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Bargaining Update: Alberta Health Services Nursing Care

AHS Nursing Care Negotiating Team Fed Up With The Employer's Disrespect

Jun 08, 2021

Your negotiating team is fed up with the Employer’s disrespect

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As we told you in the last Bargaining Update, after Alberta Health Services arbitrarily cancelled bargaining dates scheduled in May, AUPE filed a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (LRB) seeking that the Board order the Employer to return to the table.

After the LRB accepted that complaint for investigation, the Employer had the audacity to do it again!

Late in the afternoon on June 4, the Employer’s spokesperson advised AUPE that they had to cancel bargaining dates scheduled for  June 9 and 10. Last month, they claimed they need to focus on the pandemic response; this month, they are using the vaccine rollout as their excuse.

Here’s the thing: none of the Employer’s negotiators are actually frontline health care workers but every single member of your negotiating team is! When the Employer cancels dates at the last minute like this, it not only shows complete disrespect for the bargaining process, it has effects on the worksite, as well.

The late notice and arbitrary cancellation frustrates not only your committee members, but, also, the members on the frontlines who accepted shifts to backfill them. Those members make arrangements in their lives to cover those shifts only to have them cancelled. Members of your bargaining committee face constant pressure and sometimes even hostility from their managers due to these types of late cancellations.

We have repeatedly asked the employer to return to the bargaining table. Nursing care members know better than most the strains that this pandemic has put on our health system. They go to work every day and face them. It is an insult to each and everyone of you that these executives sitting in office claim they cannot spare a moment to get to the bargaining table so that we can collectively bargain an agreement.

Both AHS and AUPE are perfectly capable of bargaining remotely; we have done so on numerous occasions over these past fifteen months.

The Employer suggested dates in July, an offer extremely insensitive to the "heroes" who have been in the trenches for over a year. Your negotiating team is exhausted and many have booked well-deserved vacations. They need that time to recover.

Lastly, the Employer has suggested that when bargaining resumes in September, we go directly into mediation. We reject this suggestion. Because of the Employer’s refusal to return to the table, we have barely had the opportunity to fully review each other’s ingoing proposals. Heading to mediation at this stage would be entirely inappropriate.

We have written to the Employer requesting at least 4 days of bargaining be scheduled prior to the end of June. In that correspondence, we note that if the Employer has enough resources to attend "consultation" meetings for the purpose of eliminating jobs in General Support Services, they have the resources to collectively bargain with us.

The next time you hear the Employer and elected officials applauding healthcare workers as “heroes” remember the way you have been treated at the worksites over the past years and the way your negotiating team has been treated in this round of bargaining where all talk of “heroes” disappears.

We will inform you if the Employer responds to our request for dates and of any process with respect to the LRB complaint.

If you have any questions, please reach out to a member of your negotiating team.

AHS Nursing Care Negotiating Team 
(A = Alternate)

Local 041

Christine Vavrik -  Myrna Wright (A) -

Local 043

Judy Fader -  Marylou Savic (A) -

Local 044

Brenda Bailer -  Laurie Johnson (A) -

Local 045

Nancy Burton -  Angela Smyth (A) -
Local 046

Dolline Osterlund -  Sandy Kyle (A) -

AUPE Resource Staff

Jason Rattray, Lead Negotiator - 
Chris Dickson, Negotiator – 
Darcy Thiessen, Organizer - 
Farid Iskandar, Organizer - 
Kate Jacobson, Organizer - 
Mimi Williams, Communications - 

News Category

  • Bargaining updates


  • 041 - AHS South Zone ANC
  • 043 - AHS North Zone ANC
  • 044 - AHS Central Zone ANC
  • 045 - AHS Calgary Zone ANC
  • 046 - AHS and Covenant Edmonton Zone ANC


  • Health care

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