UNA Factoid #30: Checklist for new nurses and UNA members

In conclusion, when you start with a new employer, it’s easy to forget some of the important things you need to do in a timely way. Here’s a checklist for new UNA members of the important things you need to keep in mind when you start with a new employer:

  • Sign a UNA membership application. Get a say in your union!
  • Attend your UNA Local’s meetings. It’s the best way to learn about your union.
  • Be aware of your UNA Local number and your seniority date.
  • Give your new employer a copy of your degree or diploma, plus all nursing certificates, to ensure you receive applicable educational allowances.
  • Maximize your income by getting an extra 2% pay through an RRSP paid by the employer. (For more information, review Article 29.05 of the Provincial Collective Agreement.)
  • Remember when you are hired or transferred, your employer is required to provide you with a “letter of hire” that details your position.
  • Check your pay slips to ensure you are receiving the correct pay, increment, vacation accrual, overtime, shift premiums and allowances. Keep these records for five years.
  • Don’t work for free! Ensure you are paid for all the hours you work and that your employer has the information it needs to budget properly. If your employer withholds pay or does not comply with the agreement, contact UNA.
  • Get a copy of your Collective Agreement from your employer. The topical index at the back can help you find details you need.
  • If you are called to any disciplinary meeting, you have the right to be accompanied by a UNA representative.
  • If you encounter unsafe or unprofessional staffing or practices, contact your Local UNA representative. UNA’s Professional Responsibility (PRC) process offers a way to raise concerns.
  • Safety issues? Talk to your UNA Local and address issues through the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
  • Placed in charge? Each unit must have a “charge” document that outlines responsibilities of the nurse in charge, including required orientation.
  • Has your shift schedule been changed unfairly? You have the right to a regular schedule. For help, contact your UNA local.

Remember, no matter what you concern, UNA is there to help.

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