Clancy Teslenko

TeslenkoYear: 2005
Location: Calgary
Clancy Teslenko was born in Chatham, New Brunswick. She worked several jobs as she attended postsecondary, advocating for buses for students, against tuition increases, and for fair treatment in her workplaces. She completed a Ward Clerk training at Saint Andrews Community College and moved to Alberta in 1980.
          Teslenko’s first Alberta jobs were as a security guard, including being involved as one company started to unionize. In 1980 she began 18 years of employment at Calgary General Hospital as a unit clerk. A CUPE activist, she led efforts to have the union provide daycare subsidies for women members and spoke out against sexism within the union. She supported the Calgary laundry workers’ decision to fight the Klein government’s efforts to privatize their jobs. Observing the large numbers of workers who showed solidarity with the strikers, she was disappointed that union leaders pushed the strikers to accept what she regarded as an inadequate compromise to their demand for job security.
          An opponent of the Ralph Klein era cutbacks that lead to the demolition of Calgary General in 1998, Teslenko ran as the NDP candidate against Premier Klein in Calgary-Elbow in 1993. Her interview details the harms that resulted for patients from both the Klein cuts and the opening of the private hospital, HRG.
Keywords: Calgary General Hospital, Childcare; HRG; NDP, Security guard; Unit clerk; Ward clerk.
Transcript: Download PDF

See also: Calgary Laundry Workers; CUPE; Women and Work