Alberta nurses to join world action day at SCHC

“Wear White Worldwide” will be the theme as UNA members at Calgary’s enormous new South Health Campus have the opportunity to meet Canadian Federation of Nurses (CFNU) President Linda Silas at a lunch hour rally marking the first Global Nurses United (GNU) co-ordinated day of action on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

The Worldwide Day of Action is being sponsored in about a dozen countries by GNU, the international nursing organization founded in San Francisco with United Nurses of Alberta support and participation last June.

GNU’s goal is to work together to guarantee the highest standard of universal health care as a human right throughout the world.

The aim of the worldwide day of action is to build public support in participating countries for policies that will ensure safe patient care, especially safe nurse-to-patient care ratios and health care workplaces that are safe for the people who work in them.

This theme fits seamlessly with the decision by hundreds of Alberta nurses to wear white at work on Wednesdays – and through the rest of the week – as a way to demonstrate their concern with plans by Alberta Health Services to replace regulated nurses with unskilled and unregulated aides.

The Sept. 17 rally at the South Health Campus, located at 4448 Front Street S.W. in Calgary’s most southeast corner, will focus on the tendency of Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Government to build great edifices and then fail to staff them adequately.

“The South Calgary Health Campus is a beautiful building,” said UNA President Heather Smith. “But who will staff it? Who will provide care? What good is a building like this if it can’t live up to its promise because it’s not properly staffed by skilled health professionals?”

In addition to Silas, head of the Ottawa-based CFNU that represents 156,000 nurses and student nurses across Canada, UNA President Heather Smith and Secretary Treasurer Karen Craik will take part in the Sept. 17 rally. UNA represents more than 26,000 Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and allied health workers in Alberta.

Similar rallies will be held in about a dozen countries around the world.

Members of the National Nurses Union and 35 other unions plan a major demonstration at the United Nations in New York demanding an end to austerity policies and passage of a “Robin Hood tax” to pay for quality public services.

In Australia, members of the Queensland Nurses Union will hold workplace actions at hospitals throughout the state, and the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Union will hold two rallies in Sydney. Rallies will also take place in several Central American and Caribbean countries, Ireland, the Philippines and South Korea.

Photos of the events will be available on GNU’s Facebook page. Rally participants sending Twitter messages from the events are asked to use the hashtags #globalnurses, #S17 and #morenurses. – See more at: http://www.una.ab.ca/227/Alberta%20nurses%20to%20join%20world%20action%20day%20at%20new%20Calgary%20hospital#sthash.tJ2IPpXB.dpuf

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)
www.una.ab.ca

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