Position Statements

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) is a trade union affiliated with the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and its subordinate bodies – the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and the various District Labour Councils across Alberta. We hold to be true a set of values based in social democracy, social and environmental justice. These values guide us in taking positions on issues that arise on an ongoing basis.

HSAA is guided by its mission statement, which is: To enhance the quality of life of its members and society. Guiding our decision-making, HSAA adopted a Strategic Plan which has the mission to advocate for the rights and promote unity of our diverse membership of health-care professionals as they care for people and enhance the well-being of our communities.

Our position statements flow from our values, mission statement and strategic plan.

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HSAA will advocate for the inclusion of dental coverage in the Canadian public health care system.


Almost half of all Canadians without dental insurance – commonly, new Canadians, the elderly, people working in insecure jobs and for low wages, and their children – avoid visiting a dentist due to costs.

High costs lead up to six million Canadians not receiving dental care every year.

Canadians with difficulty accessing dental care end up with the highest levels of gum disease, which in turn can increase their risk for general health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Lack of preventative dental care leads to increased visits to already crowded emergency rooms and physician offices, and causes people to miss work, school and other activities.

Canada actually provides less publicly funded dental care than the United States, and

Amongst developed nations, Canada is among the lowest funders of dental health care programs.

Approved at Convention May 2019

HSAA will support and advocate for the investment in and expansion of Canada’s Medicare umbrella to include a national, comprehensive, single payer pharmacare program.


All Canadians should have equitable access to medically necessary prescription drugs and no Canadian should be financially disadvantaged by their health needs.

One in ten Canadians do not take their medicines as prescribed because of costs, affecting nearly one in four Canadian households.

Prescription drug costs are one of the fastest growing costs for Canadians and for our provincial health budgets.

By helping reduce problems of medicine underuse, overuse, and misuse, universal pharmacare could dramatically improve patient health while saving the health care system billions per year.

Approved at Convention May 2019

HSAA will strongly oppose any attempt to bring American style Right-to-Work legislation to Alberta.


Right-to-Work laws undermine a worker’s rights to have proper representation when it comes to collective bargaining and impair working people from having a good standard of living; and

Right-to-Work laws restrict a unions ability to fulfill their legislative responsibility of representing all workers in a bargaining unit; and

American states with Right-to-Work laws have seen large increases in inequality and a decline in good jobs

Right-to-work legislation is not about choice for working people, its about undermining the voices of labour and political opposition

Approved at Convention May 2019

HSAA will support the work of the Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness committee and staff in their work to achieve improvements in provincial health and safety legislation related to PTSD and other mental injuries; and

HSAA will support the efforts of our member representatives on their joint worksite health & safety committees to improve worksite safety and prevention policies; and

HSAA will lobby for enhanced mental injury services delivery and develop workplace supports and training in the areas of mental health and mental injury.

HSAA will ensure that all Collective Bargaining Committees will advance the implementation of contract language that addresses the need to prevent workplace mental injury and supports workers who suffer from workplace mental injury; and

HSAA will challenge the stigma around mental health issues by supporting efforts to educate members and the public about mental health injury and the need to protect and support workers who are at risk.


Any worker can face a situation that leaves them suffering from mental injury, and this can lead to mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and

Prevention and support for workers experiencing mental injury are critical, much in the same way as we ensure that workers physically injured on the job are cared for and supported; and

It is important that comprehensive presumptive legislation is passed so that all workers who have suffered a mental injury are not placed in a situation where they face an undue burden; and

It is also important that all workers are covered and that it is recognized that the mental injury can be both cumulative or from a single traumatic incident; and

The stigma associated with mental health issues often prevents workers from accessing the treatment they require. It is important that we provide education and assistance to fight the stigma and better facilitate the supports workers need to access appropriate assistance when they have experienced a mental injury.

Approved at Convention May 2019

HSAA will coordinate training for stewards, health and safety representatives, and staff on domestic and intimate partner violence at work and

HSAA will continue to work to develop collective bargaining language for dedicated paid domestic and intimate partner violence leave, workplace supports and training and workplace safety policies and

HSAA will provide support to organizations that assist people escaping domestic and intimate partner violence.

HSAA will continue to lobby all levels of government to provide services and funding to ensure shelters and transition houses have appropriate funding, and that affordable housing and community supports are available for people escaping domestic and intimate partner violence.


We do not yet have enough members and staff trained at a level to appropriately provide assistance to and advocate on behalf of members experiencing domestic violence at work; and

The leave currently offered for workers escaping domestic violence is unpaid, making it inaccessible to many; and

Domestic violence continues to threaten tens of thousands of Albertans each year, primarily women and children; and

Thousands of women and children continue to be turned away from emergency shelter every year due to a lack of capacity.

Amended May 2019

HSAA will call on the provincial and federal governments to legislate a comprehensive ban on any payments blood-products; and

HSAA will support the passage of Senate Bill S-252, the Voluntary Blood Donation Act, which would ban payments for blood and blood products; and

HSAA will support the expansion of plasma collection by the public, voluntary blood donation system that is managed by Canadian Blood Services on behalf of all Canadians.


The clearest conclusions of the Krever Inquiry into the tainted-blood scandal in Canada was that the best way to protect Canadians is a non-profit, volunteer-based blood system and the World Health Organization has come to the same conclusion; and

For-profit corporations have been granted licenses to operate by Health Canada in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, which undermines the voluntary public blood systems in those provinces; and

Because of Bill 204, Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act brought forward by the UCP government MLA Tany Yao which repealed Alberta Bill 3, Voluntary Blood Donations Act; and

Until we have federal legislation banning paid plasma across Canada, the potential threats to our public system and the health of Canadians, identified by the Krever Inquiry, remain serious.

Approved June 2020
Amended May 2021

HSAA acknowledges systemic racism exists and societal change is needed.

HSAA condemns and opposes racism in any form.

HSAA condemns and opposes all actions undertaken, and statements made, that further or normalize racism.

HSAA advocates for inclusive communities, workplaces, and terms and conditions of employment.

HSAA will ensure its structures and policies promote inclusion and diversity.


All people should be able to live in any community without discrimination based on race, colour, place of origin, ancestry, or shared culture.

Systemic racism is entrenched in our society.  Acknowledgement of systemic racism is the first step towards ending it.

Approved May 2021