UNA Newsbulletin September|October 2010 (Issue 4)
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UNA Newsbulletin September|October 2010 (Issue 4)

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The September/October 2010 Newsbulletin from the United Nurses of Alberta. http://www.una.ab.ca

The September/October 2010 Newsbulletin from the United Nurses of Alberta. http://www.una.ab.ca

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  • 1. Marching for nurse sta ng United Nurses of Alberta NewsBulletin at Youville Home Nurses from UNA’s North Central District rally in front of Covenant’s Youville Home in St. Albert. Now classified as an auxiliary hospital, Youville is reducing front-line RN care dramatically. The RNs and other staff are very concerned about impact on their residents. October 26, 27, 28, 2010 September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4
  • 2. Message From the President Published by the United Nurses of Alberta six times a year for our members A summer of many changes. A busy fall ahead. Editor Production Keith Wiley Kelly de Jong Many nurses joined our union in recent than about any real concern Executive Board weeks. We are pleased to welcome the for the needs of patients nurses at the Alberta Alcohol and Drug to receive appropriate, safe, quality care. President Heather Smith Abuse Commission (AADAC), and Al- Potential staffing projections for continu- berta Correctional Services. ese nurses ing care are particularly worrisome. So 1st Vice-President Bev Dick were brought into our bargaining unit watch for more information and let your by the continuing expansion of Alberta colleagues know, in case they didn’t, there 2nd Vice-President Jane Sustrik Health Services. As we welcome these is a nursing shortage in Alberta. nurses, who were formerly represented by Secretary/Treasurer e Provincial Agreement ratified on the Alberta Union of Provincial Employ- Karen Craik June 30th is off to the printers and we ees, we also welcome nurses – who are or 403-237-2377 are hopeful you will receive your new union members for the very first time – at North District contract book this fall. e final version Roxann Dreger Susan Gallivan the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre, will also be available on the UNA website Canadian Blood Services Calgary, and North Central (www.una.ab.ca). Terri Barr Keith Lang Revera Long Term Care-Miller Crossing. Teresa Caldwell Beverley Lawrence Welcome also to new graduates just en- is fall we start to implement the new Christina Doktor Judy Moar Karen Kuprys Beryl Scott tering our profession. Welcome to United committees to ensure there is no overall Central Nurses of Alberta. Get ready for some reduction in RN hours worked, monitor Dianne McInroy Wanda Zimmerman interesting times just ahead. the hiring of 70% of new graduates, and Sandra Zak transform casual and relief hours into South Central A little over a year ago AHS CEO, Ste- Blanche Hitchcow JoAnne Rhodes regular positions. ese new provisions are phen Duckett, said ‘there are too many Tanice Olson Lois Taylor the first of their kind in Canada. Denise Palmer Daphne Wallace nurses in acute care’ and we had an abrupt South halt to recruitment across the province. On the back cover of this issue is in- Maxine Braun John Terry Remember “vacancy management”? Well formation about the new benefit plan for Directors now AHS is very concerned about the retired nurses. I point out that just about workforce shortage and forecasts thou- EVERY retired nurse in Alberta is eli- Labour Relations David Harrigan sands of vacancies. A newly developed gible to buy into this plan. And, until the Finance and AHS workforce supply model projects end of January, you can buy in without a Administrative Services that thousands of nurses will be needed to medical exam. Plans like these reject as Darlene Rathgeber replace those who will be retiring, etc. many as one-third of appplicants because Information Systems the medical exam shows they may have Florence Ross We apparently cannot expand the high costs. Provincial Office number of graduates enough to solve the 900-10611 98 Avenue NW impending dilemma, so what will AHS We are pleased to be joining with the Edmonton AB T5K 2P7 do? A summit of stakeholders will be Alberta Retired Teachers Association in PH: (780) 425-1025 Toll Free: 1-800-252-9394 held in November. AHS is circulating a this plan, as an option for nurses. I want FX: (780) 426-2093 discussion paper for feedback (available to advise you to also research other com- from UNA on request). petitive plans to find out which one is the Southern Alberta Regional Office right fit for you. After the past year, it is ironic that the 300-1422 Kensington Road NW opening sentence of the discussion paper And on a final note, this fall the Gov- Calgary AB T2N 3P9 PH: (403) 237-2377 is “For nearly five decades the nurs- ernment may introduce Alberta Health Toll Free: 1-800-661-1802 ing staffing shortage has been a critical Act legislation. Should the Government FX: (403) 263-2908 concern for healthcare across Canada”. follow through on MLA Fred Horne’s Web Site: www.una.ab.ca E-mail: nurses@una.ab.ca Cynics have suggested the modelling Committee recommendations (see the PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT #40064422 scenarios contained in the discussion story inside), a whole lot more will be RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: paper are more about justifying reducing happening. So stay tuned for that too. the skill mix and using unskilled workers UNITED NURSES OF ALBERTA 900-10611 98 AVENUE EDMONTON AB T5K 2P7 Heather Smith - President, UNA United Nurses of Alberta 2 NewsBulletin
  • 3. New Members Welcome nurses to UNA AADAC, Corrections and others U NA is pleased to welcome many Rimbey nurses who have recently joined or formed new UNA bargain- Registered Nurses with the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre voted earlier ing units. this year to join UNA and have formed Alberta Alcohol and Drug their own UNA Local. As Alberta Abuse Commission Health Services employees they are automatically included in the provincial About 80 nurses who work with AA- bargaining unit and the Provincial Agree- DAC became employees of Alberta Health ment. e nurses have been meeting Newly elected Executive members Services under the province-wide consoli- with UNA LROs to work out details of at Local 412 in Rimbey are from left to right are: Jennifer Anderson dation. ese nurses work all around the applying the Agreement. (VP), Rachel Murray (Treasurer), province in a number of capacities with Kristy Gutterink (President) and Kelly Fairley (Secretary). AADAC. UNA, including representa- Canadian Blood tives from the AADAC nurses, recently Services Calgary negotiated the terms for transition into the UNA Provincial Collective Agreement. Nurses with CBS in Calgary voted e nurses had a ratification vote on these in May to join UNA this year. ey are terms on September 15. e AADAC forming their own Local with about 38 nurses will become members in UNA Lo- members and are beginning negotiations soon for their first contract. cals in the communities where they work. Revera Miller Crossing Alberta Correctional Care Centre Edmonton Services nurses Rose Boadi is the new President at Nurses working with Alberta Correc- Local 410 Revera Miller Crossing in UNA’s Director of Labour Relations tional Services also became AHS em- Edmonton, one of UNA’s other new- David Harrigan talks with AADAC nurses at an info session in ployees after provincial consolidation but est Locals. e nurses voted earlier this Edmonton. The new to UNA nurses court action over their bargaining unit year to join UNA and are about to begin are: (l to r) Alison Treichel, Wendy Rudzcki, Cailin Doyle, Lindsay Piojo. has made them wait some time before negotiations for a first collective agree- finding out which union they would be ment. in. Finally, about 150 nurses who work in the provinces correctional services were brought into the UNA bargaining unit on September 13. Dates are still being set for negotiations on how their contract terms will transition to the UNA agree- ment. No decision has been made as of publication date on which Locals Correc- tions nurses will join. September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 3
  • 4. HRC Controversy Private HRC hospital faces bankruptcy, bailed out by AHS T he financial insolvency of the Networc Health rejected the AHS pro- Health Resources Centre – the posal and indicated that it was prepared for-profit orthopaedic surgical to argue in court against a staff transfer. centre in Calgary – has been in the news As a result, AHS withdrew its proposal lately. Although it had contracts for joint and will post new positions for the units replacement surgeries with AHS, HRC is opening at the McCaig Tower in No- a private-for-profit facility owned by Net- vember. ese will be new AHS positions worc Health. It filed for bankruptcy pro- and will be posted in accordance with the tection after it was unable to fulfill a real existing terms of the Collective Agree- estate agreement. AHS filed an injunction ment with UNA. and an Interim Receiver was appointed. Was HRC a good deal Will nurses working at for Albertans? HRC lose their jobs? AHS has paid over $2 million in extra Networc Health had a chance to work costs because of the HRC bankruptcy The UNA delegation at the with AHS and transfer the staff to the and surgeries at the facility were not cost Friends of Medicare rally. new McCaig Tower facility at the Foot- effective to begin with. Premier Ralph hills Medical Centre. is would have al- Klein admitted in 2005 that privately lowed AHS to continue with the surgeries contracted surgeries on average cost 10% and keep the surgeons and nurses working. more than those in public hospitals. HRC handled cheaper, less complex surgeries. United Nurses of Alberta 4 NewsBulletin
  • 5. HRC Controversy Did AHS have the right to terminate the contract with Networc Health? According to an affidavit from Chris Mazurkewich, AHS Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, the agreement with Networc Health included a “con- tractual right to suspend or terminate the Surgical Services Agreement without notice should Networc become insolvent, bankrupt or is placed in receivership or commits any act of insolvency.” AHS did NOT push HRC Who is Networc Health into insolvency. looking out for? Friends of Medicare held a rally in front of the for-profit HRC hospital on September 10th. “No bailout of Some misinformation being circulated Networc Health has presented a list of for-profit medicine” was the slogan suggests that HRC became insolvent demands to AHS which they say would because AHS did not provide a mini- need to be met for HRC to continue as a mum number of surgeries required by privately-operated facility: the contract. In reality, the agreement the current senior management of limited “...the maximum annual number HRC must be maintained, of procedures that can be performed at the Health Resource Centre, but Alberta AHS must provide the maximum Health has no obligation to fund any possible number of procedures, minimum number of procedures.” (Court AHS must pay for the legal fees of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Decision, incurred by Networc Health Inc. June 1, 2010) e war of words launched Networc Health is holding the staff Court documents explain that Networc hostage by not allowing AHS to pres- by Networc Health has Health had not received a commitment ent conditional offers of employment to on volume of surgeries before it signed a irresponsibly put business clinical staff at HRC and opposing the real estate deal with Cambrian Properties. transfer of staff to the McCaig Tower. “Networc Health had admitted that it interests before staff job UNA believes that Networc Health was no longer capable of meeting its ob- security and patient care. should not use their staff as bargaining ligations under the leases ... Networc had pieces in this legal battle. e evidence received only partial commitment from presented in these court documents Alberta Health with respect to business provide clarity to the misinformation volumes for the budget year ... Networc being perpetuated by groups who have a did not have the ability to pay lease costs political interest in keeping HRC open on the two buildings that were the subject at any cost. e war of words launched of the leases.” (Court of Queen’s Bench of by Networc Health has irresponsibly put Alberta Decision, June 1, 2010) business interests before staff job security and patient care. September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 5
  • 6. Alberta Health Act New Alberta Health Act likely introduced in October Critics say it’s a back door approach to privatization T he Alberta government will likely e report specifically names: try to pass its new Alberta Health Alberta Health Care Insurance Act Act when the provincial Leg- islature resumes in late October. MLA Hospitals Act Fred Horne is in charge of a committee Nursing Homes Act that has been holding “invitation only” Health Care Protection Act consultations on the proposed law. e Health Insurance Premium Act More information on meetings were opened up when Friends ese acts, the Horne report goes on: the Alberta Health Act of Medicare protested. “inhibit the system’s ability to work out Parkland Institute’s research direc- effective ways to access care from the Parkland Institute reports: tor Diana Gibson says there is “nothing right provider, in the right place, at the parklandinstitute.ca to gain and everything to lose” with the right time and at the right cost.” proposed Alberta Health Act. Gibson and ese are carefully chosen words. In Special website: BC researcher Colleen Fuller report that www.albertahealthact.ca Alberta you only have to look at recent the new act would lead to “the loss of history to get the full meaning. Go back critical protections for the public system to what Ralph Klein referred to as his last and quality standards with the merging of attempt to privatize health care, the ird existing health care acts”. Way. In 2005 one of the government’s Fred Horne’s report, released at the ird Way discussion papers was a pow- beginning of the year was fairly clear on erpoint which is still on the government’s some points: “Certain legislation should be website as of September 2010 (www. given priority in the process of consolida- health.alberta.ca/documents/Removing- tion, particularly those Acts that currently Barriers-PPT-2005.pdf ). establish, define and regulate how publicly It says: funded health services are provided.” Amendments required to Alberta Health Care Insurance Act and Hospitals Act Opens market for private health insurance Removes barriers to private delivery, and Doctors and dentists will be able to work in both private and public system for specified procedures. Changing the current laws is neces- sary to bring in what Don Mazankowski envisaged in 2001: a health market with a parallel, for-profit health system and private insurance coverage. United Nurses of Alberta 6 NewsBulletin
  • 7. BC & CNA BC College set to withdraw from CNA Setting up new association T he College of Registered Nurses Debra MacPherson said in her newslet- of BC (CRNBC) is looking at ter column “We do not believe another creating a new separate associa- organization is required as BCNU has tion to represent BC RNs at the Canadian been carrying out the professional advo- Nurses Association. Some nurses say the cacy role for some time, and has involved controversial move is necessary because itself successfully in nursing education, of BC’s new Health Professions Act. But research, policy and administration.” “Why has there been no BCNU and some other nurses oppose “Why has there been no grassroots in- grassroots involvement or creating a separate association, a third volvement (in the drive to form the new e new act changed the nurses’ association) or even one bedside nurse on even one bedside nurse on organization mandate at the same as it the steering committee or newly formed gave the new College name to the former board?” Debra MacPherson asked. the steering committee or Registered Nursing Association of BC. e Canadian Nurses Association says newly formed board?” Also this spring, the RN Network of BC it “is committed to facilitating CRNBC’s was formed, clearly setting its sights on withdrawal from CNA in a way that will Debra MacPherson asked. becoming a professional association and ensure a continued voice on health and replacing CRNBC at the CNA. At a May social policy issues for British Columbia’s meeting the Network noted that: “Func- registered nurses.” But the CNA also says tions to advance the profession or articu- outstanding questions need to be settled, late nursing views are seen as distinctly including what will happen to the CNA different from and in conflict with regula- membership fees currently collected tion.” e Network established a board by the College and whether member- and the BC College gave it $186,000 dol- ship will be voluntary or mandatory in lars towards becoming an association. the proposed Association of Registered Nurses of BC. However, the proposed changes are controversial. A motion calling for the e province of Ontario has long had BC College to resign from the Canadian a separate college and association, the Nurses Association was defeated by a Registered Nurses Association of Ontario vote of 40 to 29 at the CRNBC Annual (RNAO). General Meeting in June. But the sub- e RNAO also reported on the BC sequent College Board meeting decided discussions and noted that “the formation they remain committed to developing of a national regulatory council for reg- and implementing a plan for withdrawal istered nurses [the Canadian Council of from CNA. Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR)] e BC Nurses Union is critical of is proceeding “with the full support of all the change. In July, BCNU President the regulatory bodies in Canada.” September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 7
  • 8. BC & CNA CARNA staying in CNA CARNA has joined in as one In Alberta the College and Association ing further discussion of the need for of Registered Nurses is making clear it will participation in other international of five Canadian RN Colleges stay in the Canadian Nurses Association. or national nursing organizations CARNA has joined in as one of five Cana- to form the new Canadian separate from CNA...” dian RN Colleges to form the new Cana- dian Council of Registered Nurse Regula- CARNA’s provincial Council later Council of Registered Nurse tors (CCRNR). e new Council will focus passed a motion which emphasizes its Regulators (CCRNR). on professional regulatory matters, entry to continued commitment to CNA: practice, standards and best practices. “ at Provincial Council does sup- A motion at the April CARNA annual port CARNA’s participation in the meeting called on the organization to National Council of State Boards of hold off on the new Council and to stay Nursing (NCSBN) and the Canadian in CNA: Council of Registered Nurse Regulators “...suspend further participation of (CCRNR) and the Canadian Nurses CARNA in the National Council of Association (CNA).” State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) [a CARNA is also an associate member U.S. nurse regulators’ organization] of the U.S. nurse regulators’ organization, or the Canadian Council of Registered the National Council of State Boards of Nurse Regulators (CCRNR) pend- Nursing (NCSBN). Long term care aide speaks out R etired health care aide Loretta Raiter went pub- Raiter described that staff-to-patient ratios were so lic in August about the declining conditions of low that it was impossible to do everything that needed resident care at Salem Manor in Leduc. Raiter to be completed in a 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift. People were told the media that she retired early because she could sometimes given powdered meal replacements instead no longer give residents the care they needed. of real food, others ended up sitting for hours in soiled diapers or having wet diapers put back on after bathing. “I went home feeling guilty – guilty that I could not provide proper care for these people that had become Retired health care aid Loretta Raiter was joined by NDP MLA Brian Mason as my friends,” Raiter told the Edmonton Journal. she described the declining state of resident care at Salem Manor in Leduc. United Nurses of Alberta 8 NewsBulletin
  • 9. Protection of Persons in Care Changes to Protection of Persons in Care raise concerns for care providers I n 2009, the provincial government changed the ten-year-old Protections for Persons in Care Act (PPIC) broadening the definition of abuse which raises real concerns for health care providers. e revised legislation came into effect July 1 2010. It now applies to service providers in mental health facilities as well as providers in other health care settings. e new amendments redefine the nature of abuse to focus on acts or omissions that result in “serious” harm. Concerns have come up because the new government guide includes “discomfort” in a very broad definition of harm. Another important – and worrisome – of many facilities, these situations could change is that an individual can now be be a real problem. found to have committed abuse without Anyone can allege abuse. Perhaps a any intent or willful act. disgruntled family member or unhappy Being found to have committed abuse co-worker, or just someone who perceives under the PPIC Act obviously has pro- abuse without understanding the context found repercussions for a medical pro- and limitations of a professional’s ability fessional – potentially even ending that to provide medical care. e amend- person’s career. e changes to the Act, ments to the legislation may have cre- www.seniors.alberta.ca/ppc the definitions and the process raise the ated an open door for a huge increase in possibility of more care providers fac- complaints. Even when a professional is ing complaints and serious ramifications eventually vindicated (less likely under the from them. new legislation) such a complaint hang- ing over a person’s head for a considerable Taken together with the broad defini- period of time is a heavy burden to bear. tion of “abuse” in the legislation, it is e changes to the Act, the conceivable that, if a resident or patient e July 2010 Guide to Understand- accidentally falls and injures herself while ing the PPIC Act directs people to think definitions and the process alone in her room, it is possible an RN of serious harm “broadly”, including any could be found to have committed abuse hurt or injury that interferes with the raise the possibility of for failing to provide adequate monitor- health or comfort of the person, where it more care providers facing ing. Similarly, if there is a delay in pro- is more than merely transient or trifling viding PRN medication to a patient and in nature, including a “low level of harm complaints and serious the patient remains in discomfort for a that did not require any physical inter- while longer than normal, an RN may be vention or treatment” and “temporary ramifications from them. exposed to an allegation of abuse. With stress or embarrassment.” tight budgets and resulting understaffing September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 9
  • 10. Keeping Healthy at Work Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees – Status Quo S It is vitally important that everal months ago representatives e proposed model is not compliant of AHS Workplace Health and with the language of the provincial col- any OH&S concerns/issues Safety met with UNA, HSAA and lective agreement that sets out a specific AUPE and proposed a new model for process for dealing with OH&S issues/ be reported to your Local Joint Occupational Health and Safety concerns. Article 34: Occupational representatives. Committees ( JOHSC). Covenant Health Health and Safety requires that there also proposed this same model around be an Occupational Health and Safety the same time. Committee with representatives of the Union (your Local) and the Employer ey proposed that every unit in a facil- (Alberta Health Services). is commit- ity and every community health services tee meets monthly and Local OH&S office have their own JOHSC that would Committee representatives are elected at deal with and attempt to resolve OH&S the Local Annual General Meeting. concerns. AHS also proposed that the current OH&S committees would only e creation of unit/office commit- deal with concerns that were not resolved tees would add an additional step to the at the unit/office committees and act in agreed upon process for dealing with an advisory capacity on OH&S policy. OH&S issues/concerns and would re- quire a change to the language of Article 34. During the recent bargaining neither AHS nor Covenant Health proposed a Dealing with OH&S Issues/Concerns: changes to Article 34. e structure and purpose of the current OH&S com- O nce an OH&S concern is raised you and/or your Local mittees established under the collective representative must first discuss the issue with your supervi- agreement remains the same. sor (management) and attempt to resolve the concern at that UNA has notified AHS and Covenant level. If the concern is not resolved before the next monthly meeting of Health that the Union is not in agree- OH&S committee it will be discussed at the committee meeting. e ment with the proposed new model for concern is presented to the committee on a UNA OH&S Form. is OH&S committees form is filled out and signed by the nurse or a union representative. If a concern/issue is brought to an Your Local representatives will present the concern to the commit- employer unit/office based committee tee and make recommendations for eliminating or controlling the and is not resolved then there is no ability workplace hazard. If the issue is not resolved at the OH&S commit- to pursue the issue further to the Chief tee then it moves to the CEO level. Executive Officer (CEO) or to the AHS Once the issue is referred to the CEO a resolution meeting is Board as per the Collective Agreement. set up to discuss the issue within 21 calendar days. e CEO must It is vitally important that any OH&S provide the Local with a written reply within 7 calendar days. If the concerns/issues be reported to your Local issue remains unresolved then it moves to the Board. representatives so that they can be dealt Local representatives have the right to present its concern and rec- with by the OH&S committee set up ommendations to the AHS Board. e Board then has 14 calendar under the Agreement to ensure that they days to provide a response to the Local. are resolved and the health and safety of our members is protected. United Nurses of Alberta 10 NewsBulletin
  • 11. About your Pensions Pension benefits for nurses on long-term disability N urses on long-term disability As the nurse is leaving ten years before Nurses on disability and (LTD) who do not expect to age 65 the reduction is 10 x 3% or a total of 30%. e early pension would be considering accessing their ever return to work may be able $1,100 less 30% or about $770 per month. to increase their income to 80% of their pension can call Alberta former wages by accessing the disability However, if the 55-year-old nurse is dis- abled she or he may qualify for the LAPP Pension Services benefit of their pension. disability, which is full pension. She or he 1-800-661-8198. e Local Authorities Pension Plan would receive the full $1,100 a month. (LAPP) disability benefit is the full Of if you have further e situation becomes slightly more monthly pension the employee has ac- complex for a nurse who is receiving questions, contact your UNA crued. To qualify for the LAPP Disability Long Term Disability Benefits. LTD pension a participant’s medical evidence normally pays 66.6% of former regular Labour Relations Officer. must show he or she suffers from a physi- earnings to qualified disabled employees. cal or mental impairment that can reason- Any LAPP pension would be consid- ered to be “other income” for insurance ably be expected to last for the remainder company LTD purposes. e maximum of their lifetime; and prevents them from “other income” that a participant can working in any gainful occupation. receive can only boost their total income e LAPP definition of disability is to 80% of their regular earnings. If the almost the same as the definitions used disabled nurse’s combined income from by Canada Pension Plan Disability and LTD, CPP Disability and LAPP disabil- SunLife Long Term Disability (after 24 ity exceeds 80%, the insurance company months). will reduce their payments so that the combined incomes do not exceed 80% of e LAPP Disability will start an their regular earnings. unreduced pension at any age without an early retirement deduction for those who At current earnings levels the difference meet the disability definition. between 66% of regular earnings and 80% of regular earnings can be as much as is is different from taking an early $1,117 per month. pension benefit, which is reduced by 3% for every year earlier than normal. Nurses who have accrued LAPP Ben- efits and meet the LAPP definition of For example, the LAPP normal retire- disability should consider accessing this ment age is 65, but a nurse who is 55 years benefit. ere are no age limitations,and of age with 10 years of pensionable service the pension can begin whenever the could initiate retirement. At current salary LAPP Disability definition is met. As levels the full pension (at age 65) would with any access to the LAPP pension, the be about $1,100 per month. But it would participant can no longer be employed. be reduced by 3% for each year the nurse is under 65. (Or it would be reduced for Employees on the Employer’s Long each year it is short of the “85 factor” – Term Disability Plan need to be cautious age + years of service = 85 – if this calcu- about resigning prior to receiving 24 lation results in less of a reduction. months of LTD benefits. A resignation ends their access to the Employer’s dental and supplemental health benefit plan. September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 11
  • 12. Faces & Friends Unit goes the extra mile for the English patient Nurses at Chinook Regional Hospital organized fundraiser to help stranded patient E “All of Unit 4B at the arlier this month, Allan Whittle and his wife, Sheila, traveled from the United Kingdom to Alberta to visit their son in Lethbridge. During their visit, Allan Chinook Hospital was Whittle collapsed due to medical complications caused by the change in alti- tude. When arranging their travel itinerary, their son Paul had purchased travel insur- involved in the bake sale. ance, but after his father became ill the insurance company refused to pay and claimed Everyone from transition to they had not been given a full disclosure of his health status. Whittle could access free-health care in the United Kingdom, but because of his respiratory was involved, it medical condition he missed his return flight, a cost the insurance company also re- was so positive,” fused to pay. Devonee Jensen. Upon hearing about Whittle’s situation, the nurses at Unit 4B at the Chinook Re- gional Hospital decided that they needed to do something to help this patient in need. “His attitude so was positive and inspiring, we felt we needed to do something else to help and give him a boost,” said UNA Local 120 member and Registered Nurse Devonee Jensen. Jensen and her Unit 4B colleague LPN Candace Cockerill organized a bake sale to raise funds for Whittle. “All of Unit 4B at the Chinook Hospital was involved in the bake sale. Everyone from transition to respiratory was involved, it was so positive,” said Devonee Jensen. e nurses’ initiative raised around $2100 to help Whittle with the costs of return- ing to the United Kingdom. Celebrating Labour Day with the unemployed and disadvantaged has become a tradition in both Edmonton and Calgary, with the People lined up around the annual Labour Day Barbecue. The Labour Council’s in both cities block for the food at the Calgary feed thousands of people in both cities and raise awareness of the Labour Day Barbecue impact unemployment and underemployment has on Calgarians and Edmontonians. The barbecues also feature live music United Nurses of Alberta 12 NewsBulletin
  • 13. UNA Vice-President Bev Dick and President Heather Faces & Friends Smith joined a mass picket line at the UFCW strike at McKesson in Edmonton recently. The Edmonton and District Labour Council organized the event for Edmontonians to show support for the workers on strike for over two months at the shipping warehouse company. Just shortly after the event the workers reached a new agreement with improved wages. Getting your extra 2% Employers match RRSP contributions up to 2% of annual earnings N urses can contribute to a supple- mentary RRSP and the Em- ployer will match the contribu- tion. e supplementary RRSP benefit is an easy way to double your money. Nurses can begin contributing to the RRSP in any month. Contact Human Resources to set up a deduction from your 2010 UNA Nursing Scholarships Six $750 awards, cheque. You are not allowed to contribute for previous months, however. You do NOT have to leave the money in the RRSP. You can withdraw it to use as you like (taxes are automatically withheld). Some time restrictions may apply. Check One $1,000 award E with your local plan for details. very year contributions from UNA members are building You can withdraw double what you put a fund for special nursing scholarships for family mem- in, because the Employer matches it. is bers who are entering nursing studies. is year, UNA RRSP program is like a bank account will award six $750 Nursing Scholarships. In addition, the national that doubles your money! Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions sponsors a $1,000 scholar- ship. ese scholarships go to assist students in their first year in an Alberta Health Services has recently approved nursing program in Alberta. changed its management of the RRSP plan, but any member who is not con- e students must be related to a UNA member in good standing, tributing can begin to do so. e money and submit a short essay to be eligible for the award. going in to the RRSP savings, is categori- For more information see the UNA website and click on Members cally the nurse’s money. Resources (www.una.ab.ca/resources). e supplementary RRSP is completely separate from the regular benefit pension Completed applications must be received at the UNA plan --which for most nurses is LAPP Provincial Office no later than 4:30 pm, October 15, 2010. (Local Authorities Pension Plan) or PSPP (the Public Service Pension Plan). e awards will be announced in late January 2011. September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 13
  • 14. Faces & Friends Faces & Just some of the unionists at the Calgary Gay Pride parade friends in August. Nancy Furlong (Secretary-Treasurer, Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), Alex Shevalier from the AFL News about the pride and solidarity committee, UNA’s Karen Craik, provincial people of United Secretary Treasurer, and Gil McGowan, President of the AFL. Nurses of Alberta. Members from UNA Local 1 and 115 supporting Calgary Stampede & Exhibition workers in the fight for their first contract as IMAW Local 99. Gathering of former Wetoka Health Unit colleagues and friends, in a Rimbey restaurant in September. “We had a great turn out of friends from days past, as well as current staff. We have these get togethers at least three or four times a year, rotating the event within the former Rose Boadi, right, the new President Wetoka Health Unit area, between at Local 410 Miller Crossing in Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, Rimbey and Edmonton joins in the UNA rally in the Winfield community,:” writes front of Youville Home. Here she Margie Jones. She says the regular is with UNA Provincial President gatherings over nearly three years Heather Smith and Mary Roche, left, have “been an amazing help in our President of the Youville Local 154. adjustment to the ‘new’ reality of Public Health and Home Care. ” Other Negotiations Ontario nurses face possible two-year wage freeze O ntario Nurses Association have the table, saying government was not just elected a new negotiating negotiating on their wage freeze posi- committee to start bargain- tion. Newspapers were reporting experts ing for a new agreement as their current saying the province could face a round of President of the Quebec nurses’ union, FIQ, Régine Laurent (centre) one expires March 31, 2011. But public public service strikes. marches with other labour leaders service bargaining in Ontario may be in against continued wage freezes. Meanwhile, ONA nurses got their last an uphill battle because the provincial FIQ has launched a province-wide increase, 3%, in their agreement April 1, tour to discuss the impasse they government has declared a two-year face at the bargaining table with but unhappy non-unionized nurses were public service wage freeze. the provincial government. On told recently that rather than getting July 2nd FIQ announced they had broken off contract talks. They Government discussions with a num- par with the union wages as usual, their have been proposing a 3.75% annual increase for each year ber of public sector unions in August fell salaries would be frozen. of a three-year agreement. apart when unions walked away from United Nurses of Alberta NewsBulletin
  • 15. Know Rights your UNA Contract your Bargaining continues for LTC Venta Care Centre deal and other employers gets provincial parity in Nurses at many of the province’s Long- wages, premiums term care facilities are also included in the Early in September the first bargaining provincial bargaining round. Bargaining wrapped up with an agreement for Local has begun with CareWest (Local 221) in 226 Venta Care Centre. e members Calgary and will be beginning in October voted to ratify the deal on September 16. for Bethany Care (Local 91, Local 173 and Local 2) in Calgary. e agreement included a 2% increase to bring Venta nurses up to current Other bargaining dates have been set, provincial rates, and then they stay on or are still being set for: par with a 2% increase in 2011 and 4% in Good Samaritan (Locals 212, 2012. e negotiated settlement also gave 223, 227, 311, 314, 316) the Venta nurses parity in shift differen- Shepherds Care Founda- tial, weekend premium and charge pay. tion (Local 219) David Harrigan Director of Labour Relations St. Michael’s Edmonton (Local 150) Voluntary Exit Plan Salem Manor (Local 194) Almost everyone who applied for the Local 99 St. Joseph’s Hospital AHS Voluntary Exit Plan before the Local 118 Capital Care - Edmon- December 23, 2009 deadline is approved ton/Touchmark at Wedgewood for the plan. UNA LRO Richard West is Local 172 Edith Cavell Care attempting to resolve cases for nurses who Centre - Lethbridge applied for the VEP but later resigned before their application was settled. Many Extendicares Local 168 Holyrood, of these people who left before hearing Local 170 Leduc, Local 209 May- about their VEP application will likely fi- erthorpe, Local 215 Viking, Lo- nally be approved, although some of these cal 189 Fort MacLeod, Local 117 cases may be going to arbitration. Somerset, Local 143 Vulcan Nurses with two or more separate jobs with AHS will amalgamate those jobs into a single position e new 2010 Collective Agreement includes transitional changes to amalgamate A detailed document is the former Health Regions, and the Cancer Board into a single employer. Nurses available on the UNA who hold separate positions in different Regions or the Cancer Board can have only a single position with a maximum Full-time Equivalency (FTE) of 1.0. A nurse cannot website at: http://www. have regular hours more than full-time. una.ab.ca/news/archive/ Nurses amalgamating jobs need to meet with Human Resources and a UNA La- bour Relations Officer to determine which will be their home site and their hours of amalgamatedjobs work. Vacation and sick leave banks also need to be arranged. Nurses should be in a single position by September 30th, but there is more time to sort out schedules, which must be contract compliant by June 30, 2011. September|October 2010 Volume 34, Number 4 15
  • 16. Know a retired nurse? new e open period to enrol, with NO medical exam, is until January 31, 2011 Criteria for eligible retired nurses: Available plans include: Examine plan details and alternatives carefully For more information: Publications Mail Agreement #40064422