Alberta’s Nurses Union, Health Services Seek Mediation Over Collective Agreement

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Following a series of unsuccessful talks over a new collective bargaining agreement, the Health Services and the Nurses union said they are seeking formal talks, the finance ministry stated Thursday.

The two groups have also agreed on a number of services that they deem essential in case of a lockout or strike.

The Nurses Union (UNA), which has over 30000 members is seeking a 2 percent wage rise each year over a period of two years. UNA added that their members have not had a pay rise in over 5 years, despite there being inflation amounting to 2 percent each year.

Premier Jason Kenney said that nurses in the province earn more than those in other provinces, and the government wasn’t looking to punish the private sector by hiking taxes.

In the meantime, the province is in the midst of a 4th wave and has been hit by a staffing shortage. Consequently, the AHS said it would invoke an emergency work rule to address the shortage.

Two weeks will be allotted for purposes of negotiation, and in the event that no deal is reached, the nurses could elect to go on strike.

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