The province’s nurses are no longer being asked to take a pay cut, at least according to the Alberta government. Alberta Health Services has issued a revised labour proposal to the United Nurses of Alberta in the hope of reaching a new collective agreement.
In a written statement, Finance Minister and Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA Travis Toews says this proposal from AHS is a long-term contract for Alberta nurses. It includes a wage freeze for the first three years and a modest salary increase in years four and five.
Nurses had previously been asked to take a pay cut so the province could get its finances back on track. However, it appears the government is now singing a different tune.
Toews says this new proposal acknowledges the hard work and dedication of Alberta’s nurses while respecting the tough fiscal situation the province is in.
“There are still a number of items that need to be negotiated, including the twice-yearly lump sum payments that do not exist in any other nursing contract in Canada. However, I’m hopeful the two sides will continue to work together to reach a fair and reasonable deal when formal mediation begins on September 21.”
In response, the UNA said on Twitter this proposal represents progress in negotiations, however still includes “several serious rollbacks”. The union maintains there is a proposal that would amount to an immediate two per cent pay cut for UNA members.