New Letter of Understanding protects rights of Employees impacted by creation of Recovery Alberta

A new Letter of Understanding signed by United Nurses of Alberta and Alberta Health Services (AHS) retains and expands the rights of Employees affected by the creation of Recovery Alberta (RA) and other future Provincial Health Agencies.

The new LOU covers Recovery Alberta and all Provincial Health Agencies the government has signalled their intention to create under the recently passed Bill 22, Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2024.

Under the new LOU, Employees will have the option to transfer to the new Employer or to remain employed with AHS, with full rights to displace or fill a vacant position under Article 15 of the Provincial Collective Agreement. Indirectly affected Employees displaced by affected Employees have will have, in addition to full Article 15 rights, the right to select a vacant position at RA.

All affected Employees transferred from AHS to RA will initially be treated as a part of a single bargaining unit for the purpose of administering the current Provincial Collective Agreement. This will last until April 2025.

A tiered system for hiring and downsizing will also take effect in April 2025, meaning that RA Employees will no longer be treated as internal candidates when applying for vacant positions within AHS but they will be considered ahead of other external applicants not employed by a Provincial Health Agency.

In the event of downsizing, RA employees will have the ability to displace other positions within RA or apply for vacant positions within AHS. If an RA Employee is laid off, they can be recalled to AHS.

The LOU also applies to casual Employees who pick up additional shifts, and includes provisions for Employees on Leaves of Absence, Workers’ Compensation, and Disability.

UNA’s Negotiations Committee will be preparing a Frequently Asked Questions document for UNA members.

The Negotiations Committee believes this LOU will provide significant employment protections for Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses impacted by the creation of Recovery Alberta and future Provincial Health Agencies.