The Health Sciences Association of Alberta is a trade union representing approximately 29,000 paramedical technical, professional and general support employees in the public and private health-care sectors of Alberta.
HSAA was organized in 1971 by 11 paramedical technical and professional members who were reluctant to become a minority group within one of the large, existing labour unions. Their training, certification and professional ethics suggested they had a unique community of interest with other health-care workers and they decided to establish an independent union that would be subject to their control and direction.
George C. Hall was instrumental in the formation of HSAA and became its first Executive Director. His efforts were critical in helping HSAA become a well-respected participant in today’s Alberta labour scene.
In 1972, a group of paramedical technical employees at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton became the first bargaining unit represented by HSAA. The Canadian Red Cross was the first non-hospital bargaining unit, certified in 1974. The first private, for-profit employer unit was organized at Calgary Medical Laboratories in 1975.
HSAA certified its first community health support unit at the Barons-Eureka-Warner Health Units.
HSAA became the Alberta component of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), a federation of public service unions from across Canada. Through this affiliation, HSAA joined the Canadian Labour Congress, which represents more than 3.3 million workers, and the Alberta Federation of Labour, which represents workers in Alberta. We are also actively involved with the various District Labour Councils in Alberta.
Our current President, Mike Parker, shifted into his role in August of 2016 after 21-year President, Elisabeth Ballermann, resigned her position to become Secretary-Treasurer of NUPGE. Trudy Thomson took over the office of Vice-President just weeks later. They lead the 18-member team called the Board of Directors, the elected representatives of the membership from five districts.
HSAA represents approximately 29,000 paramedical technical, paramedical professional and general support employees in more than 240 health-care disciplines. Our members are the highly-skilled and highly-trained health experts Albertans rely on.