Message from the UNA Local 115 Executive (Oct / Nov 2012)

Message from President Kevin Champagne

Collective Bargaining Agreements

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the nurses, health care professionals, and support workers that continue to practice at the highest standard, and provide the best possible care for all Albertans. It is this commitment to excellence that allows Albertans to have the highest standard for expected health outcomes.

Health care continues to be a hot topic discussed and debated by our elected representatives in the province of Alberta. This ongoing debate has led to great changes on the health care landscape over the last many years. Together we have survived the creation and dismantling of super boards in the province, and many other not so fresh and new ideas. Despite all of this, Albertans continued to receive quality health care.

What will the next challenge that healthcare providers in Alberta experience? Simply put, it will be an attack on the their rights protected by collective bargaining agreements. (CBAs).

AHS decision makers are pushing forward with new strategies and policies that are in a direct conflict with agreed upon language that has been outlined in our CBAs. It is  important to remember that these CBAs are mutually agreed upon and signed documents by both the employer and the union.

After several months of evidence supporting that the employer has continued to move forward in this capacity, UNA has decided to suspend the AHS-UNA Joint Committee. The Joint Committee was created more than a decade ago to exchange information to resolve concerns identified under the governance of the UNA Provincial Collective Agreement.

One such strategy that will have a great impact on nurses, is the employer’s plan to continue with their “rotation optimization guidelines”. The employer is in the process of creating new standardized rotations. UNA has raised multiple concerns that these standardized rotations do not take into consideration various articles in the CBA. One glaring omission is that these rotations do not account for current FTEs of individuals working in an area. The employer does not have the right to unilaterally change your FTE.

Where we as a union go next will be up to the individuals we represent. As the past has shown, if we stand together and stay united we will weather this storm. Please feel free to call us with any questions.

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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