Your bargaining committee would like to report members have ratified the three-year tentative agreement following a mail-in ballot count at AUPE headquarters in Edmonton on December 14, 2018.
A majority of all returned mail-in ballots in favour, determined the outcome.
The agreement expires March 31, 2020 for more than 16,000 nursing care members at Alberta Health Services, Lamont Health Care Centre and Allen Gray Continuing Care Centre, and includes significant improvements to:
Furthermore, wage re-negotiations for 2019-20, will start in January 2019.
If an agreement on wage increases cannot be agreed to at the table, it will be referred to third-party independent binding arbitration.
We will have the ability to apply for arbitration by March 31, 2019 and arbitration would be held no later than June 30, 2019.
All members of AUPE Locals 041, 043, 044, 045 and 046 had the opportunity to participate in the mail-in ratification vote.
Your committee thanks members for taking the time to vote on their tentative agreement, and for the patience and resolve shown throughout this difficult round of negotiations with Alberta Health Services.
We encourage you to continue to be involved in the bargaining process as we enter the wage reopener in January.
Negotiations over the past year-and-a-half with the employer have been challenging, but through it all, your committee pushed hard for a collective agreement that reflects your worth and respects you for the important work you do every day to provide the best quality health care to all Albertans.
One of the biggest challenges was dealing with the “zero mandate” on wages brought forward by the employer. AHS was unwavering on this mandate, and while this tentative agreement includes wage freezes for 2017 and 2018, we’re pleased to go to a wage reopener in January 2019, before any other health-care union in the province.
Your committee feels there is mounting economic evidence to warrant a wage increase and we will push hard to achieve that early next year.
We’re pleased to report this tentative agreement does include groundbreaking language that will improve and protect your work life.
This agreement includes the best job security language we’ve ever negotiated with AHS. These provisions will protect your job against any contracting out and guarantees you will not lose your Full Time Equivalent for the life of the agreement. This language is enshrined in the agreement and cannot be changed, regardless of which political party is in power.
We have also achieved benefits that treat us with greater equity among other bargaining units within AHS, gender-neutral language, and updates to the Leave of Absence language that will allow for domestic violence, citizenship ceremony and other leaves.
The agreement also sees an increase to the health flex spending account, from $1,000 to $1,100; an increase to banked overtime and a workload appeal process, which gives members the ability to address ongoing workload issues.
Recent changes to Occupational Health and Safety and Employment Standards laws have also been applied to our collective agreement.
Your bargaining committee thanks you for the patience, support and participation you’ve shown throughout the bargaining process. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of your bargaining committee with any questions you may have on the tentative agreement.
TERM OF THE AGREEMENT: April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020
2017 – no wage adjustment
2018 – no wage adjustment
2019 – wage reopener negotiations
AUPE and AHS will negotiate wage increases to take effect on April 1, 2019. These negotiations will occur between January 15 and March 31. This is the same timeline agreed to for General Support Services, which will undertake a parallel process, making AUPE the first health-care union go through the wage reopener process.
If the parties are unable to reach a negotiated agreement, it will be referred to third-party independent binding arbitration. We will have the ability to apply for arbitration by March 31, 2019 and arbitration would be held no later than June 30, 2019. Any increase would be retroactive to April 1, 2019.
Other Monetary Improvements
Article 13: Both full-time and part-time employees will again be able to bank overtime at 2 times the basic rate of pay up to 38.75 hours at any given time.
Nursing care employees move closer to parity on benefits with other groups of AHS employees:
Effective April 1, 2019: 100% coverage for CPAP device; increased hearing aid coverage to a maximum of $500 every 24 months; coverage for physiotherapist, chiropractor, and podiatrist increased to $35 per visit to a maximum of $700 per year; coverage for chartered psychologist, Masters of Social Work and Certified Addictions/Drug Counsellor increased to $50 per visit to a maximum of $700 per year
Effective Sept. 1, 2018: improved diabetic supplies coverage including flash glucose monitoring e.g. FreeStyle Libre)
Named Holidays for Part-Time Employees
Improved Rights and Language
Nursing Care members are guaranteed that there will be no involuntary loss of employment or reduction of full-time equivalency (FTE) until March 30, 2020.
Members dealing with ongoing workload concerns will have a new appeal process with clear timelines to advance concerns up to the Senior Operating/Program Officer level.
Bullying, Harassment and Workplace Violence
Expanded in line with changes to Occupational Health and Safety legislation, including timelines for the employer to respond to allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination.
Resolution of Concerns and Disclosure of Information
Amended to include that every effort should be made to resolve problems at the local level prior to going to written grievance and to share all relevant information in order to have a meaningful discussion.
Updated in line with recent changes to Employment Standards legislation to include new types of leaves and/or amend the length of the leave:
Joint Task Force
This joint union employer committee will provide a new venue to collaboratively address organization-wide issues and concerns.
Gender Neutral Language
Copies of Collective Agreement
The employer will provide access to an electronic copy of the collective agreement on Insite (AHS internal staff network) and hard copies on request.
AHS NURSING CARE BARGAINING TEAM MEMBERS:
Myrna Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Sivasankar email@example.com
Judy Fader firstname.lastname@example.org
Marylou Savic email@example.com
Brenda Bailer firstname.lastname@example.org
Marg Miller email@example.com
Brenda Marks firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Smyth email@example.com
Dolly Osterlund firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Kyle email@example.com
Mac McNaughton, Lead Negotiator 1-800-232-7284 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Dickson, Negotiator 1-800-232-7284 or email@example.com
Jaime Urbina, Organizing 1-800-232-7284 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Bedford, Communications 1-800-232-7284 or email@example.com