Grievance process arising from AHS COVID-19 immunization policy change is continuing

Labour Relations

UNA will continue to take steps to ensure the grievances are addressed.

Grievances filed by United Nurses of Alberta arising from Alberta Health Services’ mandatory COVID-19 immunization policy and the employer’s March announcement employees on unpaid leave could return to work without testing or proof of immunization are continuing.

While the return-to-work decision relieved some pressure on UNA members impacted by the previous immunization policy, a number of important issues remain to be resolved.

As a result, UNA has moved forward with a “marshalling application” to address the large number of complaints. 

A decision of the Alberta Labour Relations Board on April 5 formalized a previous agreement between UNA and AHS to use Cheryl Yingst-Bartel to arbitrate or mediate issues arising from employee requests to be accommodated on religious grounds.

UNA raised a number of issues in mediation for AHS to consider and anticipates further updates by the end of April or in May.

The Board also assigned Yingst-Bartel to files related to medical accommodation requests and ordered each party to identify one representative grievance to advance to arbitration and for both to be heard at the same hearing.

In addition, the Board assigned J. Leslie Wallace as arbitrator on UNA’s grievance taking issue with AHS’s policy and ordered individual grievances relating to non-compliance with the policy to be stayed pending the outcome of a hearing.

No decisions have yet been issued by arbitrators and or recommendations made by mediators.

No grievances have been settled, granted or withdrawn.

However, UNA will continue to take steps to ensure the grievances are addressed.

Click on the link at right to read a copy of UNA’s letter to all affected grievors and the Board’s Marshalling Order.