Message from the UNA Local 115 Executive (May 2009)

Message from President Kevin Champagne

We have now seen Dr Duckett assume leadership of Alberta Health Services. With his new appointment, the region will undergo some major changes. As of April 1st, we are now officially, one large health region. With this integration into a provincial system, many questions have been asked by the UNA membership. The primary question being raised by union membership is how will this integration impact nurses, and their ability to continue to provide exemplary levels of nursing care.

As Alberta Health Services and the Conservative Government continues with their plans for restructuring, the local executive plans to communicate these initiatives to our membership as we receive them, and evaluate each and every provincial decision. Your local leadership believes communication is one of the hallmarks of leadership. Secondly, as nurses, we must demand that government place people and patients before money. Collectively, nurses in Alberta are in a strong position to take action to force the government to commit to protecting the public health care system. Union membership must ensure the government hears our concerns, and respond appropriately to our message. Thirdly, UNA membership must be ready to stand up for our concerns and raise their voices to ensure our message is heard by the government. Lastly, Union membership must be ready to be united, towards a goal of patient safety before all else.

In April our provincial leadership, along with members of Local 121, were given the opportunity to take Dr Duckett on a hospital walk-through at RockyView General Hospital. Our concern for patient safety, due to the growing trend of over complement beds being utilized DAILY as extensions to most units, was clearly explained to Dr Duckett. United Nurses of Alberta has recognized patient safety, privacy, and dignity issues are being compromised by this ongoing practice. UNA leadership believes this message was heard loud and clear by the new head of Alberta Health Services.

With the expiration of the current collective agreement coming in March of 2010, UNA is preparing to continue the “fight for the fair treatment of nurses and patient rights”. I encourage all of the union membership to express ideas for change by contacting the UNA local office either by phone at 403-670-9960 or by email to local115exec@una.ab.ca The process of provincial demand setting will take place this coming November. Change can take place when we stand together united, to fight for what is right. The time for change is now.

Kevin Champagne
President, Local 115
United Nurses of Alberta
Ph: 403-670-960 / Fax: 403-263-2908
Email: kchampagne@una.ab.ca

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