Message from the UNA Local 115 Executive (April 2004)

Message from President Michelle Senkow

Hello everyone. Welcome to Spring!

As April begins we have now been without a contract for over a year. It is frustrating and important to all of us to know the process is moving so slowly. The lack of respect and knowledge about the professional nursing services we provide is still prevalent within the Alberta government. Our patients know that we work extensive hours to provide excellent care to them. Our families know how difficult it is to do shift work and perform in life and death situations.

We are the “hands” of healthcare; the system cannot exist without us. But without a fair and equitable contract to provide safe conditions for our nurses and patients, I am extremely concerned that we will not retain or recruit to our professional workforce. It is well documented that nurses are leaving the profession or moving to more attractive work situations (i.e. USA). We need a negotiated collective agreement to reflect the reality of our work life conditions. Only by exhibiting a common front can we protect our profession. In solidarity, we protect our patients and ourselves. We must remain vigilant; taking part in this struggle by participating in all tables involving nursing.

Nursing is a caring and compassionate profession. I commend all of you for your excellent work through these difficult times. Short-staffing and unpaid overtime happen frequently. Stand tall and protect yourself and your colleges.

Participate in action on April 28th to mourn fellow workers injured or killed at work. We remember SARS and the patients and nurses that died. We know and recognize that healthcare is a dangerous profession. And the public should be aware that nurses and not only police and firefighters put themselves at risk while at work. Together we must fight for safe and healthy workplaces. Report and help anyone that is injured at work.

Assist your fellow professionals and notify your union. We are here to help you, call the Local 115 office @ 670-9960 for assistance.

I want to thank and commend the many committee members, Ward Reps and local Executive that have come forward to make our union stronger. Since the New Year they have been busy implementing:

  • Our committees being active and reaching solutions that help our members.
  • A new 115 Newsletter
  • Set up and distribution of the new UNA Info
  • Binders to each unit and clinic.
  • Signing up many UNA nurses that were not on our membership list – over 300!
  • Attending Provincial Workshops
  • Recruitment of many new Ward Reps to units and clinics that were not represented.
  • Our Ward Reps participated in a local Ward Rep meeting for education and communication purposes which helped streamline our communication with it’s over 2600 members of Local 115.

Thank you to all, we know that your hard work does make a difference. I look forward to meeting with you and assisting you with our common concerns and struggles at Local 115.

Happy Easter and Spring Break to you and yours.

Sincerely,

Michelle M. Senkow
President, UNA Local 115

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