RNs - Alberta

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Alberta Nurses Boss (sic) Warns Of Further Labour Shortages

AM770CHQR, October 24, 2006 Calgary - An Alberta nursing union is warning that the already dire shortage of nurses will get far worse as new hospitals open in Calgary and Edmonton, draining staff from other health facilities and other provinces. Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, says hospitals opening in the next five years will become “black holes,” siphoning away thousands of nurses and staff from other facilities. Smith also told the 700 delegates at her union's annual convention that health authorities are making things worse by pressuring nurses to work more hours because of the shortage. ... Alberta

United Nurses of Alberta is out with a warning

Jeff Samsonow, 630 CHED, October 24, 2006
Edmonton - The United Nurses of Alberta has a warning about the nursing shortage. At the union's annual general meeting, in Edmonton, UNA President Heather Smith told 700 delegates employers are forcing nurses out of full-time work by overworking them. And Smith fears rural areas will see Edmonton and Calgary become "black holes," draining resources with the opening of new hospitals ... about 800 new nurses needed in Edmonton ... Smith doesn't think higher wages will solve the shortage ... she says education, mentorship and research incentives are the way to keep nurses working full-time. Copyright © 2006 630CHED

Lower back pain hits nurses the most

United Press International, July 31, 2006 Edmonton - Nurses suffer from work-related lower back pain more often than workers in other professions, according to a University of Alberta study. Lead author Edgar Vieira, a doctoral student in the University of Alberta faculty of rehabilitation medicine, says nurses hurt their backs while turning bed-ridden patients or transferring them among stretchers, beds and chairs. Orthopedic and intensive care unit nurses have the highest rates of low back pain among all nurses ... Lower

Nurses unions challenge sick leave policy

canada.com, December 30, 2005
Grande Prairie - Nurses unions are challenging a sick leave policy instituted by Peace Country Health region in northern Alberta, saying it infringes on workers' rights. The policy requires nurses to sign a release form allowing the health authority full access to their confidential personal health information to qualify for sick leave. In the past, only a note was required. The policy came into effect at the end of 2004, and while no nurses have been suspended under the rule change, some nurses have had their sick leave denied for refusing to comply, according to the United Nurses of Alberta. Jerry Macdonald, president of UNA Local No. 37, says they met with an arbitration board in October and are now awaiting a decision. The UNA filed a policy grievance on behalf of their entire bargaining unit, because it believes the new policy is not legitimate, Macdonald said.

Alberta nurses says staff shortages, quality of care still big issues

Canadian Press, October 26, 2005

Edmonton - Staff shortages and heavy workloads remain major issues for the province's nurses, suggests a telephone survey of more than 1,000 members of the United Nurses of Alberta.

The survey indicated about 5,000 nurses will be retiring or leaving the profession over the next five years. "That's 20 per cent of our entire nursing workforce," said union president Heather Smith.

She said while the province has committed funding for capital costs, not enough is being done on the labour front.

"We've had $1.4 billion coming down the tubes now for construction of beds, and my message is pretty simple: Don't be buying the sheets, because we don't have adequate staffing for many of the beds we have today."

UNA & Alberta’s Regions agree to one-year extension with 3% wage increase

HBA Services/United Nurses of Alberta, May 5, 2005 In an unprecedented agreement, the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA), Alberta’s Health Regions and several other health employers have voted to extend the current collective agreement between the parties for one year. The extension, which will be in effect from April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007, provides a three per cent increase in wages for registered nurses covered by the agreement but otherwise leaves the collective agreement unchanged. ... United

Nurses taking mediation recommendations to a vote

Negotiations continue with other Employers.
United Nurses of Alberta, May 29, 2004

Edmonton - Continued negotiations have resulted in Recommendations for a new contract for the province’s Registered nurses. The unanimous Recommendations come from the mediation panel chaired by Andrew Sims after further discussions over the past week. The United Nurses of Alberta negotiating team will be recommending that nurses accept the Recommendations that were issued by the panel late today.

“After nearly a year-and-a-half of talks, we are pleased to have come to what we hope is a mutually acceptable outcome,” says UNA President Heather Smith. “A negotiated deal is the best resolution, a win-win for the Health Regions, for nurses, and most importantly for safe nursing care for Albertans.”

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