Members of the United Nurses of Alberta will participate in information pickets next week. (Black Press news services)

Members of the United Nurses of Alberta will participate in information pickets next week. (Black Press news services)

Red Deer and Ponoka nurses prepare for information pickets on Aug. 11

Joining province-wide information picket

United Nurses of Alberta will be speaking out at information pickets in Red Deer and Ponoka on Aug. 11.

They will join nurses from across Alberta who are concerned about how under staffing, closed beds and wage rollbacks will impact patient care in Alberta.

So far information pickets will be held in 15 communities next week, with more expected.

The union said nurses want to able to focus on safe patient care which is hard to do when hospitals are under-staffed and the provincial government is attacking nurses and health care workers.

Last month Alberta Health Services proposed a three per cent wage rollback for nurses during contract negotiations with the union that represents about 30,000 public-sector nurses.

The union has said the rollback on top of other demands by the health provider, including reduced shift and weekend premiums, would result in an overall wage reduction of at least five per cent.

AHS has also made it clear to the UNA in writing on several occasions that it intends to proceed, on the instructions of the government, with the elimination of 500 full-time-equivalent positions.

The union said the rollbacks are an insult to nurses and won’t help Alberta recruit and keep health care workers, which is what the province needs to keep hospital beds open. Nurses are exhausted and overworked after 18 months on the frontlines of the pandemic and they are just looking for fairness in the workplace.

The Red Deer information picket will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. outside Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

In Ponoka, nurses will be in the park across from the Rising Sun Clubhouse, at 5216 50 St., at 4 p.m.

— with files from The Canadian Press



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