Members of United Nurses of Alberta will hold pre-Valentine’s Day information walks and other activities at 25 health care facilities in 17 communities throughout Alberta on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Those events include five each in Calgary and Edmonton as well as in Camrose, Drayton Valley, Fairview, Fort McMurray, High River, Hinton, Jasper, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Olds, Peace River, Red Deer, St. Albert, Stony Plain and Vermilion.
Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses represented by UNA will show their support for publicly delivered health care and all the front-line workers who make it happen. Most Alberta health care workers including UNA members are facing the possibility of layoffs and major rollbacks of contract provisions. As many as 750 RNs and RPNs could be laid off in the next year in downsizing planned by Alberta Health Services.
UNA anticipates health care workers from other unions joining the information walks.
Formal bargaining for UNA’s Provincial General Agreement began on Jan. 15 with public-sector employers proposing four years of pay freezes and massive rollbacks to the nurses’ current collective agreement.
UNA members’ Valentine’s message to the people of Alberta is this: Health care workers like nurses are the heart of Alberta’s health care system, which is the envy of the world. Don’t let our government cut the heart out of health care!
UNA members and supporters are welcome to participate. UNA members are encouraged to participate on their non-work time or coffee and lunch breaks.
The following UNA Locals are have scheduled events on Feb. 13 (this list will be updated as more events are announced).
Local 121 (Rockyview General Hospital & Local 211 (Calgary Community)
Where: Information walk at 10101 Southport Road SW on the corner of Southland Dr. and Macleod Trail, Calgary
When: 1200-1300 (note the time change), RSVP on Facebook
Local 409 (Bow Island Health Centre)
Where: Rally on Main Street in Bow Island. Will be serving hot chocolate and Valentine’s Day cookies made from local bakery
Local 1 (Peter Lougheed Centre)
Where: Information walk on 26 Avenue outside the Peter Lougheed Centre, 3500 26 Ave NE, Calgary
Local 95 (Alberta Children’s Hospital)
Where: Information walk across the street from Alberta Children’s Hospital Main Entrance, Collegiate Road and McLaurin Street NW, Calgary.
Local 115 (Foothills Medical Centre)
Where: Information walk outside of Foothills Medical Centre on the east side of the new central parkade (formerly Lot 1) facing 29th Street NW, Calgary
Local 415 (South Health Campus)
Where: Walk about on the main level of the South Health Campus, 4448 Front St SE, Calgary
Local 15 (St. Mary’s Hospital – Camrose)
Where: Information walk outside MLA Jackie Lovely’s Office, 4870-51 Street, Camrose
Local 28 (Drayton Valley Health Centre/Breton Health Centre)
Where: Rally outside the Drayton Valley Health Centre, 4110 50 Ave, Drayton Valley
Local 11 (Misericordia Community Hospital)
Where: Information walk on 87 Avenue in front of the Misericordia Hospital, 16940-87 Avenue, Edmonton
When: 1130-1330 RSVP on Facebook
Local 33 (Royal Alexandra Hospital)
Where: Information walk on 111 Avenue between the Robbins Pavilion and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton
Local 79 (Grey Nuns Community Hospital)
Where: Information walk outside the Grey Nuns Community Hospital, 1100 Youville Drive W, Edmonton
Local 183 (Alberta Hospital Edmonton)
Where: Rally at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, 17480 Fort Road NW, Edmonton
Local 302N (Cross Cancer Institute) & Local 301 (University Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute)
Where: Information walk University Avenue outside the Cross Cancer Institute, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton
Local 64 (Fairview Health Complex)
Where: Information walk from the Fairview Health Complex (10628-110 Street) to the Post Office (10205-110 Street), Fairview
Local 96 (Northern Lights Regional Hospital)
Where: “Show Alberta Nurses some love” information walk outside the Northern Lights Regional Hospital, 7 Hospital Street, Fort McMurray
Local 80 (High River General Hospital)
Where: Walk about in the High River General Hospital handing out coffee and heart cookies to nurses and health care workers, 560-9 Avenue SW, High River
When: Over the course of the day
Local 84 (Hinton Healthcare Centre/Hinton Community)
Where: Information walk outside the Hinton Continuing Care Centre, 1280 Switzer Drive, Hinton
Local 75 (Seton Health Centre)
Where: Rally outside the Seton Health Centre, 518 Robson Street, Jasper
Local 62 (Leduc General Hospital)
Where: UNA members are encouraged to drop off messages and letters that will be delivered to MLA Brad Rutherford.
When: Letters will be delivered after 1200.
Local 120 (Lethbridge Health Centre)
Where: Information Walk at the Chinook Regional Hospital on 10th Avenue South (outside the South entrance to the hospital), Lethbridge
Local 70 (Medicine Hat Regional Hospital)
Where: Rally outside the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (outside the acute care side of the building), 666 5 Street SW, Medicine Hat
Local 126 (Palliser Community)
Where: Information walk starting at the Tim Hortons at 13th Ave SE and to MLA Drew Barnes office, Trans Canada Place #5 1299 Trans Canada Way, Medicine Hat
Local 43 (Olds Hospital and Care Centre)
Where: Event at Cocoa Tree Bakery Shoppe, 5106-46 Street, Olds
Local 30 (Peace River Community Health Centre/Sutherland Place)
Where: Event in the Peace River Health Centre handing out cookies and valentines to nurses and health care workers.
When: Over the course of the day
Local 2 (Red Deer Regional Hospital) and Local 218 (Central Zone Community)
Where: Information walk from City Hall (4914-48 Avenue) to MLA Jason Stephens’ office (201, 4327 – 54 Avenue), Red Deer
Local 85 (Sturgeon Community Hospital)
Where: Information walk on Boudreau Road south of the Sturgeon Hospital, St. Albert
Local 92 (Stony Plain Health Centre) & Local 304 (Stony Plain Community Health)
Where: Information walk outside the Westview Health Centre, 4405 S Park Dr, Stony Plain
Local 55 (Vermilion Health Centre)
Where: Information rally outside the Vermilion Health Centre, 5720 50 Ave, Vermilion
At least 750 front line RNs and RPNs to be laid off, Alberta Health Services tells UNA
“In light of the promises made by the government not to touch front-line health care workers, we will be asking for an immediate emergency meeting with Health Minister Tyler Shandro.” — Heather Smith, President, UNA
Hundreds of front-line Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses will lose their jobs in massive downsizing planned by Alberta Health Services, the public health care agency’s lead negotiator informed United Nurses of Alberta this morning.
In a meeting with UNA’s senior leadership called unexpectedly by AHS yesterday, Lead Negotiator Raelene Fitz said the plans to eliminate an “estimated” 500 full-time equivalent RN jobs over the next three years were being disclosed now in advance of bargaining for UNA’s 2020 Provincial Collective Agreement so that the union would have time to absorb the information and respond accordingly.
The elimination of that many RN and RPN FTEs, equivalent to over a million fewer hours of care, will mean more than 750 front-line Registered Nurses will be laid off, UNA President Heather Smith said immediately after the meeting.
“From the tone of what we were told, we believe this is only the first wave of layoffs affecting RNs represented by UNA,” Smith said. AHS officials were also scheduled to meet bargaining representatives from other health care unions today.
“There are also clear indications that AHS plans to shift many of the costs of health care onto Albertans who require treatment,” Smith said.
“Premier Jason Kenney and other members of the United Conservative Party promised repeatedly during last spring’s election campaigns that the cuts they planned would not touch front-line health care workers,” she said. “Participants at tomorrow’s UCP meeting in Calgary might want to ask the premier about why AHS is moving ahead with plans to break his promise and lay off front-line nurses.”
“We do not believe Albertans will support this plan, and they should tell the premier so,” Smith said.
“In light of the promises made by the government not to touch front-line health care workers, we will be asking for an immediate emergency meeting with Health Minister Tyler Shandro,” Smith said.
Statements by Fitz during this morning’s meeting and in the letter also indicated AHS is considering significant privatization of public health care services.
“AHS will continue to consider all options available to meet our organizational needs including changes to staff mix, service design including changes and repurposing of sites, relocating services, reducing or ceasing the provision of services,” Fitz said in a letter addressed to UNA Labour Relations Director David Harrigan.
It also said AHS is considering “reconfiguring services provided at some smaller sites.”
Yesterday AHS contacted David Harrigan and requested a meeting. The meeting occurred at 08:30 this morning.
Attached to this post is the letter provided to UNA.
This letter indicates that AHS intends to eliminate 500 RN/RPN FTE’s (Full Time Equivalents) over the next 3 years, in sites where Operational Best Practices (OBP) has already occurred. No number is provided for the sites where OBP has not commenced. 500 FTE’s equate to over one million hours less care.
AHS suggests 60 additional FTE’s will be lost due to potential contracting out of home care services (palliative and pediatric).
However these numbers are not inclusive of additional changes/closures/privatization, reducing or ceasing to provide services that are under consideration.
The letter makes reference to potential repurposing of sites and reconfiguring services at some smaller sites.
We indicated we will oppose efforts by AHS to provide less care or to shift the cost of services onto Albertans.
Please share this letter with your colleagues.