Prime Minister Jason Kenney praised the tremendous work nurses have done over the past seven difficult months. “The ADF believes that any redundancies should be postponed until a new collective agreement is established,” he said. “AHS has said it will not agree to postpone redundancies until a new agreement is reached.” Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a letter to both parties: “With the continued increase in confirmed infections, hospitalization rates and intensive care patients, and the ongoing burden on our health systems, we are increasingly in a hurry to focus our joint efforts on managing and addressing the immediate and evolving needs of Albertans.” CALGARY — The head of the United Nurses of Alberta, the union that represents more than 30,000 nurses, and the province are fighting over the dates of negotiations for collective bargaining. The nurses` union does not want to wait any longer and wants to meet with the province on November 16. “We ask that there be no redundancies until a new collective agreement is reached and the province tells us what it provides.” “That`s why we asked the A.A. to work with us to delay negotiations on its new treaty until we get out of the COVID era,” Kenney said. “We don`t want the Alberta government or the nurses` union to be distracted by contract negotiations right now,” says David Harrigan, the director of labour relations with United Nurses of Alberta, the province announced last year that it would fire 750 nurses. For this reason, Toews asked the ADF and AHS to “extend together the opening times for collective bargaining until 31 March 2021. An extension of the deadlines would also coincide with the extension of the employment security of nurses until March 31, 2021.
“The rhetoric of the Minister of Finance seems to indicate that they want to start a war with nursing. They have already started a war with doctors, why are they going to extend it now and start a war with nurses in the middle of a pandemic? The collective agreement was originally scheduled to expire at the end of March, but the two groups agreed to temporarily delay negotiations during the pandemic. EDMONTON, AB – The additional pressure on Alberta`s health care system during the COVID 19 pandemic has led to a delay in negotiations on a new collective agreement for nurses, although this proposal has been rejected. In an updated statement from the Department of Toews, he said the union had asked for a seven per cent pay increase, although Alberta nurses were compensated “about 8.1 per cent more than their Western Canadian counterparts.” These agreements contained provisions to delay layoffs. The AHS`s latest offer included this provision and extended it until March 31, but the union wants to postpone all redundancies until a new agreement is reached. This extension was carried out on the condition that further extensions may be required from one month to the next after 31 May 2020. The AAU and AHS recognize that there may be specific situations requiring immediate investigation. Harrigan says that not delaying layoffs would create insecurity in the health care system. Originally published by United Nurses of Alberta June 25, 2020 at 11:42 a.m. Heather Smith, AA President – “An Interview with Heather” The winner will be selected by members of the AA Executive Committee who will review all appointments submitted after September 1. The winner is elected by secret ballot at the September meeting of the Board of Directors and the announcement is usually made at the general meeting.