The latest

Mediation with Alberta Health Services resumed Jan. 19 and was scheduled to continue into Jan. 20. However, talks broke down before noon on the first day as it was clear AHS had no intention of moving bargaining forward. In fact, they pushed to move it backward.

Before mediation began, your negotiator received a call from AHS’s negotiator. She informed him that AHS would take its initial monetary proposal of one per cent each year for three years (1/1/1) off the table and replace it with all zeros, meaning no wage increase for three years (0/0/0).

Moreover, AHS removed its proposed market adjustment for hard-to-recruit pharmacy assistants. No further progress on important items like helping part-time workers receive more hours, or improving seniority-based selection for shift changes, like other AHS unions have, was made either.

It was also disclosed to the union for the first time that as of Jan. 1, 2015, AHS has employed 250 temporary foreign workers to fill its hiring gap. Moreover, AHS has no process to keep track of recruitment retention data. This seems careless given AHS’s said desire to measure outcomes and in the face of a labour shortage.

When asked where this new bargaining mandate came from, AHS responded “the CEO.” This disclosure is especially concerning considering recent employee engagement surveys that show AHS employee morale at seriously low levels.

Further discussions with AHS have been suspended in the face of its potentially illegal bargaining approach.

Quality care at risk

The work you do is important to Alberta’s quality health-care system and that needs to be respected by AHS. You keep the system running.

The regressive bargaining approach AHS has taken is a threat to quality care. This has your committee concerned.

Remember, quality care requires stability of employment. That stability comes from a fair collective agreement that treats you with value and respect for the important work you do every day.

What’s next?

What AHS did is wrong, irresponsible and shameful and there will be consequences for its unethical approach to labour relations.

AUPE filed its second bargaining in bad faith complaint against AHS with the Alberta Labour Relations Board over the employer’s recent conduct in mediation. The union will also file for interest arbitration so we can have a hearing on what a fair and competitive collective agreement for each of you should be.

Again, further discussions with AHS are on hold until all legal matters are dealt with. You will continue under the provisions in the existing collective agreement.

Your committee is in the process of planning meetings in communities province-wide to discuss the latest in bargaining with you and to plan our next steps together.

Your committee is dedicated to keeping you informed throughout the entire bargaining process.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of your committee with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.

Recent public sector settlement trends in Alberta vs. AHS’s offer to you:

Bargaining unit201420152016
Gov’t of Alberta^2.0%2.25%2.5%
United Nurses of Alberta^2% plus $1,0002.25% plus $1,0003%
AHS’s offer to you0%0%0%
^ Wage increases shown do not include adjustments to vacation, benefits, paid time off and other privileges, which boosts overall compensation considerably

Your bargaining committee:

Local 054

Nancy Woods

Lyn Morrison

Local 056

Lauren White

Lynne Hansen

Local 057

Angie MacArthur

Darren Graham

Local 058

Loree Preete

Marlin Meyer

Local 095

Henry Wakoluk

Stacey Ross

Kevin Davediuk
AUPE Staff Negotiator