Thursday, 31 July 2014

A game of control

Things have been relatively quiet so far.  The picketers didn't picket, spending much of the morning hanging out at a black SUV in front of the townhouses that seems to be their new headquarters, now that the rental van is gone.

They've left chalk messages for Artspace members on the sidewalks.

In front of the high rise, they left these.


Uh huh.

On the townhouse side, at the top of the ramp that goes down to the entrances below street level, they left this little present for us.

Really?  I always thought multiple choice answers were supposed to be the correct ones, not predetermined.


Now, for us on the blog, we are not part of SAIL Inc.  This is not from the co-op.  We are Artspace members who are appalled by what is being done to our home, to us and to our friends and neighbours.  So we're not privy to any particular information that is not available to any other Artspace member, and are bound by the same privacy by-laws.

We don't know SAIL's decision, yet.  There's a proceedure for such things, and the first people entitled to know anything are the SAIL user members.  There will be no official announcement until Friday.

That's how things go when proceedure is followed properly.  Slowly.

AUPE, meanwhile, is using this time to take control.  They've got their statement on their website.  The Edmonton Journal dutifully published their position in record time.

Now, they are here, playing with chalk.

So what does this tell me?

It tells me that whatever the mediator recommended, AUPE knows that SAIL is unlikely to accept it.  So, by coming out here and leaving passive aggressive statements for Artspace members, telling us what we should be thinking and what we should be deciding (not that Artspace members have any say in SAIL decisions - they still can't wrap their head around the fact that Artspace and SAIL are two different organizations), they are setting themselves up to be the "good guys" and precondition Artspace members to view SAIL as the "bad guys."

Abuser Tactics Bingo, anyone?

Something AUPE manipulators are forgetting.

The board members are people we know and trust.  Our friends.  Our neighbours.  Their attempts to turn us against our boards (both Artspace board members and SAIL board members) is wasted.  They are the ones who have proved themselves untrustworthy.  They are the ones who have shown themselves to be aggressive, manipulative, abusive and worse.  On top of that, their actions have been so bizarrely counter-productive, many of us truly wonder at the level of intellect involved here.  Just how stupid do organizers have to be abuse the people whose support they actually need?

Based entirely on what the picketers are doing as we wait, I predict that things are going to get very messy for Artspace members on Friday, and that AUPE is going to try to blame SAIL for it, rather than accept responsibility for their own abusive behaviour towards a community that has nothing to do with their labour dispute.

Because it is really AUPE's labour dispute.

Not the care workers, who are allowing themselves to be used for AUPE's larger purpose.

It's not SAIL's dispute, because they can only work with what AHS gives them.  They have made offers that are within budget, which have dismissed out of hand by AUPE (not the care workers, who probably have no idea how badly they are being represented).

It's not Artspace member's dispute, because we just live here, and AUPE has decided to picket our homes rather than the place of employment.

This is all AUPE's game of power and control.

These latest messages to Artspace members?

These are just another part of the AUPE attempt to manipulate people and control the public narrative.

What it really is, however, is a warning.  A warning that, if SAIL doesn't do what they demand, all of Artspace is going to be punished for it.

And they will engage in escalated misconduct and abuse, just as they have threatened to previously.

What I would hope is that they would do the right thing.

Picket properly, according to labour board regulations.


At the employer's place of business (I'm sure Artspace members would still be open to allowing them to picket on private property, at the SAIL office, like they're supposed to, even after all the abuse we've had to endure - though their real target seems to be AHS and government funding, so perhaps AUPE should be holding demonstrations at the legislature or at wherever AHS has its main office).

No unlawful acts (threats, use of noise as a weapon) or misconduct (incitement, intimidation, coercion, undue influence, provocation, infiltration).

Given what we've seen on the picket line and how AUPE has responded to it, I'm not about to hold my breath.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Not normal

Artspace members have had to put up with a lot of abuse for the past 13 weeks.

Yes, it's been that long.

One of the excuses given to justify the behaviour, and for nothing to be done about it, is that this is somehow "normal."  This is how all strikes are.

Let's forget for a moment the problem of their not picketing the employer's place of business in the first place.

That would be here.

Not here.

Nor under a tree in front of the townhouses.

Nor on people's front steps.

For just a moment, let's set aside that they are picketing private homes and people who have nothing to do with the employer, SAIL.

Let's just look at picketer behaviour.

Because there are rules about what picketer behaviour is supposed to be.

There are specific regulations for picketing.
Once a lawful strike or lockout is in progress, the Code allows persons to engage in picketing and to try to persuade others not to enter the employer's place of business or do business with the employer. See: Section 84(1).
The right to picket in connection with a labour dispute is subject to the following conditions:

· it must be peaceful;
· it must take place only at the striking or locked-out employees' place of employment;
· it must not involve acts that are otherwise unlawful.
The Board has the power under section 84 of the Code to regulate lawful picketing. It will do so where necessary to maintain the lawful character of the picketing and preserve the peace. The parties may themselves reach agreement on picketing protocols. See: Section 84(2)(b), (3), (4); Cargill Foods v. UFCW Local 1118 [1997] Alta.L.R.B. LR-025.
There are rules about misconduct, too.  The definition of "dispute related misconduct", according to Labour Relations is:
... a course of conduct of incitement, intimidation, coercion, undue influence, provocation, infiltration or any similar course of conduct intended to prevent, interfere with or break up lawful activities likely to induce a breach of the peace in respect of a strike or lockout.
AUPE has openly stated that their behaviour, including the use of noise, is SOP, even at senior's residences, therefore they think we shouldn't complain that they are doing to us.  Because apparently, seniors haven't complained.

Basically, they admit to abusing old people as a normal course of action, and used that to justify abusing Artspace members.

How utterly reprehensible.

One thing needs to be very clear.

This behaviour may be common picketer actions.

But it is NOT normal.

Normal people don't behave this way.

Normal people don't stand around, swearing, taunting people on their balconies, harassing people trying to go in and out of their homes, using bull horns, air raid sirens, horns, and other noise makers, for hours at a time, day after day, week after week.

They don't go up to windows of vehicles and hurl verbal abuse at the people inside.  They don't interfere with people who are just trying to go about their business, in their own homes.

They don't target little kids, say nasty things about their moms, push petitions on them, or try to lure them with ice cream.

Normal people do not target individuals, picking and choosing their victims, trying to play people against each other, and generally being a$$holes, to put it mildly.

Normal people certainly don't deliberately target individual with visible disabilities.  People they know have PTSD.  People they know are living with brain injuries, MS, CP and various other challenges.

Normal people do not take such obvious pleasure in hurting the vulnerable.  The elderly.  Children.

This is not the behaviour of normal people.

This is the behaviour of abusive people.

Nasty people.

Vicious people.

Cowardly people.

It has been clear pretty much from the beginning - and by that, I mean right from when the SAIL staff was told that AUPE intended to strike should they vote to join the union - that this labour dispute has never been about SAIL.  They are simply using the care staff, SAIL and Artspace in some other battle.

It's been about AUPE control.  AUPE power.

That our care staff has so eagerly allowed themselves to be dragged into this, knowing that it would hurt the people they claim to care so much for (except on the picket line, where they instead yelled out about how embarrassing it was to care for the "fat cripples", and where they openly taunt people who can't even talk back to them), is particularly disturbing.

Or to hear them and the picketers calling people n****rs.

... to order women to bring them water or cook them supper.

... to tell people they should "go back to their country."

... to call people garbage

... tell them that they should kill themselves

... say that their mothers should have killed them when they were born.

... threaten that they are going to "take you out."

Artspace is an intentional community.

We may have little in common anywhere else - we have different ethnicities, religions, histories, political opinions, personal interests and so on - but there is one thing we have in common.

We chose to be part of this community, and the community chose us.

For all our differences, we care about our community.  We care about our fellow members.

So when we see people who have been an integral part of our community, some for more than 10 years, suddenly out on the picket line, engaging in verbal abuse, intimidation, racism, sexism and able-ism and other forms of misconduct on the picket line, it was quite the betrayal.

Artspace members fought hard to have an in-house care company.

Artspace members fought hard to be able to decide who would be allowed into their homes to provide care for those who needed it.  To decide who our care workers would be.  Who they could trust.

When the AHS contract was in danger of being lost, Artspace members fought hard to save the jobs of those care workers.

What sort of brainwashing does it take to completely destroy any sense of empathy, any shred of civilized behaviour, to betray those who had been so loyal to them, and fought so hard for them, and return that loyalty with such abuse?

No one has ever tried to deny them the right to join a union, no matter how unwise we may have thought it was.

No one has ever tried to deny them the right to strike.

What we expected, however, was for the picketers to engage in proper picketing behaviour.  We would even have been willing to allow the picketers to do so on private property, in front of the actual place of employment, the SAIL office.  It's a lovely area, with plenty of grass and shade.  I don't know about my fellow members, but I sure most would have been okay with them putting up a shelter tent and their table of Timmies.

They could have picketed, properly, to their heart's content.

And many would have supported them, even if they disagreed with them.

Had they done so, there never would have been a reason to create this blog.

Instead, they engaged in abuse behaviour and blatant misconduct, as defined by the labour code, from the very first day.

And when we complain, we are told this is "normal."

No, it isn't.

What none of us can understand is, how anyone can behave this way and think it's okay?

How can anyone behave this way and not be ashamed of themselves?

How can supposed "care" workers engage in this sort of abuse, then go home like nothing happened.

How can they live with themselves?

Can they even look at themselves in the mirror and not be disgusted by what they have become?

This is not normal behaviour.

It is psychotic behaviour.  Abusive behaviour.  Sociopathic behaviour.

It has never, ever, been "normal."

Whose space?


Not union space.

Picketers were back again today.  In the morning, a troop of them was seen hanging out along the side of the high rise, inside the parking lot entrance.

No, they weren't blocking anything at the time.  The idea was that they'd be allowed past the 4 ft easement to block the security vehicle without blocking the street, but as usual, they trespass at will, it seems.  They've been seen cutting through the parking lot, on the townhouse stairs, and so on.

Their rental van finally got its tire fixed and was taken away.  I don't know if they were able to start it.  After sitting for so long, they've needed to boost it just to roll it enough so as not to get a ticket for abandonment.  Vehicles are not made to be sitting for so long.  They are made to be driven.  Engines need to be used to run properly - and to keep the battery charged.

You know, I really hope the union actually owns that van.  Otherwise, Ryder is going to have one heck of a mess when they get their vehicle back.

After their lunch casino break, they didn't even bother to picket.  They just camped out on private property again, under the tree.  Then the ice cream truck came.

That got some of them excited enough to get out of their chairs.

Of course, with them there, there was no way any Artspace members would have been able to take advantage of the ice cream truck.  Sorry, kids.  No ice cream for you, because those people who have been giving you nightmares and muscle spasms from stress are out there again.

Check it out, AUPE members.  Your union dues, paying for picketers to sit in the shade off the picket line and eat ice cream.

Or chips.  They're often seen with those big family size bags of chips.

Or Timmies.

Or take out.

They are certainly a well fed bunch.

It's a waiting game now.  Their attempts to control the narrative doesn't change that there is a process to follow, and those take time.

Meanwhile, they camp out and eat ice cream.

And get paid $80 a day for it.  More, if they have kids.

Tax free!

Let's Talk about Care

Let’s talk about Care; perhaps an overused word that is often used by union picketers and the SAIL staff on the picket line.  To truly define “care” let’s go to the Merriam Webster Dictionary for the precise definition: 

noun \╦łker\

: effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage
: things that are done to keep someone healthy, safe, etc.
: things that are done to keep something in good condition

Am I not the only one seeing the irony? 

The SAIL workers claim they care about the clients they served, but for several weeks they have let them be subjected to verbal assaults, mental torture (abuse), noise pollution - including air raid sirens, horns, loud music - when vulnerable people are attempting to get clinically ordered rest.  Having been in many hospitals and facilities even long term “care” I have become familiar with what defines “care”; these individuals are the furthest thing from that.

I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful lecture by Dr. Lindy Kilik (Ph.D., C.Psych., Neuropsychologist, Geriatric Psychiatry Program, Providence Care Dept. of Psychology & Psychiatry, Queens University), and one thing she mentioned that reminds me of the ongoing torment and abuse ARTSPACE members and our neighbors have endured, bordering on torture tactics used in POW camps, is lack of sleep and verbal abuse.  Sleep is a huge part of our life to regenerate (and is why medically induced comas are often used by surgeons).  If verbal and emotional scars were as visible as physical scars the members of our CO-OP would be showing loads!

Perhaps these picketers should add another consistent to their definition of “Care”; the letter “S”. SCARE!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

No longer a labour dispute?

We haven’t heard from the picketers, what they want, lately. They are not trying to influence anyone to take their side. They are not talking about how they don’t want to do laundry and wash floors (which is part of their job). They don’t want to do basic pet care (even though study after study shows how pets can improve a person’s physical and emotional state) the staff do not want to put food and water in a dish and scoop kitty litter. It is beneath them.

They have been in the abuse mode for quite some time. Like a parent wrongly accusing a child of misdeeds and punishing them for it. Punishing. Security was told they would have consequences for not playing the game right. A game they get to make up the rules and not tell anyone else, just so that AUPE gets their jollies from whatever they want to do a ‘punishment.’ They stopped a vehicle from leaving because they don’t like the driver. How does that fit in with trying to get what you want in a labour dispute?  

They are not asking for what they want out of the strike. They are not talking about why our last offer wasn't good enough. They are not talking about what compromises they are willing to consider. In the beginning I overhear them saying, they don’t want to wash floors. 

AUPE’s game is to retaliate based on whatever they want.

I haven’t heard the comment, “What do you want? A contract” in a very long time. Maybe because we gave them everything we could and they prefer to be on the picket line. They don’t want a contract now – they want to continue to terrorize and punish.

The yelling is taunting, especially 2-3 members who have NOTHING to do with this labour issue.  Every noise they make is passive aggressive or aggressive to anyone they chose. Two of the people they continue to harass, one is in a wheelchair and has complex health concerns and the other uses a walker and has a brain injury – why are you continuing to target these people? We need to get someone to tell us about how to get restraining orders and then get the police to acknowledge them and protect those who need protecting.

The abuse, the terrorism, the taunting, the bullying is having an effect. I am sure AUPE and the strikers are happy about that. The effect is people's illnesses are getting worse. More symptoms.  More pain.  More fear. More anxiety. The post traumatic stress disorders, if not already affecting members, is imprinting on others. The feeling of being a prisoner in your own home – certainly is a traumatic event that will affect many. The picket line is not being used to further their cause, educate anyone about the striking staffs’ needs, or to strengthen their point of view – it is outright abuse – and the AUPE leader role modelling the pathetic, inappropriate, and dysfunctional behaviour of parent/child attitude and style of management. One who sees themselves as the parent and gets to dish out the punishment; justly or unjustly – it really doesn't matter.

We keep asking why people would do this? It seems so incomprehensible. One idea comes to mind. A step aside here to look at what qualifies as a possible diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder – antisocial personality. (portions derived from DSM is the manual used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) will publish DSM-5 in 2013, culminating a 14-year revision process. For more information, go to . )

See if these fit: (See the DSM5 for complete list)
• Ego-centrism;
• self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure
• Goal-setting based on personal gratification;
• absence of prosocial internal standards associated with failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behavior.
• Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others;
• lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another.
• by deceit and coercion; use of dominance or intimidation to control others.

Now, no I am not a professional who can diagnosis or suggest treatment – I am just presenting some of text from the book almost all psychiatrists use. I will leave it up to the reader if any of these things ring true from the 3 ‘ring leaders’ we have been exposed to so far in this labour dispute.

And of course the union would suggest the same about our SAIL/Artspace board members or anyone associated with this labour issue. I know for a fact, many of the members have expressed concern for the SAIL staff on the picket line and how they *might* be giving inappropriate or personal information to AUPE to facilitate this strike. Members are concerned that the striking staff may be victims themselves to the cult-like mentality of AUPE.

Members have expressed concern and feel sad when they see the behaviours of staff on the picket line and behaviour that is inappropriate in any setting. Yes, then members have said, they don’t want the striking staff in their unit because of the behaviour and psychological damage striking staff have caused. And that uncaring, abusive, lack of empathy and poor attitude might be what members have to face when the staff comes back. Our members have the right to be scared, cautious and certainly have the right to determine who enters their suite at any time.

There has been so much Canadian news coverage lately about the devastating effects of bullying and the number of suicides because of bullying. And yet, the union is allowed to bully 87 families who live here. Minister Horne, you said you are watching the situation. If you truly are, you would see the psychological abuse going on and intercede and allow for proper physical, social, spiritual and mental health care for our home. You see, many members are so afraid they are not leaving their suites or cannot make it to doctor’s appointments because staff are held up by security. Members can’t get dressed and out the door in time to catch their DATs ride. I know no Minister or even the Premier can stop a strike. Yes, AUPE has the right to strike – but they are not striking – they are terrorizing. This action is no longer about any contract or working conditions. It is about egos on a big high getting off on hurting vulnerable people.

But the consequences of this labour action now going into week 13 need to be addressed.

I am encouraging the Artspace and SAIL boards to bring in mental health professionals before this situation becomes unrecoverable. I would strongly hope Alberta Health Services will cover the cost. Many members are not able to get out to see a doctor or mental health professional because of the intimidation and how their symptoms have worsened. We need help on site to ensure members who are isolated in their suites out of fear of the strikers can get the help they need. We need crisis management team on site to assess the 87 families and staff who are working in the building. These needs to be addressed quickly.

As of right now, it is this writer's belief that AUPE has found a loop hole on how to legally abuse and terrorize a small community in downtown Edmonton. And the elite at AUPE and Edmonton Police Services look away.

More threats and intimidation

This morning, after the herd blocked the security van, with their usual noise and shouting, they headed out early.

Big meeting, they said.

Depending on the outcome, they'll know whether they will ramp it up even more, or if they will go away, they said.

Which it will be, they tell us, is dependent on a single board member.  Not even a SAIL board member.

Who'd have thought this one individual had so much God-like power?

They have NO understanding of how co-ops work.

Or they don't care.

Given what we've seen, it's probably both.

Monday, 28 July 2014

The Heat is On (updated with photo, video)

Well, the Hive Cluster was back in full force today, having their usual "fun" while engaging in misconduct on the picket line.

They blocked the security vehicle for  about 2 hours this morning.  Then, part way through, they got all in a tizzy when seeing a particular Artspace member come out and crossed the street to the townhouse side to block her.  They made clear that it was in punishment for this blog.  She has nothing to do with SAIL, nor is she on any boards, but they think she is this blog, so they are singling her and her family out for extra abuse.

Meanwhile, they were heard shouting at the security vehicle, "don't tell me what not to do!  You broke the rules!  You tell us to play by the rules, but you broke the rules.  There are no rules.  You broke the rules."  Etc.

Not sure what rules they're talking about.  Certainly not the rules for proper picketing, since they openly ignore those.

Creeper was back again, despite the police saying he's not supposed to be back.  He spent some time hanging out at the back of the high rise, most likely to continue stalking one member in particular.

Then there was the typical shouting, targeting individuals by name, using the bulb horn, etc., in between hanging out in the street, lounging around their van, etc.  They went around back of the high rise quite a bit (also not part of the picket line), just to make sure everyone was being harassed, I suppose.  Every now and then, they try and target individuals by name, but get it wrong.

Going back to the morning, after blocking the security vehicle from coming in for 2 hours, the cluster was getting ready to leave for their usual lunch break - which they say they spend at the casino - when they all went into a sudden tizzy.  They saw the security van moving again.  In the end, two of them sacrificed part of their casino time to block the security vehicle from leaving.  One of them seemed to spend most of the time in the pee patch, leaning on our sign.  Of all the places to trespass, their insistence in using the pee patch is perhaps the strangest of all.  I guess they like standing in dog urine and feces.  It's not like they don't know what it's for, after all.  Each to their own, I guess.

(photo added July 31)

They blocked the vehicle from leaving for another hour or so.

These people really need to get lives.  Or maybe re-install their empathy chips.

Should be interesting to see the reports, videos and photos come in from today.

(video added Aug. 2)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Double Standards

Since the strike started on May 7, Artspace members have been enduring near constant bullying, harassment, intimidation, threats and even violence from AUPE picketers.

There have been numerous calls to the police over the past 12 weeks.

It took the police 3 days to do something about the air raid siren.

They've never done anything about the other constant noise.

They've done nothing about the threats, or even the physical assaults.

When AUPE showed up late on a Sunday night and held a loud party on our street, the police came and did nothing.

Today, the picketers didn't show up, though AUPE did.

So did the police.

They came for a flat tire on the AUPE van.

Now, I can understand the frustration of unexpected flat tires.  Especially when you believe that someone may have done it intentionally.  Been there, done that.

But it never even occurred to me to phone the police over something so minor.

After all, they barely show up for break ins or vandalism.

Yet, here they were, over a flat tire.

At AUPE's beck and call.

So much for "equal under the law."

A video message to viewers and AUPE

There were a few interruptions as they made this video.  Notes added to describe some of what's going on off frame.

Getting it Straight on Rights

A few days ago, members noted that, in between making noise with their kazoos and horn, lounging on our raised bed garden, harassing people and generally having what AUPE picketers seem to consider a good time, they also put together another photo op.

We were curious as to what new way their propaganda machine would try and portray us as the bad guys and themselves as the good guys, while they were busily making life hell for everyone around them.  Especially when one member passed on what she thought one of the new placards read; she couldn't be sure, because they were hard to read at a distance, but she thought one of them read "you have human rights because of union rights."

I really hoped she was wrong.  After all, they couldn't be that arrogant, could they?

Ah, well.  Another hope dashed.

The AUPE media machine did, indeed, put up a photo on their website.  They managed to scrape together 9 out of the 30 striking care staff to pose for the camera.  Looking at it, I can just imagine the scenario.

"Okay, ladies... closer together.


Now, I know we've all been having fun here, playing on kazoos and all, but remember.  You are OPPRESSED.  So DON'T smile for the camera.

No, wait. I said DON'T smile.

You're supposed to be all sad and somber.  All of you....

Let's try again.  Remember.  Oppressed.

Put away the cell phone for now.

Aaaannnd... DON'T smile... Think oppression and stuff.

I said DON't...

Ah, nevermind.  This is close enough."

Seriously, though.  You'd think they'd at least have been able to get a picture where all their signs could be read.  Mind you, if they did that, they'd have some of our signs in the background, and that probably would have messed with their trying to portray themselves as victims, rather than the abusers they are.

Meanwhile, there in the front, is a sign that reads:

Human "rights" are because of unions!


This is even worse than what the member thought had been written.  Let's take a look at just how many things are being said in just this one line (there was other stuff squeezed under it, but it was too small to see).

Let's first look at the use of scare quotes.  The use of scare quotes around a word or phrase suggests that the word or expression is somehow wrong, misleading or inappropriate.  They are also used to suggest scepticism, derision, or disapproval.

Which means that, by putting the word "rights" in quotation marks in the sign (unlike my use of it here, where I am actually quoting the sign), they are actually suggesting that there are no human "rights" at all.

Let's also take into account that this is an obvious response to signs on Artspace which read, "Human rights before union rights."

What this sign is suggesting is that we don't actually have human rights at all, without unions.

Which is where I find myself wondering, again. Arrogance?  Or stupidity?

Or both?

Let's examine this seemingly simple phrase more closely.

Let's ask the most obvious question; what is the definition of human rights?

Human rights are defined as the basic rights and freedoms to which ALL humans are entitled.  These are fundamental rights that belong to each individual.

Simply put, these are rights we have, simply because we are human.  This universality is why they are called "human rights."  These are not rights granted to us by governments or organisations (which could be called civil rights or granted rights).  They exist EVEN IF governments or organisations refuse to acknowledge them or prevent them.  Granted rights, on the other hand, typically need to be qualified for or earned.  For example, we have the right to vote, but must be of legal age and a citizen to do so.  Voting is not a human right, but a civil right.

This placard tells us that it is unions that have granted us our human rights.  Or, "rights."  Which goes completely against what a human right actually is; we have human rights because we are human, not because unions gave them to us.

In discussing this with one member, it was asked, does that mean the union thinks our care workers are sub-human?  (until they joined the union, I suppose.)  Or that disabled people are sub-human?

An interesting point.  If the union believes that they are the ones who are responsible for granting human "rights," does that mean they consider anyone who isn't a member of a union as non-human, and therefore undeserving of human "rights"?

That would go a long way to explain their behaviour towards Artspace members.  They don't consider us human.

(update: Aug. 3.  Finally got to see the entire sign.  The scare quotes are around "human rights" not just "rights."  Which seems to confirm that this hypothesis.)

Now, let's take a look at the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which recognises both human rights and granted rights.  We'll just look at the ones that apply to everyone (human rights). Part one reads:

Fundamental Freedoms
Marginal note:Fundamental freedoms
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Let's apply this to our situation.  2(a) is not an issue, but 2(b) is.  AUPE has tried to prevent Artspace members from expressing their thoughts, such as when they complained about the Scab is Nature's Band Aid poster, leading to its removal (even while defending their use of hate speech).  When we finally ignored their threats and members put signs up on their balconies, they claimed offence and have even threatened to call by-law enforcement to have them removed.

2(c) is an interesting one.  I don't know if a picket line could be considered an "assembly" as defined here, but they have never been peaceful.  Meanwhile, Artspace members who would like to go out on their balconies or in the patio areas in front of the high rise to socialise, cannot do so without being harassed by picketers, which means AUPE is denying Artspace members their right to peaceful assembly - in our own home, no less.  This would also apply to 2(d).

Under Legal Rights in the Charter, we have:

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

This, AUPE has denied Artspace members.  As many have openly stated, including on signs in our windows, we feel like we are being held hostage in our homes.  We don't feel safe.  We can't go about our daily lives when they are around, without their harassment and intimidation.  We can't even enjoy the INSIDE of our homes, because of the use of noise as a weapon against us.

Let's take a look at some other recognised human rights:

The right to privacy: denied to Artspace members by AUPE picketer actions.
The right to own property: early in the strike (the morning of May 10, to be exact), AUPE picketers were heard to yell out, "These buildings belong to AUPE."  They literally claimed Artspace as AUPE property.
To be recognised as a person: this new placard seems to suggest we're not even human unless a union declares us so.  They also deny the personhood of our replacement workers, as the things they yell out and their Ode to a Scab demonstrates (they didn't even properly credit the Ode properly to Jack London) demonstrate.

"Mummy's bad!"
 To think freely: AUPE picketers have been shouting for months, sometimes through bullhorns, what we should think or do. They've been telling children what to think of their parents. They've been telling us what to think of the replacement workers and they've been telling the whole street what to think of our members with disabilities.  It's also rather hard to think freely while people are outside your home, blowing on kazoos and horns, shouting and otherwise being loud and disruptive.

To peacefully protest a government or group: in our case, Artspace members have peacefully protested against AUPE through our signs and banners, and they have tried to deny us this through intimidation and threats.

"I'm gonna take you out!"
Our striking care staff (people our user members no longer want back, due to their disgusting behaviour on the picket line) have every right to join a union.  They have every right to go on strike.  No one is trying to prevent them from doing that, even if we think it was unwise.

What they don't have a right to is misconduct, which is defined in the Labour Relations Act as:

"strike-related misconduct" means incitement, intimidation, coercion, provocation, infiltration, surveillance or any similar conduct intended to interfere with, obstruct, prevent, restrain or disrupt the exercise of any right under this Act in anticipation of, or during, a lockout or legal strike;

"Why should I care about your son?"
Yet when Artspace members (try to) complain to the Labour Relations board, the police and politicians about picketer misconduct, nothing is done.  The union is allowed free reign to abuse Artspace members.  They are not picketing SAIL.  They are picketing Artspace.  They are picketing private homes, most of which have NOTHING to do with the strike.  Yet those who should be protecting us are turning a blind eye.

That, my friends, is discrimination.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Now what?

Another damp and rainy day.  A very few picketers showed up, with whoever Captain Crazypants v3.0 is, now that Captain Crazypants v2.0 is away for a while.  They didn't follow their usual schedule, showing up late and blocking the replacement workers, looking rather ridiculous, standing in the rain, eating take-out while blocking the vehicle.

Then they hung about, sitting on our raised bed garden.  Some members have noted that they've been sitting on the flowers, too, damaging some of the plants.  This is a garden bed that is shared by several people, who buy the transplants themselves and tend to them as they are able, when the picketers aren't around to get in the way and harass them.  Of course, the picketers don't give a rip.

While they are busily damaging our flowers and raised bed, they are also blaming us for a flat tire.  They have a rental van that's been sitting on our street since before the strike started.  They only move it back and forth often enough to not get towed.  Now it has a flat tire, and they are claiming someone in Artspace of doing it.  Sorry, but we'd like nothing more than for that van to be gone and no longer taking up precious parking space.  Why would we do something that would prevent that from happening?  Perhaps they should look at whomever among the picketers was using the tires as ashtrays.  Considering the other damage on the vehicle, like the Duct Tape reside from the signs they attached to the mirror, they don't respect property they're actually paying for any more than they respect Artspace private property.

They stayed through the 4 hour period they normally leave for "lunch", then left shortly after the time they normally would have been coming back.  It may have been for a much shorter time, but that didn't stop them from being a nuisance, with their hollering at people and using the bulb horn.  Most amusing of all was seeing several of them twitching about.  At first, it seemed they were once again mocking some of our disabled members by pretending to have spasms, but it turned out they were "dancing" to the incessant honking of the horn.  Except that they kept twitching even when the person honking the horn stopped for a while, so maybe it was spasms, after all.

As for news, we have none.  The person who told me negotiations on Thursday had been cancelled was wrong.  SAIL reps have done the best they can.  Now, it's a waiting game.  Will the mediator recognise that SAIL cannot meet AUPE's demands and still remain solvent?  Or will it be politics and kowtowing to AUPE's bullying tactics?

We shall see.

Meanwhile, we still have to deal with AUPE's threats of escalation and retaliation against Artspace members if they don't get their way.

More info

Have been getting some interesting information after putting up videos in this post.  Particularly about what's going on in this video.

At about 0:25 a woman in a red shirt begins going "blah blah blah" and makes some other noises.

It turns out that she was mocking one of our SAIL user members, who has speech difficulties, and has been targeted a number of times.  Yet another example of AUPE picketer's targeted discrimination and bullying of people with disabilities, not just Artspace members in general.  This individual is one of several of our members with visible disabilities - not all of whom are SAIL user members - targeted for harassment, sometimes quite public, and bullying based on their disabilities.

Then comes the interesting part.

This woman has been identified as one of the few striking care staff that have been showing up on the picket line.  (Of the 30 care staff, 18 have not been seen since the strike started.)  She is quite likely to have been one of the care staff assisting the member she is showing such contempt for in the video.


“Our members love their jobs and care deeply about their clients,” said Smith.
Yet, right from the start, the few striking care workers that showed up on the picket line (other than for photo ops, that is), as well as AUPE imports, have shown nothing but hatred and contempt for the "clients" they supposedly love and care for so much, as well as for all Artspace members.

If our striking care staff really did care so much for SAIL user members, they would not have joined AUPE paid imports in their abuse of Artspace members and SAIL user members.  They would have defended the people they claim to care about.  Instead, they have fully engaged themselves in the abusive behaviour.

No wonder our user members don't want them back; I mean, aside from the fact that they are now receiving the care they actually deserve, thanks to the replacement workers.  How could anyone feel safe allowing people who behave this way, in their homes?

Many of the striking staff have already found other jobs (though it turns out that for many, SAIL was already their second job, where they got paid full time wages for part time work, on top of their regular jobs), and that's partly why they're not on the picket lines; to which I say, good for you.  Keep and enjoy your new jobs.  SAIL users are doing much better without you.

The other bit of info about this video is a confirmation.  The man heard talking about shoving the toy horn up his a$$ did indeed say this in front of a 5 yr old.  As they are also heard verbally harassing the child's mother almost a minute in, it is clear they did know that child was there.

The picketers have shown nothing but abuse and contempt for Artspace; our members, our property and anyone in our surrounding community.

Like today.

Here they are again, abusing Artspace private property.

There is a 4 ft easement that allows picketers to step off the sidewalk for a few moments without being charged with trespassing.  Raised beds are not a surface to walk on, making room for passing pedestrians.  They are Artspace structures, on private property, and not built to be used as seating.

They have no respect for people, so I guess it's a bit much to expect them to respect private property, too.

Friday, 25 July 2014

A Beautiful Day

This morning greeted us with some much needed rain.  By the afternoon, we had some wonderful downpours, clearing the dust and grit off our streets, and providing some much appreciated watering of our lawns, gardens and, of course, our beautiful River Valley park system.

Best of all, it meant we had a quiet day.

The picketers were here this morning to block the security vehicle of replacement workers.  Then they left and didn't come back.

I love a good downpour!

As for our situation, who knows?  I hear negotiations got cancelled last night.  AUPE has been threatening Artspace members with retaliatory action if things did not go their way.  Does this count?  Who knows.  After all, they've made such threats before, including telling the police that over 100 AUPE members would be showing up during the mock funeral, which was originally planned for outdoors.  This resulted in the police diverting uniforms to Artspace to make sure nothing happened.

Not a single picketer showed up (it rained that day, too), resulting in a waste of police resources.

Just another example of their psychological abuse tactics against Artspace members.  They make all sorts of threats, some of which they follow through with, some of which we don't.  Since this is our home, we have no choice but to take precautions, unlike the picketers, who can choose whether or not to be here, then go back to their homes and families as if nothing has happened.

A psychology student could write their thesis on AUPE's abuser tactics.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Send in the clowns

A member shared his video, taken as the picketers were leaving on July 24th - about an hour earlier than usual.

This kazoo band promptly cut through an area that, as far as we know, is private property; something they have never had any respect for.

Very appropriate for them to be playing the Imperial March on kazoos.  AUPE picketers have been a cross between The Empire and buffoonery from the start.

This morning, while they were still using their kazoos and horns, they also took part in a photo op.  I admit to a bit of camera envy when I see their very expensive, professional photography equipment.

They had broken out the crayons to make some new placards.  A member was only able to make one of them out, which I will address in a separate post.  They are, once again, obviously acting to try and reframe the narrative to make themselves the heroes and Artspace the villains.  Which would be funny, considering their actions, if it weren't so damaging.  It should be interesting to see what they come up with, this time.

These photos were also offered up for posting.  The people in this unit aren't able to go out onto the balcony without being harassed, but they can still see a fair bit.

As a member put it, this is what the picketers do for $80 a day.

Tax free, no less.

When asked for details, this information was shared.

Yes this was taken this morning when I tried to open the balcony door and I've seen this lady sitting with her feet up and that reminds me of how the striking sail staff relaxes themselves while they were at work because they are tired from their other job.(putting their feet up on the office table.)
From what others have described, our care staff took advantage of SAIL's schedule to take naps and generally laze about.  A pharmacy delivery person described how, when knocking on SAIL's door to deliver medications, the care workers could be seen lying on the couches and ignoring them until finally, resentfully, they would get up and open the door.  It seems their favourite phrase was some variation of "that's not my job" - even when it was.

A curiosity question.  If they already had other jobs, and didn't like working for SAIL so much, why did they stay?  The answer, I think, is quite obvious.  Not too many other jobs pay almost $20 an hour to sit around for almost half your shift, or will still be there when employees leave the country for months at a time.

Our replacement workers have expressed how working at SAIL has been the easiest job they've ever had.

And they actually do the work they're supposed to.

Another photo showing the picketers lazing about.  Those knees on the far right?  That person is in the space between the two parts of the garden bed.  Once again, demonstrating their complete contempt for Artspace and private property.

The picketers seem to be dividing their time between lounging all over the place and harassing people.

They have threatened us that, if things don't go their way in mediation tonight, they will retaliate with increased actions against everyone.

What they expect to accomplish from this, no one quite seems to know.

Videos from July 23, 2014

We've received permission to post a couple of videos from yesterday.

This first one does a good job of showing what Artspace members had to endure the entire time the picketers were there.

Language warning.

A few things to note, along with the crudity and constant noise.  They are using the raised bed as their own personal space again.  These beds were built for accessible gardening, not for people to be constantly sitting on and leaning against.  You can also see the camp under the tree across the street.  They are on private property, and while all of Artspace is private property, with SAIL in a single unit, with its own entrance, the official picket line is the high rise, not the townhouses.  Every time they are on the townhouse side, they are off the picket line.

Note also the contempt they are showing to Artspace members, from mocking one with "blahblahblah" and targeting another by name - a member who is not in view, but has since mentioned that her 5 yr old son was with her when the picketer began using foul language.

The picketers were playing ball in the street in various other areas, including further up the block towards 95th St.  There, one of the picketers was seen pausing to thrust herself in front of a pedestrian on the townhouse side, forcing unwanted interaction on him.  As he tried to continue on his way, he had to go through the camp under the tree, the picketers also forced their engagement on him, including making comments about not dropping his briefcase, in mocking tones.  He just tried to ignore them and get through as quickly as possible.

They also were disrupting traffic.  For being only a block long, this is a very busy street, so their being on the road like that was very disruptive, even if they did not overtly block anyone.

One of the ball players at that time had what looked like a small cow bell hung from his waist, making noise as he ran around in the street.  Every now and then, he would pause to shake it some more for extra noise.

As stated previously, they are very knowingly and deliberately using noise as a weapon against Artspace members, as well as our neighbours.  This is a blatant act of violence against the more vulnerable members of our community.

Language warning again in the next video.

This video was sent in by a member with a dashboard holder.  The passenger had intended to use her phone to record out the window and had it out, but was distracted enough by what was going on that she didn't notice the video wasn't recording.

In the beginning, you can hear the horn honking.  The picketer was walking back from 95th St - they're not even bothering to be where they are supposed to be.  The member's report of this incident describes how, as they were starting to back up, a vehicle pulled in behind them, partly on the parking lot, partly on the sidewalk, to turn around, appearing to do so to avoid the picketers.

While the car was turning around, the individual with the horn walked into the parking lot (private property), up to their window, thrust the horn into the window at the passenger's phone and honking it in a deliberate act of harassment and auditory assault.  You can then see him go farther onto private property and, from his face, quite proud of his actions.

He can then be heard to refer to his honking as "music", then to the banners and signs from Artspace members as "profanity" - he then immediately uses profanity.

None of the banners and signs contain profanity, of course, including the the one they keep harping on, which has GTFO spelled out for them.  They complain about that, too.

The irony of someone behaving the way his is, telling Artspace members that they should be ashamed.

The only people who should be ashamed of themselves is the picketers.

Ramping it up again?

Yesterday turned out to be another example of AUPE abuse of Artspace residents, on a day when negotiations were scheduled to restart.  The negotiations are scheduled for the evening, and picketers openly threatened Artspace members that things would get worse if negotiations didn't go their way.  They got loud and obnoxious, interfered with people trying to go to and from their homes, continued to treat private property as their own personal space, played ball in the street and interfered with traffic (for a street only a block long, we get a LOT of traffic), and so on.

They're not even pretending that this about SAIL.  They are blatantly targeting not only Artspace members, but the entire neighbourhood.  They say they intend to target everybody, and threaten that it will keep getting worse.

Nice of them to warn us of their intentions to escalate their abuse, I suppose.

As followers of this blog know, there has been discussion of their use of noise as a weapon, and the effects it has, both physically and psychologically.  AUPE members read this blog, so they can't pretend not to know this, either.

Which means that when they come out here, with their kazoos, horns and bells on top of their usual vocal assaults, they are doing so with the very specific goal of causing people harm.  This is a deliberate and violent attack on Artspace members.

Playing the Imperial March was a nice touch.  AUPE as The Empire seems rather appropriate.

Their behaviour continues to be completely detached from reality.  It accomplishes nothing for their "cause."  It's not going to magically produce more money to pay for their demands - demands Artspace members have nothing to do with, anyhow.  They can't seem to understand simple concepts, like "budget".  I guess when you have a bottomless pit of union dues that can be used to pay people to wander around a neighbourhood, assaulting and harassing people who have NOTHING to do with the labour dispute - tax free, too - the idea that a small company, funded entirely by AHS, can't meet their demands just doesn't grok.

Or maybe they do and, as many members believe, their actual intent has never been to improve the lot of those oh-so-oppressed ladies (cue race and gender cards, complete with sad violins), but to bankrupt SAIL.  (Or Artspace.  They can't seem to be able to tell the difference between the two.)  After all, when the care staff were going to vote whether or not to unionize, AUPE told them, right from the start, that they intended to strike.  When the care staff were voting to strike, AUPE also told them that, if things went too long, SAIL would go bankrupt and they would lose their jobs.  The care workers voted to strike, anyhow.  They can't say that all they want is benefits, since a benefits package had also been offered previously and rejected as too expensive, along with other offers during negotiations. SAIL actually agrees that they should have a benefits package - they just have to be able to stay within budget.  It's not like they have any ability to increase their income, unlike a normal company that offers goods and services, and can try to increase sales or something.

I think the most laughable thing about their behaviour is their complaints about our banners and signs.  One guy was heard to describe them as "profanity", then immediately swore.  None of the banners use profane language, yet they themselves use foul language frequently.

Of course, there is an obvious solution.  If they don't like the signs, they don't have to be here.  Unlike Artspace members, they have a choice to be somewhere else.  This is our home.  They are the ones invading our neighbourhood.  What sort of delusional world do they have to be living in, for them to come to OUR home, behave the way THEY behave, then claim we are the ones who should be ashamed?  At this point, we start to question their mental faculties.  It's no wonder so many members feel their behaviour is cult-like.

Meanwhile, AUPE keeps trying to portray the striking care staff as having been oh-so trod upon.  In a recent article to AUPE members, they wrote that the care staff were *gasp* "made to" perform housekeeping duties, under threat of termination.

Hello, but that's part of their job description.  That's part of being a Home Health Care Aide.  That's part of providing care that allows for independent living.  Priority is on personal care, then meal preparation and feeding, then housekeeping and laundry.  What do they expect?  The people in wheelchairs to do it?  Home care IS THEIR JOB, and that includes washing cupboards and helping with pets - many of whom are companion animals and part of a user member's health care.  If they are not willing to DO THEIR JOB, then of course they would risk losing their jobs.  You have to actually DO your job in order to keep it.

This is a job description taken from the government job bank, for Home Health Care Aide positions in Alberta - not for an in-house care company, like SAIL, but with a private company.

Specific Skills: Prepare, cook and serve meals, Shop for food and household supplies, Launder clothing and household linens, Mend clothing and linens, Perform light housekeeping and cleaning, Provide personal care, Provide companionship, Assist clients in water (i.e. pool), Administer bedside and personal care, Feed or assist in feeding, Change non-sterile dressings, Administer medications, Assist clients to walk, Aid clients with bathing and other aspects of personal hygiene
Work Location Information: Work in employer's/client's home
Transportation/Travel Information: Public transportation is available
Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Work under pressure, Repetitive tasks, Physically demanding, Combination of sitting, standing, walking, Bending, crouching, kneeling

If they worked for a care facility, rather than for SAIL, their job requirements would be quite different.  Like this job listing.

Specific Skills: Take patients' blood pressure, temperature and pulse, Lift, turn or massage patients, Supervise patients' exercise routines, Administer suppositories, colonic irrigations and enemas, Bathe, dress and groom patients, Transport patients in wheelchair or stretcher
Additional Skills: Supply and empty bed pans, Make beds and maintain patients' rooms
Security and Safety: Bondable, Basic security clearance, Criminal record check, Tuberculosis test
Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Work under pressure, Repetitive tasks, Physically demanding, Manual dexterity, Attention to detail, Ability to distinguish between colours, Sound discrimination, Standing for extended periods, Combination of sitting, standing, walking, Bending, crouching, kneeling, Walking

Our care staff isn't even qualified to do some of this; the LPN has to do it.

Working for SAIL, our day staff has only 4-5 hours of scheduled time (night staff only 1-2 hours).  Unlike other home care workers, they don't have to go from house to house.  They get to stay in one place.  Their unscheduled down time is essential to our user members, as it allows user members to call for help when unexpected needs arise - such as when something falls and breaks, and cannot wait until scheduled time to be cleaned up.  Or when a member has a personal hygiene accident.  Or any other unexpected need arises.  This doesn't happen often, but often enough that user members are happy to pay care staff to do nothing for hours, just in case a need arises.

This brings up an interesting situation for our user members.  It's said that we don't know how good we've got things, until they are gone.  For Artspace user members, it's been the opposite.  They didn't know how bad things were until the staff went on strike.  Now, with the replacement workers, they suddenly realize how bad their care had been.  This, coupled with seeing and hearing the care staff on the picket line (the rare times they show up), our user members don't want them back.  They do not feel they would be safe with these individuals anymore, and they would not be willing to go back to a substandard level of care.

So I suppose we should thank AUPE for convincing the care workers to go on strike.  If they hadn't, our user members would still be forced to endure their poor work ethics and shoddy care.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Let's talk about cause and effect for a minute.

Submitted by an Artspace member:

As I write, the picketers are making noise outside. With a kazoo, I think.

honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk

Not to a tune, not in short bursts or Morse code or anything interesting, just

honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk


All in all it's preferable to the slurs and screaming, but I would still hate to have them ten feet from my home.

So hey, I find myself wondering, just what is the aftermath of this supposed to be? Let's say that all of a sudden, magically, the strike ends today and...   what? The union people go on to their next mob project and the SAIL workers get back to their jobs?

I'm just not sure how that's supposed to work out. Are we supposed to pretend nothing happened? "What happens on the picket line stays on the picket line"? They might have the luxury of that disassociation, but we don't.

When the strike ends, no one is going to forget that these ~care workers~ were just out on the street screaming about "fat cr*pples" and "n***ers". We don't get to un-hear what they've said or un-experience what they've done. Our neighbours don't get to. Our kids don't get to.

What it comes down to is that this isn't a normal strike, protest or picket line. Even if we ignore the questionable circumstances of the strike itself, what we've learned as a community is that the people we assumed were trustworthy, or at least kind of decent? This is what they're like.

Not whatever they might have seemed like earlier on, not a generally okay person who just happens to take out their frustrations every so often by squeezing too hard or pulling too rough.
This is them. The person shrieking about "taking you out", the person threatening you, the person who won't let you come and go from your home in peace, the person keeping your from your appointments and medications, the person stalking you, the person who says you deserve it.

Maybe we should be grateful for this opportunity to see their true colours.

This isn't the the behaviour of protesters or strikers. You know whose behaviour it is? Abusers. Plain and simple.

They got a "free pass" to do and say whatever they wanted, and they chose this.

There's no taking that back.

Note: along with the kazoo, the picketers were honking a toy horn of some sort, plus one picketer wore a bell on his waistband while he and another picketer tossed a football in the street, pausing to shake it for extra noise, every now and then.  They are also back on the townhouse side of the street, blocking the stairs, on private property and harassing passers by on the sidewalk, as well as people trying to drive by.

Out they come...

The Big Wigs were out at Artspace again, today (July 22, 2013).  Likely has something to do with the negotiations tomorrow, but who knows? Perhaps, at some point, they'll figure out that they are targeting people who have nothing to do with these negotiations, and are just members of a community, trying to live their lives - and are sending that message through banners and signs.

I doubt it, though.  They still can't seem to wrap their brains around the concept of private property.  Oh, sure, the picketers seem to be staying away from their usual camp site under the tree these days - more likely because the weather is cooler, than out of any respect for private property. Instead, they're lounging all over the West garden bed (well... there was the one woman in a camp chair, getting a massage from another who was sitting on the raised bed wall.  Tough life, picketing.  Hey, AUPE members, did you know your dues are paying for picketers to hang out on private property and give each other massages, in between harassing people who have nothing to do with what they are supposedly there for?).  While occasionally sitting or leaning on the raised bed walls isn't a problem, they were not designed to be sat on or leaned against a lot.  It puts stress in the wrong areas, and the beams will start coming apart at the joins.

Well, I suppose we can always bill them for any damage they do.  It'd be much nicer if they would pay attention to the Private Property signs all over, and actually stick to the public sidewalk.  But then, they regularly trespass through the neighbouring townhouses, too, as a couple of them were seen doing again today.

I wonder how they would like it if a bunch of hooligans showed up at their homes, treated their yards and gardens as if they owned them them, hung out all day and verbally harassed them every time they tried to go about their business?  I doubt they'd like it, but they have no problem doing it to Artspace members.

Oh, and this may be a difficult concept to understand, but when people make it clear that they do NOT want you to talk to them, and you continue to engage them anyhow, that is harassment.  Especially when you use their names (or what you think are their names) and pretend you know them.  That goes beyond simple harassment and starts to cross over into the creepy stalker territory.  Stop it.

Talking to some of our neighbours about picketer behaviour, it is really bizarre how they target individuals.  It's illogical.  For example, they targeted people they discovered belong to other unions for extra abuse, blocking them extra long, swarming their vehicles, verbally abusing them, yelling nasties at their children, etc. all because these Artspace members happen to belong to other unions.

Just what do they think these members are supposed to do?  Not cross the picket line?  They live here.  They have nothing to do with SAIL.  They have nothing to do with negotiations.  They aren't on any boards.  They have no say at all when it comes to how much funding SAIL is allotted, or contracts or anything. So why give them such an extra hard time?  Because they happen to live at Artspace and happen to belong to another union?  If they expect these members to be allies to support them because they belong to other unions, they're failing miserably and alienating them, instead, just as they have alienated other Artspace members who would otherwise have supported the care staff.

Then there are the racist comments aimed at the security staff and replacement workers.  How can AUPE picketers keep playing the immigrant/racism card in "defense" the poor, 'oppressed' care staff (who continue to be a rare sight on the picket line), while yelling out racist comments at the security staff and replacement workers?

It makes no sense.

But then, nothing about this strike has ever made any sense.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Photo Op

Today started off with the usual AUPE picketer behaviour; blocking the security vehicle from coming in for an inordinate length of time; first just a few of them shortly after 7 am, then a larger group of them past 9am.  Mostly AUPE imports; only 2 of the striking care staff were seen at all today.  Their blocking the security vehicle has led to at least one member recently being for to miss DATS four times.

For those who don't know about how DATS works, trips have to be prearranged well in advance.  Many of our members need to book DATS to get to medical appointments.  If they miss their pick up, it can be days before new arrangements can be made.  This is not a minor inconvenience, but actions that have potentially drastic consequences.  

There was the usual 4 hour lunch break.  Then, this afternoon, there was a sudden influx of AUPE members in for a photo shoot.  None of them were the actual striking care staff.  They were pointing at the banners and making Charlie's Angels poses for the camera.  I figure we can expect a new, slick, expensive media campaign from the AUPE Goliath, once again trying to portray themselves as David; innocent victims of Big Bad Artspace.  Or will they blame SAIL?  They don't seem to be able to tell the difference between the two.

Towards the end of their day, a child was once again seen on the picket line.  He's been here before.  Poor kid looks bored out of his skull, hanging out with the Hive Cluster.

I am not alone in wondering just what they think they are accomplishing by doing this stuff.  Besides alienating people that would actually have supported them, had they behaved like decent human beings from the beginning, that is.  How utterly pointless, that they resort to harassing people who have nothing to do with what they are picketing for, and even those that do have no say or control.  They waste hour after hour of their lives, picketing our homes, aiming their barbs at people who could have been allies.

It's rather sad and pathetic, really.  

Targeted harassment

The following post is written on behalf of one of our members who is okay with having her name published.

Elizabeth lives in the Artspace high rise, and has individual managed care.  Her balcony also happens to be right in the heart of AUPE picketer activity, so there is no escape for her from their noise and disruption.

She has also been targeted, as has her care provider.  They can't go onto her balcony without being being harassed or assaulted verbally.  The only way to avoid it is to remain hostages in her unit, until the picketers leave.

Recently, Elizabeth had a new banner hung on her balcony, with a message for AUPE.  Her banner message reads: AUPE - GTFO.

On July 9, she posted this online:

It had to happen sooner or later; I went out side for some fresh air. When this AUPE women starts going off on Me. "Elizabeth you should be ashamed of yourself, putting up such a disgraceful sign!"

Let's think about this for a moment.

One of our members, who can't even go out unto her own balcony without being harassed by AUPE picketers, expresses her frustrations in a message on a banner, and an AUPE picketer says that SHE should be ashamed?  

No.  Elizabeth is not the one who should be ashamed.  Those who have invaded our homes and harassed us to the point that people aren't safe coming out on their own balconies are the ones who should be ashamed.

In typical Artspace humour, she quickly had several comments

GTFO=God Teaches Forgiveness Only.  Do they not know you're a nun?


Do they know the acronym of GTFO is God Thanks Friday is Over  That's my version. And Elizabeth's version is Gimps Take Further Options. Or do they even know the word "ACRONYM?

What is unfortunate is that Elizabeth felt this way:

I'm just waiting for them to leave for the day, and then I'll ask Yolanda to put it up.. Don't want her to get harassed again.     
Elizabeth, at least, has compassion - unlike the AUPE picketers.

That wasn't all that was said, however.  Elizabeth then shared this:

..., when I tried to talk she said, "come on, we like it you get mad!"[so I kept quiet]. Then she was yelling "somebody should call the Bylaw and report Artspace: it's an EYE SORE!"

So who was this picketer, who taunted a non-verbal person by saying "come on, we like it [when] you get mad"?  Then tried their usual by-law threats?  

She was identified as someone familiar to many at Artspace.  Here is an example:

You can start seeing her at around 0:14, and hearing her at about 0:20, though what she's saying can't be made out clearly for more than a few words until about 0:43, where she starts saying, "you think you're above them? ... BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH!! ... You think you're above them? You're not above them.  You don't deserve to have these good workers."  And so on.

This is the person who thinks Elizabeth is the one who should be ashamed.

How does someone like this even look at themselves in the mirror, and not be horrified by what they have become?

Her comments remind me of one of the other signs on Artspace.

Artspace members do deserve better.

And AUPE needs to GTFO.

They can decide for themselves what the acronym stands for.

Messages to AUPE

On May 25th, Artspace held a mock funeral as a demonstration, and to send a message to AUPE.  Artspace members, friends and supporters were invited to write brief messages, which were placed into a casket and delivered to the AUPE's office on May 29.

When the casket was delivered, they were told (to paraphrase), "if you taunt a dog, it will bite." ... and that they should have made an appointment, first.

Here are just a few of the messages that were left in the casket.  (Note: some of these were written with assistance.  Most were anonymous; of the few that had names, they have been left off here for their protection.)

There is something very wrong when people’s needs, care and self respect is not the FIRST PRIORITY.
I support unionization and the welfare of workers – but not at the cost of care of other human beings.
Find your hearts & see the bigger picture where everyone can be cared for.

AUPE’s actions have been those bullies use. The poem the union brought and read was despicable. This is not a normal situation. Much awareness is required..this is not an institution. Disabled individuals are under extreme duress, stress, and unwarranted health risks.

Shame on you all. No need for verbal abuse, very degrading for a union as a whole.

There is something wrong when people facing so many challenges are required to take on the AUPE. Where’s the compassion?

I supported the thinking of the AUPE in its recent disputes with the GOA but not here. Now AUPE is the bully. Perhaps the AUPE will see the light and do what’s right, just as the GOA did under Premier Hancock.

I don’t understand why AUPE started or is continuing this action. But I don’t think there is any good reason to continue.

Stop, step back, and try another way.

AUPE – shame on you. Yes, workers have rights but the people of SAIL have their rights too that trump “union”.
The right to human dignity and independence are far more important.

I have the right to maintain my independence and self autonomy. No one has the right to devalue me or my ability to contribute to my community.

AUPE: respect is earned not owed. Once lost, hard to regain.
AUPE has lost any respect we once had for SAIL staff.

Your rude and degrading behaviours is disgusting. This is OUR PRIVATE HOMES and you are unwelcome here. 
You say you care about the people here, but your lies and actions prove otherwise.
We demand RESPECT and PEACE to live in our homes.

The greedy, overpaid people you represent also don’t care about the people they work with. You’ve taught them to lie and degrade. We want PEACE and RESPECT.

I want control of my life which you are threatening. I am a mother first a neighbour, not commodity with a price attached.

You are everything we teach our children NOT to be!!

Please show your good intentions by leaving a private home alone!

Quit harming defenceless people for monetary gains. Your actions do not benefit anyone, other than the bank accounts of the already disgustingly wealthy!!

Without Artspace people, SAIL workers would have no jobs!

Communication is always the key to any relationship. Can you consider a more productive means of communication?
The poem read out about “scabs” was disgusting. Who has taught someone to impede being helpful?
Union rights can be negotiated, being respectful should be automatic. Can this be something that is communicated to the picketers?
I am hopeful that AUPE will be very open to a peaceful answer. How can labour laws trump human rights?

Why are you doing this? I do not understand the tactics you are using to intimidate and bully the most vulnerable of us.
You are lying about the fact that the caregivers were not on the picket line.
I was, up until now, a strong union supporter but your behaviours has been despicable, disgusting and reprehensible.
Please stop this now.

What you are doing to those who live at Artspace is just that. For somebody with a disability, there is nothing more valuable than independence. You, AUPE, are taking that away from them.

Members of AUPE
In general I have been a supporter of labor rights over many decades but I DO NOT support AUPE in what you are doing with SAIL. If you could only really understand the lives needs, and aspirations of those needing the services of SAIL. I believe you would abandon this approach you are using . You have become BULLYS. Please withdraw this picket immediately and wait until August 2014 when SAIL will have renegotiated their contract with Alberta Health Services.
Thank you, Sincerely

To the largest union in Alberta:
We call upon your compassion;

We call upon your empathy’
We call upon your sense of justice;
To know your privilege, you are able-bodies & capable of changing this situation, this attack against people with disabilities – the most vulnerable citizens in our society.
This is not about money, management, this is about people, real people, who need compassion, empathy – who would work with you to keep their independence, their freedom.

I’m shocked and appalled to learn how the residents of Artspace have been bullied by your workers. The resources and money is available to assist those who need it so the fact that there is any issue at all is ridiculous. The residents of Artspace shouldn’t have to suffer because of your reluctance to negotiate the terms of this strike. Get it together.

I am a nurse and I was very involved with UNA and 3 strikes. I, obviously, am very pro-union – But the way that AUPE is handling the situation with S.A.I.L. is, quite simply, appalling. I am ashamed of being an union supporter under these circumstances.

The workers seem to feel entitled to the raise they want. They feel entitled to being paid what care aids in hospitals get paid. What they fail to understand is that the workers at SAIL have fewer responsibilities and their level of care has dropped in the last few years!! But my experience is that those who complained, were rushed through my services and level of care dropped. And these are the people that want to be paid more!!
I deserve:
The right to direct my care any way I chose, not what is convenient to the caregiver,
I deserve not to be heckled outside my home!
I deserve to be treated with dignity
I deserve to keep my independence
I deserve to have home care on my schedule!
This isn’t a fight for higher wages, this is a fight for independence! And the right to live!!