Advice to UNA members employed by AHS: Check to ensure you are receiving your education allowances

Know Your Contract

UNA members report frequent failures by AHS to pay education allowances that recognize courses, diplomas and degrees outlined in Article 26 of the Provincial Collective Agreement that Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses are eligible to receive.

United Nurses of Alberta members employed by Alberta Health Services are urged to regularly check their pay stubs to ensure they are being paid education allowances to which they are entitled.

UNA members report frequent failures by AHS to pay education allowances that recognize courses, diplomas and degrees outlined in Article 26 of the Provincial Collective Agreement that Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses are eligible to receive.

According to Article 26.01 of the Collective Agreement, the Employer will acknowledge educational credentials from recognized post-secondary institutions and use those credentials to establish the Employee’s basic rate of pay.

The hourly allowances for educational credentials are as follows:

-    Clinical Course (including mid-wife course): 50¢ per hour
-    Certified Diabetes Educator Certificate: 50¢ per hour
-    Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners Certificate: 50¢ per hour
-    Canadian Nurses Association Certification: 50¢ per hour
-    Active registration in the CARNA plus Degree or Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing (a Diploma or Degree in Nursing plus active registration in CRPNA): 50¢ per hour
-    Course in Nursing Unit Administration: 50¢ per hour
-    One (1) Year Diploma: 50¢ per hour
-    Baccalaureate Degree: $1.25 per hour
-    Master’s Degree: $1.50 per hour
-    Doctorate: $1.75 per hour

An education allowance for a Baccalaureate Degree shall be payable after the Employee provides their Employer with satisfactory proof that the Degree is recognized by the Nursing Education Program Advisory Board, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, or the International Qualifications Assessment Service.

Allowances for education shall be paid from the date the Employee provides proof of qualifications to the Employer retroactive to the date the Employee completed the requirements for the qualification or from the date of hire, whichever is later, to a maximum of 12 months.

Unfortunately, however, experience shows that Employees are not always paid the allowances to which they are entitled even after they have informed the Employer.

As a result, at the time they inform the employer of their entitlement to an education allowance, UNA members are encouraged to retain a date-stamped document or a copy of the email they sent to establish when and how they informed the employer.

Education allowances are not cumulative. An Employee should expect to only receive the highest allowance for which they are eligible.

How to see if you’re receiving your allowance

To see if you are receiving the education allowance to which you are entitled, you will need to check your pay stub – which AHS used to call a Salary Advice and now calls a Paycheque.

Here are the steps to go through on e-People, found on the staff portal of the AHS website, to access this information:

-    Go to e-People and sign in
-    Open the pull-down menu under Self Service
-    Go to Payroll and Compensation
-    Go to View Paycheque

The View Paycheque page will show a list of recent pay stubs. Open a copy of the pay stub you wish to review.

The simplest way to check if you are being paid the correct amount is to compare the amount you are paid on your “Paycheque” to your step on the Salary Appendix in the Collective Agreement.

If your rate of pay shown on the Paycheque is listed on the Salary Appendix, you are not receiving the educational allowance.

If you hold a Baccalaureate degree and your rate of pay is not listed there, subtract 1.25 from your rate of pay and check if that amount is in the Salary Appendix. If it is, you are receiving the correct rate.

If you discover you aren’t being paid an allowance for which you qualify, contact your UNA Local Executive or Labour Relations Officer as soon as possible at 1-800-252-9394.

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