United Nurses of Alberta and Alberta Health Services have signed a letter of understanding agreeing to put bargaining on hold while the province and Canada confront the global COVID-19 crisis.
In response to the circumstances related to COVID-19 and associated pandemic planning, UNA and AHS agreed that ongoing bargaining between UNA and AHS, Covenant Health, Lamont Health Care Centre, and The Bethany Group (Camrose) for the Direct Nursing Collective Agreement scheduled to expire on March 31, 2020, would be suspended up to and including May 31, 2020.
In addition, Letter of Understanding #20, Re: Job Security, which also expires on March 31 will be amended to have an expiry date of May 31, 2020. That LoU guarantees there will be no layoffs of Direct Nursing employees under the agreement represented by UNA until the letter’s expiry date.
The agreement to suspend bargaining was signed on March 17. UNA proposed putting bargaining on hold on March 12.
The parties agree to revisit the issue in mid-May to determine if the agreement needs to be extended further.
UNA tabled a comprehensive proposed Memorandum of Agreement addressing all key concerns identified in 2020 bargaining for a new collective agreement on February 21, after little progress had been made toward a new agreement in January and February. AHS has rejected that proposed Memorandum of Agreement.