Update on the restructuring of Mental Health & Addictions

Today we learned of the government’s plans to move the delivery of all mental health and addictions services to a new organization called Recovery Alberta. Despite previous promises from the Minister of Health and the Premier, your union was not informed in advance of this significant change. While this will impede our ability to provide you with timely and quality information, we want to assure you that your collective agreement is intact, and we are actively working to provide you with the best possible representation.

We were shocked to hear the Premier and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions announcing these sweeping changes this morning. When the plans to restructure health care were first announced, this government and AHS assured us that your union would be consulted and informed throughout the process. After the press conference concluded, we met with the new CEO of Recovery Alberta along with the other health-care unions. While some assurances were given, we were left with many unanswered questions. It became clear that answers to our questions about the eventual impacts to your collective agreements and the nature of your employment after the transition is completed are dependent on the legislation that will need to be passed this spring.

Due to the lack of clarity and consultation, we must respond with heightened vigilance in protecting your rights in your collective agreement and legislation.

This all feels far too similar to the changes that impacted your fellow HSAA members in laboratory services and we have grave concerns about how another transition will impact all of our members involved and the Albertans who rely on the health care you provide. There are many questions we cannot answer today because of how the government announced this change. While we are responding appropriately, we also want to assure you that we will share new information with you as soon as it is available to us, and that as of today nothing changes for you at work. Your collective agreement and benefits remain the same and we will vigorously defend your rights in the workplace as the transition unfolds.

Please continue to reach out through your Local Unit, LRO or the MRC with your concerns, questions and share with us what you hearing in your workplace. Together we are a remarkable force of solidarity, and we can overcome these challenges.

In Solidarity,

Mike Parker, HSAA President
Leanne Alfaro, HSAA Vice-President