Nurses union plans information pickets at Alberta hospitals on Aug. 11

CALGARY — Nurses in Alberta will hold information pickets outside hospitals and health care centres next week to speak out against proposed wage rollbacks and other changes.

The province has proposed a three per cent wage reduction, however when combined with other rollbacks – the elimination of the semi-annual lump sum payments, reduced shift and weekend premiums – the nurses union contends it would equal about five per cent.

The pickets by United Nurses of Alberta are planned for Aug. 11.

“After 18 months on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s nurses are exhausted and overworked,” read a release from UNA.

“Nurses go to work every day to make sure Albertans get the best and safest patient care possible. What we want most is fairness in the workplace.

Beds are closing because hospitals are short of nurses. This is because of the pandemic burnout and a long history of understaffing nurses.”

Alberta needs nurses, they group says.

“The roll backs proposed by the government are an insult to nurses and won’t help Alberta recruit and keep health care workers, which is what we need to keep hospital beds open,” read the release.

“Money is not the only issue in these talks. They want to roll back provisions that nurses have had for decades, including a very important rule that a registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse is in-charge of nursing units.”

The information pickets will be set up in:

Calgary

  • Local 1, Peter Lougheed Centre, 3500 26 Ave N.E., 2-4 p.m.;
  • Local 115, Foothills Medical Centre, 1403 29 St N.W., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and;
  • Local 121, Rockyview General Hospital, 7007 14 St. S.W., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.;

Edmonton

  • Local 11, Misericordia Community Hospital, 16940 87 Ave N.W. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;
  • Local 33, Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway N.W. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Local 79, Grey Nuns Community Hospital, 1100 Youville Drive N.W. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;
  • Local 183 Alberta Hospital Edmonton, 17480 Fort Rd N.W. noon to 4 p.m., and;
  • Local 301 University Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, 8440 112 St N.W. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lethbridge

  • Local 120, Chinook Regional Hospital, 960 19 St S. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Medicine Hat

  • Local 70, Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, 666 5 St. S.W. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Red Deer

  • Local 2, Red Deer Health Centre/Extendicare Michener and Local 218 , Central Zone Community, 3942 50a Avenue, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Stony Plain

  • Local 92, WestView Health Centre, 4405 S Park Drive, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Ponoka

  • Local 31, Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre and Local 222 Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, 5216 50 Street, 4 p.m.

Westlock

  • Local 73, Westlock Health Care Centre and Westlock Continuing Care Centre, 10220 93 Street, 10 a.m.

Whitecourt

  • Local 149, Whitecourt Healthcare Centre/Whitecourt Community, corner of Highway 43 and Hospital Road in Whitecourt, 4-6 p.m.

View Source