United Nurses of Alberta understands that the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Alberta is seeking intervenor status of the union’s application for a determination that the union can represent Nurse Practitioners employed by Alberta Health Services.
UNA also understands the NPAA is requesting that it be made the bargaining agent for NPs employed by AHS.
Given the requirements of regulations to the legislation that created four bargaining units at Alberta Health Services and some other public health care employers, as well as the policies of the Alberta Labour Relations Board, UNA does not believe the NPAA can be the bargaining agent for NPs employed by AHS. Click here to read the ALRB’s ruling in a similar 2010 ruling, which was upheld by the courts. Paragraphs 93 to 95 and 178 to 190 contain the relevant material.
As noted in a previous communication, UNA believes unions and professional associations like the NPAA have important and complimentary but quite different roles. Given the requirement in the regulations there be four health care bargaining units, UNA sees no way NPAA is the appropriate organization to fulfill that role.
UNA has suggested to the NPAA that it seek intervenor status, a role in which as experts in NP scope of practice, roles and funding they can assist the ALRB as it deals with the union’s application.
Until 2003 and the passage of the legislation banning their membership in a union, Alberta NPs were represented by UNA. In its application, the union argues that legislation is unconstitutional. UNA is seeking a return to the situation that existed before the legislation it is challenging was passed.
NPs are represented by the provincial nurses’ unions in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador. UNA believes it is most unlikely that the ALRB could grant what we understand NPAA to be requesting.
UNA has reached out to the NPAA’s leadership and hopes to schedule a meeting as soon as possible.