News Stories of Interest, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

Good day. It’s Commonwealth Day in the North Mariana Islands, a U.S. administered archipelago about three quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines, or maybe the other way around. Anyway, the best known of the islands is Saipan. In North Korea, it’s an official holiday celebrating Kim Jung-un’s birthday. Here in Alberta, it’s a day with a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

UNA files court argument Bill 45 and Alberta Labor Code violate Charter of Rights

Alberta’s new Public Sector Services Continuation Act violates fundamental freedoms protected by the Charter of Rights and the province’s ban on all public sector strikes also breaches the, United Nurses of Alberta argues in a statement of claim filed today with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. UNA is seeking a declaration from the court that because parts of the Public Sector Services Continuation Act, widely known as Bill 45, and the Alberta Labor Relations Code violate sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms they are of no force or effect. While other legal challenges have commenced about other recent Alberta labour bills, this is the first direct challenge to Bill 45.

AUPE challenges Bill 46 at Labour Relations Board today

Representatives of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees was before the Alberta Labour Relations Board today challenging Bill 46, companion legislation to Bill 45, by arguing it is evidence the government, as a direct employer of AUPE members, is bargaining in bad faith. A scheduled hearing yesterday was postponed. The hearing continues tomorrow.

Premier sees no reason to panic over flu vaccine supply

With a late-season stampede to immunization clinics putting strain on the province’s influenza vaccine supplies — and doctors called in to help co-ordinate remaining doses — Premier Alison Redford said Albertans have no cause for alarm over dwindling stocks. More than 1,300 flu cases have now been reported in Alberta. Lots of newspaper readers vented their various complaints about the situation in a column set up for that purpose. Letter writers also had plenty to say.

Medical marijuana patient on hunger strike over AHS policy

A medical marijuana user has launched a hunger strike to fight new rules effectively banning the use of cannabis vaporizers at Alberta Health Services hospitals and clinics. This will be the first time this summary has ever provided readers with a link to Cannabis Culture Marijuana Magazine!

My apologies this summary is so late, and incomplete – but circumstances intervened to require this daily project be put aside. I will probably have to skip the summary tomorrow and Friday, so everyone have … a great weekend! DJC

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

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