Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Elimination of frontline nurses in Edmonton adds to provincial total
United Nurses of Alberta was informed yesterday of yet more reductions in frontline Registered Nurse positions at two Edmonton hospitals, the president of the union said today.
UNA representatives were told that Alberta Health Services plans to eliminate twenty-three Registered Nurse positions and four Licensed Practical Nurse positions in 4 medical and surgical units at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
The 27 eliminated positions will be replaced by two ‘collaborative practice leaders’ working in management and 16 health care aides.
“This is a massive reduction of frontline nursing care and substitution with unskilled workers,” said Heather Smith, President of United Nurses of Alberta. “In today’s reality of increased acuity and complexity it doesn’t make sense to reduce nursing staff and dilute the skill mix.”
AHS claims the position eliminations are part of ongoing ‘workforce transformation.’ UNA was informed last week that 19 RN positions will be eliminated at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton as part of ‘workforce transformation.’
Many more frontline nurse positions have been eliminated by AHS across Alberta. In recent months, more than 150 nurses have been affected by position eliminations in Calgary and Edmonton.
“Our concern is that AHS is not being honest with Albertans about the effects of these position eliminations,” said Smith. “These piecemeal cuts will have a huge impact on the quality of care that Albertans receive”
“UNA has asked AHS to provide detailed accounting of the changes that will affect nursing care across the province,” said Smith. “We have asked AHS how these changes will affect citizens.”
A break down of other recent cuts to frontline nursing staff of which UNA has been notified or is aware to date includes the following:
- At least 20 full-time equivalent RN positions in the transition unit and other units at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton
- 10 RNs in the transition unit at Rockyview Hospital in Calgary, where a total of about 60
RN positions have been eliminated since May
- About 65 RNs in Community Health in Calgary
- 12 RNs in pediatric oncology and medicine at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton
- 2.15 full-time equivalent RN positions at the Bashaw Health Centre
- 8 RNs in Community Health in Edmonton
- 19 RNs at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton