I am writing today as I am rather perplexed by the large and I am assuming costly ads placed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in the High River Times and other papers across Alberta. I find this ad to be extremely unusual the collective agreement AHS has with the nurses of Alberta allows them to determine the number of full time positions about to be posted. To note since January of 2013, AHS has posted 2348 vacancies for full time nurses and 4348 for part time. This week alone there are only 93 full time positions posted but 153 for part time. I might respectfully suggest that if they want more full time nurses working in Alberta that they simply post more full time positions rather than so many part time. If AHS is having difficulty recruiting into full time positions then perhaps examining and rectifying some of the real reasons nurses may struggle to work full time in Alberta could be addressed. I would refer to issues surrounding inhumane schedules, vacation denials, overtime and overwhelming workloads. This maybe a more effective use of our tax dollars, rather than spending it on expensive advertising. It was not the nurses of Alberta that encouraged the massive layoffs, bed closures and rollbacks of the 1990’s and reduced so dramatically the number of full time positions in Alberta. I would further suggest that AHS look to nurses for solutions rather than as the problem and then perhaps we could believe what your add says that you care about nurses. For as I see it, it has been nurses and other dedicated health providers caring for Albertans that has provided our health system with any level of sustainability and backbone over the past many years of health cuts and rollbacks. I do not appreciate the implication that Albertans being cared for are not getting consistent reliable care from the nurses of Alberta whether they work full or part time. Nurses are here every day and night of the year, weekends and holidays, to provide consistent reliable quality care for the people of Alberta. That is what they are educated to do and that is what in my view they always strive to provide.
South Central District Representative