UNA advises AHS Official Administrator of conflict between ads and facts

For immediate release: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

United Nurses of Alberta has advised Alberta Health Services Official Administrator Dr. John Cowell that the organization’s advertising campaign claiming “Alberta is looking for more full-time nurses” is contradicted by the facts.

In a letter to Cowell yesterday, UNA Labour Relations Director David Harrigan pointed out that of the 246 positions posted the same day by AHS, 153 were for part-time positions and only 93 for full-time jobs.

Since January this year, Harrigan told Cowell, AHS has posted 4,348 vacancies for part-time positions but only 2,348 for full-time jobs.

UNA believes the expensive advertisements, which began to run in Alberta newspapers on October 18, are intended to mislead Albertans about why so many Alberta nurses are employed in part-time positions in order to distract taxpayers from the health agency’s real plans to eliminate a large number of nurses’ jobs over the next two years.

UNA’s collective agreement with the health agency allows AHS to determine whether the positions it posts are full time or part time, Harrigan noted in the letter to Cowell. “We suggest you simply begin to post more full-time vacancies.”

Last week, AHS lawyers tried to block UNA from releasing information given to the union in bargaining about the number of nurses the health agency plans to lay off.

UNA intends to release the information to the public by October 30.