nurse sta ng
United Nurses of Alberta
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
Volume 34, Number 4
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.
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.
Heather Smith Abuse Commission (AADAC), and Al- Potential staﬃng projections for continu-
berta Correctional Services. ese nurses ing care are particularly worrisome. So
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
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
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-
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
replace those who will be retiring, etc. many as one-third of appplicants because
the medical exam shows they may have
Florence Ross We apparently cannot expand the
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
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: email@example.com 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
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
Welcome nurses to UNA
AADAC, Corrections and others
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
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
Care Centre Edmonton
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.
Volume 34, Number 4 3
Private HRC hospital faces
bankruptcy, bailed out by AHS
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
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.
Volume 34, Number 4 5
Alberta Health Act
New Alberta Health Act
likely introduced in October
Critics say it’s a back door approach to privatization
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
funded health services are provided.”
Amendments required to Alberta
Health Care Insurance Act and
Opens market for private health
Removes barriers to private delivery,
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
BC & CNA
BC College set to
withdraw from CNA
Setting up new association
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
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.”
Volume 34, Number 4 7
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
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
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
Protection of Persons in Care
Changes to Protection
of Persons in Care raise
concerns for care providers
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
Volume 34, Number 4 9
Keeping Healthy at Work
Joint Occupational Health and
Safety Committees – Status Quo
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-
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
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
About your Pensions
Pension beneﬁts for nurses on long-term disability
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
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.
Volume 34, Number 4 11
Faces & Friends
Unit goes the extra mile
for the English patient
Nurses at Chinook Regional Hospital organized
fundraiser to help stranded patient
“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.
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
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.
Employers match RRSP
contributions up to 2%
of annual earnings
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
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.
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.
Volume 34, Number 4 13
Faces & Friends
Faces & Just some of the unionists at
the Calgary Gay Pride parade
friends in August. Nancy Furlong
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. ”
Ontario nurses face possible
two-year wage freeze
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
your UNA Contract
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.
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.
Volume 34, Number 4 15
Know a retired nurse?
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