behaviour will be like), then they can leave.

We have no such luxury.

It is our home - our sanctuary - that is being targeted.

No matter how blase we can try to be, the reality is that there is a hostile force outside our doors, and they have been there for almost 6 months.

Almost half a year of loud, aggressive, threatening, manipulative, disruptive people, surrounding our homes.

It doesn't matter that they aren't here as long as they were before.

It doesn't matter that they aren't as overtly aggressive or loud as they were in the beginning.

The effects of stress and anxiety remain.

In a room full of people, every single one readily acknowledged that they recognize PTSD-type responses in themselves, in their daily lives.

It could be the sound of a voice, a similar looking face, a sudden noise, and a response is triggered.

As another person pointed out, it's a fight-or-flight response; an involuntary, physiological response.  The rise in blood pressure.  The tension.  The increased adrenaline.  Each of us responds in a different way, and our triggers will be different, but it's every bit as real.

Several pointed out that it will not go away until the picketers do, and even then, it will take years to recover.

One person is in the hospital, but there are others hurting, too.

People who, for some reason, aren't able to get the help they need.

If this is you, remember; it's okay to have these responses.  This is your body telling you something is wrong - and something is very, very wrong!

It takes significant self awareness to recognize these responses.  It takes incredible courage to reach out for help.

Help is there.

There is no shame in needing or asking for help.  This is an act of bravery and strength.

If you feel you cannot reach out to people you know, there is still help available.  One place to look is at this link.

For others, if you notice some of your friends and neighbours are becoming more withdrawn or are isolating themselves, please reach out to them.  Offer them help.

We already have people who are willing to help care for pets or plants, or whatever is needed, in case someone finds they have no choice but to leave their home temporarily.

Unlike a strike at a factory or an office building, we have no way to escape.  We don't have that outlet that normally would be there.

We need that outlet.

Sometimes, that may mean finding some way to get away.

Some way to get the peace we have been denied in our homes.

Some way to recharge and recover.

If you need help, let someone know.

If you see someone who needs help, please reach out to them.

We are already a community of incredibly strong and dynamic individuals.

Together, we are even stronger.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Troubleshooting Some comments - Updated

It seems at least one person from the AUPE convention came to our blog, because we have a couple of comments.  Here they are, with some of the feedback that came from them.

Troubleshooter has left a new comment on your post "1000 Delegates-is that all?": 
Each delegate represents 100 fellow workers. Please, get your facts. That's like saying that Parliament is not representative of Canada because not every single Canadian is present. 
Posted by Troubleshooter to Artspace Under Siege at 17 October 2014 19:25

One of the first things reactions people had over this comment (besides, "so what?") was some version of, "you know that just makes it worse, right?"

Another typical response was some version of, AUPE is nothing like the federal government, and, the comparison also makes things look worse.

Here's a screen cap that accompanied the other post that was commented on.

The text with the photo says "over 1000 delegates."  For a three day event, for an organization with 83,000 members, that's still not much. [see update below]

That is a very small number of people making decisions for the entire membership.

The text says more than 1000 delegates, but let's just go with 1000.  Troubleshooter tells us that each of those delegates represented 100 people.  Based on that, Troubleshooter has just told us that there are 100,000 AUPE members, not the 83,000 there really are.  (A curious thing from a person accusing us of not getting our facts.)  Which would mean that only 1% got to participate in the convention, and the other 99% had no say, except by proxy.

We've had one person tell of going to three day conventions for decades, both as a participant and as a venue employee, and attendance would be around 3000 people; often closer to 5000.  However, these were all people who spent many hundreds of dollars for tickets, transportation, food and accommodation for the privilege to attend a major convention.

Which brought up the questions; did AUPE pay the way for these 1000 + people?  Did they pay for their hotels and transportation?  Just how much did all this cost AUPE members, most of whom were not even able to participate?

Just curious.

Then we have this other comment.

Troubleshooter has left a new comment on your post "In For the Long Haul": 
If you are so concerned about the situation, why do you use a moniker? Are you hiding something? I guess it is easier to spread misinformation and take comments out of context behind a mask. 
Posted by Troubleshooter to Artspace Under Siege at 17 October 2014 19:32

Which had quite a few people laughing.

Let's look at the first sentence.  What does the first half have to do with the second?  Is Troubleshooter suggesting that, in order to be concerned about something, people can't use a moniker?  Or if they are using a moniker, that means they aren't really concerned?

Neither of which is as funny as the fact that the person saying this is using an alias.

So tell us, Troubleshooter; if you're so concerned about the situation, why do you use a moniker?  Are you hiding something?  I guess it's easier to spread misinformation and take comments out of context behind a mask.

See how that works?

By the way, the definition of "moniker" is primarily, "a person's name."  It can also refer to a nickname.  Neither of which is used on this blog.

Let's start by explaining something that Troubleshooter should know, having taken the trouble to create a Blogger profile.

When creating a profile, you have to choose a name.  Some people use their real names.  Others use their blog names.  Lots of people have to come up with something creative, because the name they would like to use has already been chosen by someone else and they have to find an alternative.

Artspace Under Siege is a blog name.  Not a nickname or an alias.  A blog name.  Since the blog is not one person, it would not make sense to use a personal moniker of any kind.

Then Troubleshooter accuses us of misinformation and taking things out of context - but provides no examples of this misinformation.  The post in question is short and states our observations.  How is that misinformation?  If you're going to make an accusation, at least try to back it up with an example.  Then we could address it if it turns out we've made an error.

We do try to be accurate, so when we find out we've made an error, we correct it.  I would like to take this opportunity to correct one error we have been making.

We appear to be wrong about how many SAIL employees have actually been on the picket line since the beginning of the strike.

It seems that some of the people we thought were staff are actually former staff, including the woman who keeps bringing her two little kids.  She quit working for SAIL shortly before the strike started.  Since none of us are part of SAIL, we didn't know that she had quit her job so recently.

So it seems that even fewer SAIL employees have been out there than we thought.

Update: Oct. 24
According to a full page ad in the Edmonton Journal printed on Oct. 22, AUPE now has 85,000 members.

Making a Statement

On the last day of AUPE's convention, one of our members went to the Shaw Conference Centre to try and show delegates that there is a story here that they aren't being shown.

For a bit of background, Ken is one of our founding members.  He was among those who fought to have Artspace and SAIL created, so that people like him could live independent lives.  Thanks to him, all of us at Artspace enjoy affordable housing while being part of a dynamic community.  He has a lifetime of achievements, is a world traveler and athlete, and a real hero.  You can learn more about him on his website,

This is his statement about how things went on Saturday.


Here is Ken, with the signs the SAIL staff tried to prevent other convention goers from seeing.

You can read Ken's bio here.

Here is another statement from Ken recorded back in July.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

In defense;

A follow up on the SLAPP suit against our online supporter, Kikki;

Kathleen has filed her Statement of Defense on October 17th.  It has been released to the media, and we have seen it, too.

Below are the statements from the file.

Another hospitalization

On this blog, we have written many times about the effects AUPE's actions against our members is having on people's health.

This is not about the labour dispute.

This is about the behaviour AUPE chose to encourage, condone and engage in while picketing our home.

Not the place of employment.

Our home.

Since they read this blog, we know they have read about members who've had to increase their pain medications and other prescriptions, due to the stress and anxiety they are causing.

We've talked about the damage caused by their using noise as a weapon.

They even know that a member has been hospitalized, twice, and had to leave his own home on doctor's orders, due to the disturbances the picketers are causing.

Now, they've done it again.

On Thursday the 16th; the first day of AUPE's convention, and the first day their activities here escalated, with increased noise and overall disturbances, another of our members had to go to the hospital.

This person has given permission to mention this, but out of respect for this person's privacy and medical condition, no details can be given.  The only thing that can be said is that this is the result of AUPE picketer behaviour triggering a medical event.  We have no idea how long this person will have to be hospitalized.

This sort of behaviour is disruptive enough at the best of times, but what is different here is that AUPE has chosen to target our private homes.  They have chosen to target a community.

We are not a factory or an office building.  We are not some remote place that people go to to work, then leave at the end of the day.

This is where we live.

The picketers come here, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for most of the day, and then they get to go home.

We don't have that option, because this IS our home.

We live here.

This is our home, and what AUPE is doing is right outside our doors and windows.

There is no escaping it, because even when there are no picketers, there is still their presence, just in the constant presence of their vehicle.  Plus, we can never be sure just when they will show up, how many or how long.

Like all communities, we have people from a wide variety of backgrounds and histories.

Everyone has their story.  Everyone has their things to deal with.

We have our user-members, who need some outside help that gives them the ability to lead independent lives, on their own terms, in their own homes.

We have non-user members who also live with disabilities of varying kinds and degrees, but don't need outside help just yet, or have self-managed care instead of SAIL's services.

We have people with invisible disabilities, or no physical disabilities at all, but still have issues to
deal with.

We all have our stories.  We all have our histories.

Some of us are abuse survivors.  For some, we have lived with physical abuse.  Others, psychological abuse.  Still others have lived with both.

So when we see what is happening outside our home, we recognize it for what it is.


Abuse of our members and our community.

We've written about the broken plate analogy before.

Everyone has their broken plate.

For some of us, it's just a few hairline cracks.

For others, our plates have been cracked and broken, but we have managed to glue the pieces together and keep on going.

Some have had their plates shattered, and are still trying to find all the pieces, are mixing the epoxy, and slowly putting the pieces back together.

There is no shame in scars or wounds.  They are part of who we are.  They make us stronger.  They show we are survivors.

Whatever stage we are at, what AUPE has been doing is coming to our homes - what should be our places of safety; our sanctuaries - and taking a hammer to all our plates.

To those of you from the convention that are visiting this page for the first time, let me ask you;

Have the upper levels of AUPE  told you that they are picketing private homes?

Have they told you that they have targeted a community?

Have they told you that, while they mouth platitudes about "rights" and "dignity" and "respect," they are causing real, physical, medical harm to the people who live here?

That they are denying people the right to live in peace, in their own homes?

That they are engaging in harassment and misconduct against an entire neighbourhood?

That your executives have been here to not only support, but even participate in, actions that are causing harm to people?

AUPE can blather on all they want about how it's all about getting a "fair contract" and "benefits".

We who live here know better.

It's about greed.

It's about money.

It's about privileges.

It's about power and control and entitlements.


Not even for the SAIL staff.  They're just pawns.  If AUPE succeeds in destroying SAIL - which increasingly seems to be their real goal - either by forcing them to accept demands they can't afford and going into bankruptcy, or through frivolous complaints to the labour board (though they did withdraw one of the complaints, it was done at the last minute, which means it still cost SAIL money in legal fees to prepare), to the point that legal fees alone will force SAIL into bankruptcy, those staff will all lose their jobs.

The powers that be in AUPE don't seem to care.  That much is obvious to everyone, except maybe the SAIL staff themselves (though they were warned the end result might be the loss of their jobs, before they voted to strike), and any other True Believers.

To those members of AUPE who are just learning about all this now; think on this.

What AUPE is doing to the Artspace community is causing real harm, and has now put another person in the hospital.

What the picketers here are doing is also causing harm to you; even if you've never been here and never heard of what's been going on.

Because what they are doing here reflects back on you, as well.

AUPE is claiming that this blog is all part of some sort of vast misinformation campaign.

See for yourself.

Decide for yourself.

Then ask yourself; is this what you are?  Is this how you want to be seen?

Because what is being done here is reflecting back on you.

This is being done in your name, too.

The only people hurting AUPE in this are the AUPE members coming here to Artspace, picketing our homes and targeting our community.

What will it take for AUPE to finally acknowledge the mistake they've made?  Will someone have to die, first?  Or would that just be twisted around and blame cast somewhere else, too?

Make no mistake about it; there is only one place responsibility for this damage can be attributed to.



Not just the executives who made the decisions.


Not just the picketers who have so gleefully engaged in this behaviour.


The responsibility also lies in every AUPE member who sees what's happening here and says nothing.

Does nothing.

We know that there are AUPE members who condemn what's being done here in their name.  We also know that many of you are too afraid to speak out.

Yet, as long as you continue to be afraid and refuse to speak out against what is happening here, you too are responsible for the harm that's being caused.

Another of our members is in the hospital.  One of the strongest people I know; with the kindest heart and an amazing intellect.  Thoughtful.  Supportive.  Loyal.  Dedicated.

Because of you.

Can you live with that?

Friday, 17 October 2014

In For the Long Haul

Locked out SAIL staff were shown union support at one of their sessions yesterday. Out of 29 staff, only 4 are identifiable in the picture.  Where are all these overworked and underpaid workers? One would think that if it really mattered to them, they would all have been there, and on the picket line.  For the last 5 months there have been only about 11 workers who have shown up.  That number has dropped to about 5.  Yes, their lack of attendance sure does scream that they care about the issues they are picketing for!

1000 Delegates-is that all?

The AUPE is in its 2nd day of their convention.  But only 1000 delegates are here for it.  That seems very low for an organization with at least 83,000 members.  Also scary to think that these few members will be discussing and voting on various issues.  According to Guy Smith,

“Delegates will debate and vote on resolutions and policies that will set the union’s direction for the coming year.”
So, the future of over 80 thousand union members is in the hands of a very few.  This reinforces to me that the AUPE has relatively no accountability and that members are willing to be led unquestioningly by a few.  It's time for the union members to wake up and question their leaders.  Time to hold them accountable for their actions and how they spend members' union dues.

A couple of sayings comes to mind:

"There is none so blind as those who will not see."  and  "If the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch."

In the meantime, myself and other Artspace members must endure the whims of this powerful union because we cannot make them accountable...but we can, and will, expose their whims.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

War? What war?

Yesterday, we wrote about how the documents for AUPE's 38th annual convention mentions SAIL repeatedly.

There was something else written by VP Glen Scott that had a lot of us rather shocked.  It's on page 25 of their document, right after he talks about SAIL.

As most of us will agree the last 12 months have flown by and time does not stop, so I would like to make a few comments on some of the things I and the rest of us will be looking at in the next year. I am very proud of the way our organization has responded to the challenges we have faced.

 Okay, that part actually had us shocked in an amused way.  Based on what we've been seeing, AUPE has little to be proud of, and their tactics in responding to challenges seem to involve a lot of aggression, bullying and, if all else fails, the filing of vexatious litigation.

I am also aware that while it’s great to pat ourselves on the back, we can do this knowing that the public agrees with us on many of the issues we have taken on.
Do, they, now?

I have attended several focus groups and AUPE-run polls

AUPE run polls?

Somehow, I don't expect an AUPE run poll to be trustworthy.  How about a poll run by an independent polling company, instead?  I'd really love to know what the poll questions where, and what demographic was included in these polls.

on a regular basis and the facts – not opinions but facts –

Uh, huh.

In my personal experience, when someone has to go out of their way to say their position is based on facts, not opinions, the opposite it usually the truth.

By the way, isn't the whole point of focus groups and polls is that they measure people's opinions?

show we are not only winning the ground war when we are attacked,

Wait... ground war?

we are winning the air war

... air war?

What the heck?

Is that how AUPE really views things?  That this is all a war?

Do they believe that anyone who doesn't do what they want - whether it's a tiny non-profit like SAIL, or a large charity organization like Shepherd's Care - is attacking them?

with all Albertans.

So... they are at war with ALL Albertans?

And they think they're winning?

What is this war?

What do they think they are winning?

We need to continue to do this and remind legislators that we are not the enemy

Hey, I don't recall anyone else using war-talk like this, so if anyone is thinking along the lines of "enemy", I don't think it's our legislatures.

but friends with average Albertans.

You mean like the people living in Artspace that have been deliberately targeted by AUPE picketers, even though we have nothing to do with the labour dispute?

Those average Albertans?  Or do we not count?

If this war mentality is really AUPE's worldview, than that would explain why they have been so aggressive here at Artspace, right from the start; why they were working on their "bad faith" complaint before the strike even started, or why they were telling the SAIL staff they would be going into a strike right from the day they voted to join AUPE.

It's one thing to feel like being in the middle of a battle - many Artspace members do - but quite another for an AUPE executive to openly admit that they are engaging in a war - both a ground war and an air war - against Albertans, while at the same time claiming to be their friends.

What is this war AUPE is waging, Glen?

And why is it being waged against Artspace members?  Because no one here attacked AUPE.  It was AUPE that chose to attack us.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Strange Weekend

One of the issues we've had, even as negative attention has forced the AUPE picketers to quiet down and reduce their levels of noise and harassment, is that everything is still very unpredictable.

We never know what they're doing to do, or when or how.

Just like we have no idea whether we're going to have to endure another invasion during the upcoming AUPE convention, just a few blocks away.  Will convention goers be convinced to walk over there and "support" their "sisters" in front of our home?

Or will they avoid the public image disaster this would entail, and stay away completely?

We have no idea.

Like this weekend.

On Saturday, an incident report came through that required some investigation.

It involved one regular we see on the picket line, though no one else was around.  She's the one smoking in someone's private parking spot in this photo.

She was seen by her vehicle, parked behind AUPE's truck, on the sidewalk with a tire from her car.  She then started talking loudly to no one about her flat tire.  Though she was alone, she seemed to be calling out for the benefit of Artspace members trying to go about their business and ignoring her as much as possible.

Except it turned out she wasn't talking about a flat tire.

She was talking about a slashed tire.

As near as could be figured out by the ones writing the incident report, she was claiming her tire was slashed.

This is not the first time this has happened; when AUPE's rental van got a flat, the picketers claimed it was slashed and basically accused someone in Artspace of doing it.  There was no video with the van in view to be able to show anything, and while the tire could be seen as flat, no one in Artspace had been able to verify that it had indeed been slashed.

Since this seemed to be happening again, when word of this came in, security footage was checked.

Yes, dear picketers, you are still being recorded.

So what did the video show?

From what could be seen, it appeared the picketer, with the help of someone else that eventually joined her, switched to winter tires while parked on the street in front of our townhouses.

All four tires on her car were changed.

Yet, based on what she was heard to call out into the air, she made out that her vehicle had been vandalized.

Eventually, more picketers showed up and they set up their camp chairs in a cluster in front of the West raised bed garden, as usual, blocking the sidewalk.  One of the chairs even ended up on the street, in the gutter of the loading zone.

Sunday, a few of them were back.

This time, a group of them were at the end of the sidewalk, by the East raised bed gardens.  No table, no chairs, no signs.  If it weren't for the open back of their truck, there would have been nothing to tell us that they were the picketers.  They were here from about 11 - 2 or so, and while they seemed to be just talking in a group, they were loud enough to be heard down the street.

On the one hand, this is the closest they've ever gone to picking the actual SAIL office since the strike started.  Except they were actually next to a SAIL user member's ground floor unit.  They know that this user member has MS and is medically required to take naps during the day.

Which she would not have been able to do while they were talking so loudly outside her window.

And that doesn't even take into account the other user members that would have been destroyed by the noise, as all the units every other unit in that column of apartments are adapted units.

Then there was Monday.


No one showed up at all.

Could be because it was Thanksgiving, but they've come in on stat holidays before.

We still don't know; if they come in on a stat holiday, does AUPE have to pay them time and a half?

About that convention coming up... (updated)

We've mentioned earlier that SAIL is going to be somehow part of AUPE's upcoming annual convention.  Of all the labour disputes AUPE is dealing with, somehow it is our little subsidiary, SAIL, that is a threat to this multi-million dollar organization.

How do we know this?

Because it's in their convention documentation.

The first place we see AIL mentioned is right in the Officer's Report, from AUPE President, Guy Smith.  It doesn't come up until page 13, which opens with:

Building AUPE From the Inside
Obviously, AUPE has been engaged in high profile and well-publicized struggles over the past year.
We have taken our issues, mostly created by the Government itself, to the streets, to the public, to the media, to the labour board and to the courts. Our public profile, awareness and credibility are at an all-time high.
All of that is great news for AUPE and our members, who rely upon us to be a recognized and respected organization in the public domain.

Their public profile and credibility are at an all time high?  A recognized and respected organization? Ahahahahahaha!!!  Thanks to what AUPE has chosen to do to our home, we've come to learn that AUPE is held in the worst regard of all the unions in Alberta - including by other unions!  Seeing what they are like outside our home, we can see why.  If this is their "all time high," I hate to think how bad it was before.

But then, I somehow don't think all 83,000 AUPE members have any clue what's been happening here, and what AUPE picketers have been doing in their name.

Including Guy Smith, himself.  Many times.  Such as on Sept. 10, when this photo was taken.

You know what else was going on at the back of the Artspace parking lot?

When we got to see Deb Arcand verbally abusing a SAIL user members.  This member had talked to a few people back there, but only Deb Arcand got visibly aggressive with her.

Oh, look... Who's that, right behind her?  Why, that looks like VP, Mike Dempsey.

Yeah, he's been here many times.  You can watch how they were while posing for a photo opp in front of our home on this video, here.  Or read about it here.

The part about SAIL is towards the end of page 13, and it was clearly written some time ago.  Let's take a closer look at it...

Bargaining continues to be a huge challenge. The logjam of negotiations resulting from the standoff with the Government started to break with some post-secondary, municipal, and boards and agencies contracts being successfully resolved. However, many tables remain unresolved and will require increased vigilance and member engagement and involvement.

Increased vigilance?  Member engagement and involvement?

Why, Guy?  Why does SAIL threaten AUPE so much?  What is it about this tiny, non-profit, volunteer run company that is so important that AUPE will go to such great lengths to either conquer it or destroy it?

One bargaining table in particular deserves comment. One of our smallest, 27 members

... you mean 29, right?  There were 29 SAIL employees when the strike started.  Only 11 of which, at most, have been even seen picketing Artspace.

(mostly nursing attendants),

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Hold it, right there.

Nursing attendants?  When did this happen?

Their official job titles are Health Care Workers.  They do home care.  They do the same job that other home care workers that travel from house to house do, except they don't have to travel.  They are not nursing attendants.  They assist with personal care, meal preparation and do housekeeping.  That's their job description.  SAIL has an LPN to do the stuff they're not qualified for.

They are not nursing attendants.

at Supports for Artspace Independent Living (SAIL) in Edmonton have been locked out since May.

Funny.  Hey, Guy; did you forget that they walked off the job, first?  They went on strike on May 7.  There was no lockout until May 19.

These predominantly immigrant women

Oh, gotta play the immigrant and gender cards!  Because, remember folks, where you come from and your reproductive organs are the most important things about you.  At least according to AUPE, it seems.  I mean, it's not like Artspace doesn't have people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds, while the AUPE executive has been described as almost completely male, stale and pale.

Having gone through AUPE's Youtube videos, these are cards they've been playing for years, too.  I mean, hasn't anyone else noticed by now that the only POCs on the picket lines are people on the bottom of the AUPE totem pole?

have shown exceptional strength

Striking SAIL employee, verbally abusing a replacement worker.

and determination 

Striking SAIL employees and AUPE staff verbally abusing a self-managed-care worker.

through a very difficult struggle

Striking SAIL employee and others, harassing people inside the security vehicle.

in which they not only had to endure the employer’s negative attitude (somewhat expected in a labour dispute);

Striking SAIL employee verbally abusing a SAIL user member inside the DATS bus.

but also the disrespect shown by clients and residents.
Striking SAIL employee threatening a self-managed care worker, and former co-worker.

This has been countered by staying strong
AUPE organizer, David Malka, with air raid siren, verbally abusing the father of a sick child who asked him to stop the noise.

and focused on the picket line
Striking SAIL employees and AUPE staff trespassing on Artspace property for a photo opp.

and breaking down the barriers
Striking SAIL employee and AUPE staffers, while blocking a self-managed care worker on 94th St. for almost 1 1/2 hours.

that the Employer, through rhetoric and misinformation,

is trying to use to discredit our members.

AUPE organizer harassing a SAIL user member trying to come home.

I don't know, Guy.  I think you and your picketers here at Artspace have been doing a pretty good job of discrediting AUPE yourselves.  We've just had to put up with this for the past 5 months.

This could end any number of ways, and I hope to be able to provide an update at Convention.

You know what would be a great way for this to end?

By AUPE acknowledging that they've screwed up, withdraw all the frivolous litigation they are engaged in, and walk away.

I'm sure the SAIL board would be willing to look at some sort of severance arrangement or something for the SAIL staff or something.  I don't know.  That's up to them.  What I do know is that AUPE has messed this up badly, has given themselves a black eye, and are just digging themselves in farther.  They need to get over their over-inflated egos, kiss some SAIL board butt, and end this peacefully.


Just.  Leave.

But one thing we need to remember is that an injury to one is an injury to all

Well, this I could agree with - except that it is the picketers here at Artspace, and the AUPE management that has condoned, encouraged and taken part in actions against our community, that is injuring all the other AUPE members who have nothing to do with what's going on here.

and these few, brave members need to be supported in their ongoing struggle.

Striking SAIL staff blocking Artspace members who are not SAIL users, nor Board members.

Yeah, Guy.

Real brave.

They sure do need to be supported in their ongoing actions at our home, against people who have nothing to do with the labour dispute, but just happen to live here, or harassing SAIL user members, people with PTSD and other non-SAIL user members who have their own health struggles made worse because of you all.


Meanwhile, on pages 18 and 19 of the convention document, Mike Dempsey dedicated a portion of his report directly to SAIL.

SAIL Inc. Lockout
As I write this, 22 health care aides at Supports for Arts Independent Living Inc. have been on strike/locked out for three full months.

Well, at least he got the title right, but Mike; it was 29 SAIL staff, not 22.

We also now know how long ago this was written; it's now past 5 months since the staff walked away from their jobs.

Unfortunately it all looks too familiar. Health care.

Y'know, since this has started, we've noticed that AUPE has been targeting the health care industry.  Which is why we've all become convinced that AUPE has its own agenda to gain control of it.

Lowest paid.

Nope.  Not at SAIL, that's for sure.

Women (mostly).
There it is!  The gender card.  You knew it was coming, right?

Visible minorities (mostly).

Oh, and there's the race card!

Just a thought.  If SAIL Inc and SAIL user members were really racist and sexist, do you think they would have hired all these female, immigrant people of colour in the first place?

Why is it that we continue to see the most labour unrest in the richest province in Canada among our poorest paid members?

I don't know, Mike.  Maybe it's because no other province has the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees instigating all these labour disputes?

Just a hunch.

And the highest executive salaries in the same department?

Good question, Mike.

What's your executive salary?

Something’s desperately rotten in Denmark, folks. Human rights violations,

You mean like picketing people's private homes, making them feel like hostages, causing physical and psychological trauma through the use of intimidation, noise, aggressive behaviour, holding illegal block parties, etc.?

pay equity issues. Take your pick.

Uh huh.

I visit the line to encourage the members whenever I am in Edmonton,

Yes.  We've noticed.

and I am proud of our sisters holding strong in the face of continued physical and verbal abuse.

The only physical and verbal abuse we've seen, Mike, is from AUPE picketers.  You should know.  You've been there while it's been happening.

Still not enough for you?

Then check out the videos.  Don't forget to come back later, because more are still slowly being added.

But enough is enough.

Yes, it is.

Yet AUPE is still picketing our home.

Why is that, Mike?  It's not like they're accomplishing anything, other than making AUPE look worse and worse.

These strikes occur mostly at assisted living facilities of one type or another

Artspace is not a facility.

Artspace Housing Co-op is made up of our private homes.  It also happens to have strong percentage of adapted units and an in-house care company to provide for their needs, thereby allowing them to live independently, rather than in an assisted living facility.  It is these people with disabilities who fought, more than 20 years ago, to create Artspace in the first place, so that they would NOT have to live in a facility.

That's the whole purpose of SAIL.  So that people with disabilities can live independently in their own homes, and have the autonomy that allows them to decide who provides them with the care they need, rather than someone else.

It is thanks to them that the rest of us non-SAIL user members can also have affordable housing and be part of a dynamic community.

AUPE seems to be doing everything it can to destroy what they fought to hard for.

and under this current PC administration, I don’t see the situation improving overall and it won’t as long as this realm of health care is still allowed to be privatized.
Privatized health care.

This is something I've heard elsewhere.

AUPE has not only redefined Artspace as a facility to justify picketing our homes, but they have apparently also redefined SAIL as privatized health care.

SAIL, which uses a care model developed in co-operation with AHS, which is funded entirely by AHS, requires AHS oversight, and is accountable to AHS, is somehow "privatized" health care.


I hope by the time you read this, that we have been successful at the Labour Relations Board, and have forced SAIL Inc.

Forced SAIL?


We knew that AUPE had no intention of accepting any of SAIL's offers that they could afford; anyone with half a brain could see that, but Mike just made it plain as day that they have no intention of acting reasonably.

They intend to continue the bullying tactics.

Their goal is to force SAIL to comply with their demands.

Once again, it's plain as day, that AUPE has it's own agenda going on here that has nothing to do with helping the striking staff, since their demands would force SAIL into bankruptcy, which would lose the SAIL staff their jobs.

But, hey - thanks for being publicly open about that, Mike.

Now, who is it that's supposed to be bargaining in bad faith, here?  Because it sure as heck isn't SAIL.

to negotiate seriously with its employees,

SAIL tried that.

SAIL is now locked into a 2 yr contract with AHS.  Their last offer still stands.

AUPE rejected all their offers.

I guess it's only "serious" negotiation if SAIL is "forced" to accept demands they can't afford.

and that they finally have a decent contract.

They could already have one.

Or they can get jobs somewhere else.

We're all free to do that.  In fact, most of the SAIL staff has already done that.

The only ones dragging this out is AUPE.

FYI, they currently get about $4 an hour less than the industry standard,

Here we go again...

No.  They don't.

When compared to equivalent jobs, such as other home care workers or places like Abby Road, which has a contract with CUPE, they are the HIGHEST paid.

and no benefits at all!

You know why they don't have benefits?

Because the staff chose not to have benefits.  They preferred the high wages.

It turns out that the staff didn't just turn down benefits when they negotiated their contracts a couple of years ago (before they unionized).  They HAD benefits.  Some of the staff used them.

A lot, apparently.  So much so, that the premiums went up.

From what we've learned, the staff asked to have the benefits removed because they were taking too much off their take-home pay.

They CHOSE to have that $19.50 and hour, without benefits, because with benefits, they'd be paid less - and $19.50 an hour was the most SAIL could pay them based on the funding they received, which is why wages were capped there.

What AUPE is now demanding is that they not only get paid more hourly than SAIL can afford - more than Abby Road is paying their LPNs, in fact - but to have benefits on to of that.

From contract between CUPE and Abby Road.

Benefits packages don't come cheap.

SAIL's funding has to cover a lot of things besides wages. There's no way they can give that and still remain solvent.  Anyone with even a modest understanding of how to budget responsibly can see that.

Mike and Guy aren't the only ones to talk about SAIL in preparation for the upcoming AUPE convention. VP Glen Scott has this to say:

Strike - The SAIL strike (Supports for Artspace Independent Living), if still on by Convention, will be in its 160+ day.

Hey... at least he's honest in saying the strike is still on, even with the lockout.

This has been a picket line that’s similar to many as far as the issue of an employer taking government funding and using it for the employer’s needs versus the clients’ needs,

Whoa, hold on there.

Glen, you do know what defamation is, right?  Slander?  I mean, AUPE has filed a SLAPP suit against our online supporters, so you should know better.

But then, false accusations against SAIL and Artspace members are hardly new.

and not providing the remuneration these 29 women deserve.

Well, at least he got the right number of staff.

But then there's that loaded term, "deserve."

Who decides what anyone deserves, Glen?  AUPE?

SAIL has offered what it can afford.  No company is under any obligation to pay anyone what they think they "deserve."  Certainly not if it means they'll go out of business.  That sort of intangible, amorphous concept cannot be applied to hard, financial decisions.

It does, however, make for good emotional manipulation.

It’s been challenging as we have been attempting to negotiate with a mostly volunteer board
First, it's an ALL volunteer board, and why does this make in more challenging?  Especially when there are professional negotiators involved?

Well... SAIL has a professional negotiator.  I don't know if I'd use term that to describe AUPE's negotiator, considering he's been our here, doing things like this.

You know what I'm sure has been really challenging?

For an all-volunteer board of a tiny, non-profit company trying to negotiate with a union that obviously has no intention of accepting anything they can actually afford, and intends to, as Mike Dempsey put it, FORCE them into accepting AUPE's demands.

who has been misled by their leadership

Hold on again.

Mislead by their leadership?

Who are they talking about?

SAIL is run by a volunteer board.

Some of the board are also SAIL user members.

The board answers to the user members, but also has to answer to AHS.

So who is this "leadership" that is supposedly misleading... whom?  The SAIL board has a president; is he saying the president is misleading the board... which would include herself?  Or are they saying AHS, who has oversight over SAIL, is misleading them?  Or...

No clue.

Got no clue who he's talking about here.

who have refused to bargain with AUPE

Let's see if I get this right.

SAIL made several offers until the beginning of August, which is when their contract with AHS was finalized (that's right; AUPE took the staff on strike and demanded a contract before SAIL even had their new funding contract solidified), and now there's an offer on the table based on the current funding contract.

AUPE refuses the offer that SAIL can afford, then claims that it is SAIL that is refusing to bargain.

How does that work?

after many many attempts were made to find a way to come to terms.

Right... Let's see...

SAIL makes offer it can afford.

AUPE demands more than SAIL can afford.


That's what they call "many, many attempts" to "come to terms"?

Love the double use of "many."  Like that makes a difference.

The employer has locked out these workers,

Well... yeah.  After the workers tried to force their way back into SAIL on short notice, just before a long weekend, in an obvious attempt to disrupt user member care, and after user members already said they did not feel safe having the picketing staff in their homes, after seeing and hearing them on the picket line.

SAIL's priority is the care of user members.  Not to get railroaded but the striking staff or AUPE and act against the best interests of the user members.

insulted, disrespected, 

and misrepresented them, and the entire time these workers have remained patient, respectful and firm in their belief.

I am hopeful that the truth will come out about how this organization has misused public funding;

You know, it's a good thing SAIL is not the sort to sue people for defamation, because those are some very serious accusations.

the real truth is the leaders of the SAIL board have not been up front in bargaining.

Once again, who are these "leaders of the SAIL board" that Glen is talking about?

It seems obvious that Glen has no understanding of SAIL and how it's run.  That doesn't seem to stop him from making slanderous accusations, though.

Like many other Artspace members, we've talk to the SAIL board - they are our friends and neighbours, and we have known them for years.  They have always been honest, transparent people of integrity.

They have not been transparent in their spending practices

Actually, yes, they have been transparent - including about past problems, some of which they have corrected and some of which are still being worked on.

What no one expected was for AUPE to deliberately twist things around to accuse our friends of fraud - and even extend those accusations to all Artspace members, and even people who don't live here at all.

and the ones that stand to lose the most in this are the residents of SAIL.

Uh, Glen?

There are no residents of SAIL.

SAIL is not a facility.

SAIL is a company with an office in the Artspace co-op.

I want to thank all the members of AUPE and the public who have come out to support these 29 AUPE members.

Who have obviously not been properly informed about what's going on here, and how they are picketing our private homes, and contributing to the abuse of Artspace members.

 As far as we can tell, AUPE has no real interest in the actual SAIL staff - they are obviously okay with forcing SAIL into bankruptcy - through frivolous litigation, if necessary - even if it means the SAIL staff lose their jobs.

It's not the replacement workers that are "stealing" their jobs.  It's AUPE.

Oh, but it doesn't end there!

Karen Weiers as a report, too, and she mentions SAIL, too.

No surprise.  She's been here more than anyone else among the AUPE executives.

Bargaining – There seemed to be a backlog of tables in negotiations when Government Services members stood strong against this Employer. Once an agreement was settled there, then interestingly enough many other negotiations in Education, Healthcare and Boards and Agencies were settled as well. In AUPE, we are constantly going into negotiations, so again if it takes all of us to stand together to ensure all front line workers receive a fair contract that is what we must do. Currently at the time of this writing we are seeing a labour dispute at SAIL (Supports for Artspace Independent Living). They are a small group of 22 members (currently locked out) that have been out for 108 days and still standing strong. Everyone’s agreement is important! I continue to stand proud on this line beside these workers in their effort to obtain a fair contract where wages are standardized and benefits (they currently have none!) become part of an agreement.

Oh, for crying out loud, Karen!  For someone who's been here as often as you have, couldn't you at least gotten the number of striking staff right?

And considering you've been there for stuff like this...

... I really don't see that you've got anything to be proud of.

I won't bother going over the whole lack of benefits thing again.

Where else is SAIL mentioned?

Oh, here we go.  Page 33, in the Anti-Privatization Committee report.

Because, like their inability to understand that Artspace is not a facility, that no one "resides" in the SAIL office, and that this is our private home, they also can't seem to figure out that a company that runs under the auspices of AHS, is funded entirely by AHS and is financially accountable to AHS, is part of the public health care system.

There are a few other passing references to SAIL, but these alone are enough to tell use that during AUPE's 38th Annual Convention, a great deal of time and energy is going to be dedicated to the destruction of a tiny, in-house, non-profit, volunteer run, publicly funded, care company.