UNA/AHS negotiations – Letter to Deb Gordon in response to AHS’ misleading information

The following email was sent to Deb Gordon in response to AHS’ misleading information

David Harrigan
Director of Labour Relations
United Nurses of Alberta

—– Original Message —–

Please see the attached information which is being distributed to our members.

We have serious concerns with the document, including:

You state AHS “has jointly agreed with UNA on a process to implement the optimized rotations through position change.”

Your negotiator stated that your are committed to this process only “At this point”; and that ongoing commitment to this alternate implement process is dependent upon our ability to implement transition rotations with a view to moving to optimized rotations in a structured and timely manner.

It was suggested that if UNA insists on exercising its rights under the collective agreement, you will no longer agree to achieve your goals through attrition.

Secondly, contrary to your suggestion, we are not misleading our members. Your document clearly states there will be a “reduction in the head count” and your proposals include a demand to eliminate the clause calling for no reduction in nursing hours. To suggest a reduction in head count could mean anything other than few employed nurses is risible.

Thirdly, an extremely offensive claim in your document is that

“Staff deserve predictable schedules and well-earned time away from work.”

You must be aware that your proposals include a reduction in time off between shifts, elimination the need for two consecutive days of rest, elimination of designated days of rest, an increase in the number of weekends worked by each nurse, a decrease in the amount of time that is considered a weekend, a decrease in the advance posting of schedules, greatly ability for the employer to make changes to schedules, and many other matters that will ensure that staff will not have predictable schedules or well-earned time away from work.

Fourthly you claim “Each year, more than 1.2M clinical shifts are filled by relief staff. These shifts can be difficult to fill and are often paid at over-time rates.”

You do not indicate how many of these shifts are nursing and how much of the overtime relates to nursing. We have asked for this information at the bargaining table and ask once more that you provide us this information.

There are many other concerns we have with your document, and I ask that you cease distributing false information to our members.

David Harrigan
Director of Labour Relations
United Nurses of Alberta

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