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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Clinic employees root for doctors9 fee increase By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer If Alberta physicians get an increase in their fees this year they will not be the only peo- ple thankful Employees in clinics, some of whom are being paid minimum wage, are hoping :f an :ncrease is given to the doc- tors clinic workers will receive some of the benefits The clinic staffs, which include nurses, nursing aides, laboratory technologists, x- ray technicians, clerical and secretarial personnel, aie paid by the physicians practic- ing in the clinic And many physicians' pay those workers well below what some similar jobs are bringing in city hospitals Some full-time nurses work- ing in Lethbndge clinics are earning about a month less than nurses working in the hospitals A nurse contacted by The Herald said she earned a month working in a large Lethbndge clinic but left and began working in the hospital for A lab technologist working in another clinic said she earn- ed about 53 an hour while the hospital paid an hour This works out to the technologist in the clinic earn- ing about a month on an eight-hour day and the hospital technologist earning about An x-ray technician working in a Lethbndge clinic makes about a month while a technician in the hospital would be eaining about a month At the low end of the wage scale are nursing aides who are making near the minimum wage in at least one Lethbndge clinic At the other end of the scale are the clinic employers, city physicians, who are earning about a year, a month, or about an hour The physicians hourly wage is based on a 56-hour week which a provincial survey showed to be a doctor's average work week Physicians in clinics are also complaining because their gross income is being sliced considerably because overhead costs in a clinic have increased to about 45 per cent of the physicians' gross in- come More than 60 per cent of practicing physicians in the Lethbndge area work in group practices A nurse, who worked in a large city clinic here told The Herald she feels an increase in doctors' fees is justified because the physicians work long hours "But they should not be allowed to get away with pay- ing staff such low she said The nurse, who asked that her name be withheld, says the physicians pay "very low wages" and "are not generous with yearly wage increases Alberta physicians have approached the government to have their 1973 fee agreement re-opened for negotiation to compensate for increases in the cost of living The government has not yet decided whether to re-open the existing agreement, which called for a four per cent increase in medical fees in 1973 and another four per cent boost earlier this month Although an increase for the physicians does not mean a wage increase for clinic employees, the workers are hoping for some benefits But, says the nurse, parity with hospital wages is not likely to be achieved in clinics because working conditions are better in a clinic than the hospital and this compensates lor some of the wage difference Roy Montgomery, manager of the Haig Clinic, agrees say- ing he has never had trouble recruiting staff because the hours of clinic work are regular Whereas hospital employees usually work varying shifts, some weekends and are oc- casionally on call, clinic employees work regular hours with weekends free Second Section The Lethbtidge Herald Lethbndge, Alberta, Friday, November 1, 1974 Pages 17-32 Farmers rake hog market plan Speedster The fog Thursday forced cancella- tion of most air flights in Southern Alber- ta, but it didn't stop soapbox enthusiasts from taking a ground-level flight down a hill at the University of Lethbndge Sport- ing originality of design and ranging m size from a four-man baby-carrnage- wheeled mechanical nightmare to a so- phisticated bicycle-wheeled soapbox jockey's dream, all but one soapbox found its way to the bottom of the hill The competition between departments was fierce but when it was all over, the congratulations were generously be- stowed on the victorious psychology de- partment's entry. Tories overrule Socred tax cut bid Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON A Social Credit attempt to reduce per- sonal income taxes by million in Alberta this year was turned aside in the legislature Thursday night The opposition earlier introduced a proposal to cut the province's share of in- come tax to 28 points from 36 points But Bill DiachuK. chairman of the committee of the vhole. supported by Gerard Amerongen. speaker of the house, riiled the proposal out of order Opposition Leader Bob Hark had asked it be included in an Alberta Income Tax Amendment Act When it was ruled nut of order in com- mittee because the bill only dealt with a renters" assistance plant Mr Clark appea'ed the ruling to the assembly When Mr Amerongen also ruled it out of order, the op- position demanded a standing vote The house upheld the speaker s ruling 41 to 24 Mr Clark estimated the proposal would mean an overall tax cut of siv jvr cent for Albertans The government did not rule out the possibility of such a cut but decide until it brings in its budget next winter The opposition leader said a cut now would take effect in the current tax year and help incomes undercut by inflation The committee of the whole also debated a Land Titles Amendment Act giving the province power to monitor foreign ownership of land The government introduced an amendment of its own to change a phrase in the bill referring to anv class of per- son to am class of land" so it would not confhct with human rights legislation County rules against Coalhurst lagoon appeal An appeal against the proposed site vf the Coalhurst sewage lagoon has been dismissed by the County of Lethbndge Councillors met for three hours Thursday behind closed doors before throwing out the appeal, filed by Spruce Tree Farms The county 's development appeal board ruled 4 to 2 in a secret ballot to uphold the development permit for the lagoon A spokesman for Spruce Tree Farms said the com- pany will consider appealing the county's decision tc the Appellate Division of the Alberta Supreme Court Tenders for the sewage system, estimated to cost will be called after four conditions included in the permit approval have been satisfied Plans must be changed to include safeguards against rodents penetrating the plastic liner nf the lagoon, provision that no irngation water enter Jie lagoon agreement with Hans Vant Land to pump effluent from the lagoon to his irngation equipment and disposa- of ground water in the lagoon site Remarked Coun Otto Wobick "No matter where you put it aid ihc ntv had hoped lo co1 more dirocl loan Iron'1 the government similar the land vTiVine schcnv w- i hark as lard old industries Thr ntv the pro jerl which would add 465 acres of industrial properlv to 1hr cit" through the sale of developed land to industries that want to locate in Lethbndge Initial development costs will have to be met by the citv, however including ac- quisition of 206 acres from Lethbndge Tneatres Ltd at 000 per acre Council has secured a se- cond two week extension of its option on the land, but must make a decision on how it will pay for it by Nov 15 The government's" an- nouncement Thursday means municipalities are free from borrowing restraints They were previously limited to per capita, or in the citv's case about 6 million, worth of low interest loans through the AMFC an- nually Now the city can. if it wishes borrow a? much as it wants a1 oehl per cent for such promts as the citv hall r v p n s i o r, road work including 1he 1st Avenue throughfarc and the north perimeter truck route, and other proierts such as nver le f.jrK development But the more the city borrows Ihe greater Ihe an- nual cost of meeting principal and nacres! pavmcnts become-s v hich is reflected in rodents bills ;