AHS to present revised safety plan for UNA nurses required to work in correctional facilities during strike emergency

Despite an order by the Labour Relations Board to end their job action, AUPE Correctional Peace Officers remain on strike. As stated earlier, AHS nurses also work in the Corrections sites.

At most sites, the nurses and other health care staff remain at work. At the Edmonton Remand Centre, nurses and other heath care staff invoked their right under the Occupational Health and Safety Code to refuse dangerous work. AHS was accepting of this until Saturday evening. At that time they contacted UNA and requested a meeting with the health care staff.

Nurses and other health care staff scheduled to work night shift, along with UNA reps, were asked to attend a meeting last evening. We met at 2300h with senior managers of AHS. We were presented a plan and assessment by AHS that there was no imminent danger and staff members were initially informed they were expected to report to work. A very thorough and respectful discussion took place regarding the Employer's plan and the health care staff concerns.

The meeting concluded at 0200h today with UNA indicating that we were not satisfied that the workplace was safe, and we requested the Employer amend their plan considerably. AHS was accepting of the staff's decision and indicated that they would review their plan based on the comments raised at the meeting.

I expect we will have another similar meeting some time today, and decisions will need to be made at that time based on the revised plan.

UNA will continue to closely monitor the situation at all sites. Should any member feel concerned about their health or safety, please contact you Local Executive immediately.

David Harrigan
Director of Labour Relations
United Nurses of Alberta