On 17 March, the AHS bargaining committee received its instructions and the ADA and AHS were able to conclude the agreement that the union had proposed five days earlier. EDMONTON, AB – The additional pressure on Alberta`s health care system during the COVID 19 pandemic has led to a delay in negotiations on a new collective agreement for nurses, although this proposal has been rejected. The agreement to suspend negotiations was signed on 17 March. The ADF proposed freezing the negotiations on 12 March. For this reason, Toews asked the ADF and AHS to “extend together the opening times for collective bargaining until 31 March 2021. An extension of the deadlines would also coincide with the extension of the employment security of nurses until March 31, 2021. Also an injunction ordering the employer to meet and make every reasonable effort to enter into a collective agreement. Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a letter to both parties: “With the continued increase in confirmed infections, hospitalization rates and intensive care patients, and the ongoing burden on our health systems, we are increasingly in a hurry to focus our joint efforts on managing and addressing the immediate and evolving needs of Albertans.” The parties agreed to re-examine the issue in mid-May to determine whether the agreement still needs to be renewed. On 21 February, the ADA presented a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding that took into account all the key concerns identified in the negotiation of a new collective agreement in 2020, after little progress was made in January and February in signing a new agreement. AHS rejected the proposed Memorandum of Understanding.
“The ADF believes that any redundancies should be postponed until a new collective agreement is established,” he said. “AHS has said it will not agree to postpone redundancies until a new agreement is reached.” UNA, AHS, Covenant Health, Lamont Health Care Centre and Bethany Group (Camrose) are parties to a collective agreement lasting from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020. In addition, the letter of stuttering, which also expires on March 31, will be #20, Re: Job Security, which also expires on March 31, so that it has an expiration date until May 31, 2020. This loU ensures that there will be no dismissal of Direct Nursing staff under the ADA agreement until the letter expires. The complaint was filed on March 18 and was allegedly attributed to actions brought by the AHS and the provincial government during the negotiation of a new provincial collective agreement for the majority of registered psychiatric nurses in Alberta. The complaint also argues that these measures are contrary to the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the right to be represented by a union in collective bargaining. The collective agreement was originally scheduled to expire at the end of March, but the two groups agreed to temporarily delay negotiations during the pandemic. These agreements contained provisions to delay layoffs. The AHS`s latest offer included this provision and extended it until March 31, but the union wants to postpone all redundancies until a new agreement is reached. The ADF negotiating committee will meet next week to discuss the situation.
It accuses Sections 3 and 4 of the Public Sector Employers Act, passed last year, of violating their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The complaint was filed on behalf of three members of the ADF bargaining committee with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, who are trying to negotiate a new provincial collective agreement with the AHS and other employers.