Alberta Health Services, United Nurses of Alberta reach agreement to settle union grievance of nursing staffing shortage

Settlement includes the designation of 11.7 full-time-equivalent Registered Nurse relief positions

Alberta Health Services (AHS) and United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) have reached an agreement to settle a union grievance involving a nursing staffing shortage at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (RDRHC) emergency department.

The settlement – reached on Jan. 11th, 2019 – includes the designation of 11.7 full-time-equivalent Registered Nurse relief positions for use exclusively in the emergency department at RDRHC. After two years, relief staffing levels will be reviewed on an annual basis by site management.

Continued collaboration between UNA and AHS has also been agreed to regarding the automated call-out system, compliance with provincial health and safety regulations, and improved communication between parties when staffing shortages arise.

This agreement resolves the requirement for the grievance UNA filed in June 2018 to proceed to arbitration. An arbitration hearing scheduled for this week was cancelled.

Both UNA and AHS wish to acknowledge their appreciation for the unwavering dedication of emergency department staff during the staffing shortages at RDRHC. Their commitment to caring for patients saw them go above and beyond the call of duty during a challenging, stressful time and helped ensure the emergency department remained fully operational.

-Submitted by Alberta Health Services

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