Alberta nurses file bargaining complaint over proposed 3 per cent wage cut

EDMONTON — The union for Alberta nurses has filed a complaint with the provincial labour relations board over a proposed three per cent wage cut.

The United Nurses of Alberta says the directive from the government to Alberta Health Services to change its position just before arbitrated wage talks is in bad faith.

The nurses are in a three-year contract with no salary increase in the first two years and a provision for arbitrated wage talks this year.

Alberta Health Services had been pushing for another wage freeze in 2019, but changed that position to a three per cent cut following an announcement by Finance Minister Travis Toews this week that rollbacks are needed.

The union says that’s bad-faith bargaining because talks are supposed to be with Alberta Health Services, an arm’s-length body of government, and not the province.

The nurses say the government is overstepping its bounds and the original demand of a wage freeze should be put back on the table.

The United Nurses of Alberta represents more than 30,000 registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and other health-care workers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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