COVID-19 Redeployment information for UNA members

Updated on November 26, 2020

UNA Collective Agreement with AHS, Covenant, Lamont Health Care Centre and Bethany Group (Camrose)

Redeployment is when you have been temporarily assigned to a different site:

  • Redeployed to another AHS site (Article 44.05(e) of the Collective Agreement).

For community members: redeployment is when you are deployed to an area managed by a different Director.

Floating is when you are assigned to work on a different unit or different area in your home site (Letter of Understanding #9). 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can the Employer require me to work at a different AHS site? 

Yes.  Article 44.05(e) of the Collective Agreement allows the Employer to redeploy Employees to another site to provide assistance in emergency circumstances.

The Employer has invoked this emergency provision of the Collective Agreement.  The Employer declared the first emergency on March 16th.  On November 3, 2020, AHS invoked the emergency provisions in the Edmonton area.  On November 26, 2020, AHS declared another province wide emergency. 

When redeployed, the other provisions of the Collective Agreement continue to apply, with a few exceptions where the clause specifically notes “except in cases of emergency”. 

2. Can deployment occur between different Employers?

Generally no. This was done previously because there was a Memorandum of Agreement between UNA and AHS with a process for redeploying employees to non AHS sites.  This Memorandum expired and has not been renewed. 

The exception in the Collective Agreement for being redeployed between AHS and Covenant is as follows:

Employees working for AHS in Local 301 (UAH), Local 33 (RAH), Local 32 (Glenrose), Local 62 (Leduc), Local 85 (Sturgeon), or Local 196 (Community and Public Health) can be moved to these two Covenant sites: Local 11(Misericordia) or Local 79 (Grey Nuns).

Nurses working for Covenant in Local 11 (Misericordia) or Local 79 (Grey Nuns) can be moved to AHS sites: Local 301(UAH), Local 33 (RAH), Local 32 (Glenrose), Local 62 (Leduc), Local 85 (Sturgeon), and Local 196 (Community and Public Health). (X. Addendum A)

3. Is the Employer able to partially redeploy me to another site? For example, the Employer says I will work 2 shifts a week at a redeployed site and the remainder of my shifts at my home site?

UNA’s position is that movement of staff between sites during a pandemic should be minimized, where possible.  The Collective Agreement does not contemplate partial redeployments.  If you are partially redeployed, please discuss the issue with your manager and contact the Local if you require assistance.

4. Can the Employer require me to work on a different unit at my current site?

Yes.  The Employer can require an Employee to “float” to another unit on an exceptional basis in order to meet operational requirements.  Covid-19 meets the requirements for an “exceptional basis”. (Letter of Understanding #9)

5. Can the Employer change me from a regular work day to an extended work day or vice versa?

The Employer cannot unilaterally switch the member from 7.75 to extended work day or vice versa.  There must be agreement from you and the Local.  If you are being redeployed or “floated” to an extended work day unit and you are in agreement to work extended work days, the Local can follow the normal process and update the list under Article 37.  If you are not in agreement to move from a regular to an extended work day (or vice versa), please contact your Local.

6. Can the Employer change my FTE?

No.  Your FTE remains the same.  The emergency circumstances do not change your letter of hire (Article 10.10). 

Under the Collective Agreement, the Employer also has the right to mandate regular staff to work greater than their FTE. For fulltime employees, this would mean overtime. For part time employees the Collective Agreement says where the Employer requires a part-time Employee to work without having volunteered or agreed to do so or on the Employee’s scheduled day of rest, the Employee shall be paid 2X the applicable basic hourly rate for work performed.

The Employer has an obligation to minimize the use of mandatory overtime, and if an Employee believes that the Employer is requesting the Employee to work more than a reasonable amount of overtime, then the Employee may decline to work the additional overtime, except in an emergency, without being subject to disciplinary action.

7. Can the Employer change my scheduled hours of work? 

Yes.  Under Article 7.04, the Employer and the Employee can mutually agree to amend scheduled shifts. Failing mutual agreement, Article 7.04 permits the Employer to make some changes to your schedule. Generally, this does not contemplate wholesale changes to a schedule. There is no clear threshold with respect to the number of permitted changes. If you feel the Employer made too many changes to your schedule contact your LRO to discuss your concerns.

If the Employer changes your schedule without your agreement with less than 14 days’ notice, you shall be paid 2X your Basic Rate of Pay for all hours worked on what otherwise would have been your off duty days.

If the Employer changes your schedule without your agreement with less than 14 days’ notice, but not your scheduled days off, you shall be paid 2X your Basic Rate of Pay for all hours worked during the first Shift of the changed schedule.

8. Can I refuse to work at a different site?

A regular Full Time or Part Time Employee cannot refuse to work at a different site, unless there are valid medical reasons supported with medical from a doctor or the work is unsafe or illegal.  If one of these exceptions occurs, please contact your Labour Relations Officer. 

A casual can refuse to work at a different site by refusing to accept a shift.  Casual Employees still have the right to refuse shifts.

9. Is the Employer required to orient me at a new site to which I am redeployed?

Yes, the Employee does need to receive appropriate orientation and/or familiarization with the area and the work that will be required by them.  The nurse needs to assess if they are safe to practice.  If the assessment a nurse makes is, they are not safe to practice, management needs to be made aware right away and a plan developed to provide more training/buddying or redeploy elsewhere.

10. I am redeployed and I don't feel comfortable in my new area, can I request additional orientation?

Yes, the Employee does need to receive appropriate orientation and/or familiarization with the area and the work that will be required by them.  If after the original orientation period you still do not feel safe to practice,  management needs to be made aware right away and a plan developed to provide more training/buddying or redeploy elsewhere.

11. Can I be redeployed if I have restrictions in place that are currently being met through the duty to accommodate?

If you have current medical on your file that requires certain restrictions on your ability to work, you need to discuss this with your manager immediately.  Any redeployment would need to be consistent with the restrictions on your file.

If your medical on your abilities file is not up to date or if you have been self-accommodating without medical on your file, you need to immediately contact your doctor to discuss whether your doctor needs to provide medical with restrictions on your ability to work. 

12. Can the Employer change my on-call schedule? 

Article 9 for On Call and Call Back remains in effect under an emergency. 

The on call duty roster shall be posted 12 weeks in advance.  Changes can be made under Article 9.02(a)(ii).  The Employer can change the on call duty roster with 14 days’ notice.  If 14 days’ notice is not given, the employee shall be paid 2X the on-call rate for all hours in the first period of on-call affected by the change.

13. If I am redeployed, what expenses must the Employer pay?

The Employer shall reimburse Employees for all reasonable, necessary and substantiated additional accommodation and transportation costs for traveling between sites including parking if not otherwise provided (Article 44.05(e) of the Collective Agreement). 

Travel expenses – if you have been redeployed to a new site and for a one way trip it adds more than 20 kilometres to your travel, you should be paid mileage and time for the additional travel (Article 10.07(c)).  This is calculated as follows:

Once the 20 kilometer threshold has been reached, Employees should be compensated for the entire difference between their regular commute (home site) and the commute to and from the alternate location (site where the Employee has been redeployed).

For example, if the Employee’s regular commute from their residence to their designated home site is 15 km, and they are redeployed to report for work at an another site (Site B), and the commute from the Employee’s residence to Site B is 45 km., then the Employee would be paid travel time and mileage for 30 km.

Mileage is paid at 50.5 cents per kilometre (Article 10.01).

For any other expenses, “reasonable and necessary additional expenses” will need to be determined on a case by case basis.  Please speak to your manager and LRO about specific expenses.  Please keep all receipts for your expenses. 

14. If I am temporarily redeployed, but my regular position requires me to use my personal vehicle, do I continue to receive my Vehicle Allowance under Article 10.05?

Continue to claim Vehicle Allowance.  Please contact your Local President with any questions to discuss the situation further. 

15. Is there a maximum distance you can be deployed?

No.  Under Article 44.04 there are specific rules around a permanent relocation that is over 50 kilometres from your home site.  The emergency redeployment is not a permanent relocation and those provisions do not apply. 

16. What happens to my rate of pay if I am redeployed to work being performed under the RN classification from a classification with a higher rate of pay (e.g. Instructor)?

When redeployed under Article 44.05 you are not reclassified.  You should continue to be paid at your current rate of pay.

17. What happens to my rate of pay if I work in the RN classification and get redeployed to work that is normally done in a higher classification, such as Nurse Clinician?

Please contact your LRO to discuss the situation.  We will need a good understanding of exactly what work is being performed and whether you are performing the full role done by the Employees in the higher classification or only being assigned certain duties.