On the recommendation of HSAA’s Alberta Health Services (AHS) bargaining committee, and after serious deliberation, we are informing you that we have agreed to AHS’ request to delay the beginning of bargaining until after March 31, 2021. This agreement comes with the protection of any HSAA member from layoff until that date.
Practically speaking, that means hundreds of our members who were facing imminent job losses will be protected for another five months.
We know that members are anxious about this further delay, but the circumstances surrounding bargaining at this moment in time, namely the ongoing pandemic and the economic fallout from the pandemic in Alberta, have not given us an expectation of a positive outcome. At this point, our ability to protect our members with status quo seems like the best option available to us.
At the same time, the recent interjections of Finance Minister Travis Toews into the United Nurses of Alberta’s bargaining decisions have not made the bargaining climate better. His comments about the leadership of that union were clearly meant to be inflammatory and to cause division and polarization amongst Albertans. We’ve seen these same tactics used by political leaders in the U.S. and have witnessed the consequences. This is not what Albertans want.
Jason Kenney and the UCP have made it clear to us that they feel unions should stay out of politics. And yet, they overstep once again and interfere with the bargaining process. The Government of Alberta and the cabinet are not the Employers with whom we are bargaining. We are hopeful that they will learn to become more respectful of the process as we move forward.
Please join us in thanking our bargaining committee for the difficult work that they’ve already been tasked with this round. Their experience will not be typical. We anticipate this round of bargaining to be much more frustrating than any we’ve experienced in past years. They will need all our support as we move through the process.
As always, the goal of our bargaining team is to find the best deal possible for the greatest number of members. We are confident that this extension of bargaining does just that.
As always, should you have any questions about the bargaining process, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Members’ Resource Centre at 1-844-280-HSAA (4722).