Nurses Week 2020

Happy Nurses Week

from your Local 196 executive!

Thank you to each member of Local 196 UNA and all healthcare professionals for your commitment to caring for Albertans each and every day! We hope you take the time to celebrate yourself and the nurses around you during Nurses Week.

 “Stay Well. Stay Safe. Stay Strong.” – Heather Smith, President, United Nurses of Alberta


Do you have photos from Nurses Week or photos of staff on your unit you’d like to see in a Local e-newsletter? The Local 196 Communication Committee encourages you to send us your photos at Please ensure you obtain permission of individuals photographed before sending us your photos.


Local 196 Event Cancellations

Local 196 has cancelled the following Local events:

April 22, 2020 meeting/Local education

May 6, 2020 (Nurses Week) education event

UNA and AHS extend timelines on Labour Relations investigations, grievances, arbitrations and PRC due to COVID-19 pandemic

reposted from (March 16, 2020)

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Nurses of Alberta and Alberta Health Services have agreed to extend time limits for conducting investigations, filing or movement of all grievances, arbitrations and Professional Responsibility Concerns for the UNA bargaining unit, during the period of March 13, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

This extension has been made with the understanding that further extensions may be required past May 31, 2020, on a month-to-month basis. UNA and AHS acknowledge that there may be specific situations that require immediate investigation.

UNA members with concerns or questions should contact their UNA local executive or Labour Relations Officer at 1‑800‑252‑9394.”

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for United Nurses of Alberta members (March 13, 2020)

reposted from (original post March 13, 2020)

“Following a meeting on March 13, 2020 between the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to discuss PHAC’s recommendations on minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for health care workers, a joint statement was issued by the CFNU, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Unifor, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), “calling for the Public Health Agency of Canada and all provincial public health offices to protect health care workers and their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also urging decision-makers to adhere to the precautionary principle, which calls for reasonable safeguards when a virus is clouded in scientific uncertainty.”

United Nurses of Alberta would like to update you on the following areas as it relates to COVID-19 and we will continue to share new information as we receive it.

Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19

  • At present, there is no consensus from leading public health and disease control institutions across the Globe on modes of transmission for COVID-19 and minimum PPE requirements for front-line health care workers.
  • In light of this uncertainty, UNA believes that all front-line health care workers should have access to and at minimum be protected using a fit-tested NIOSH-approved N95 respirator when in contact with patients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • The Government of Alberta and health care employers in Alberta are recommending Contact and Droplet Precautions in addition to Routine Practices for Health Care Workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, which means wearing a surgical mask as part of your PPE, unless you are involved in performing an aerosol-generating medical procedure, which would then require an N95 respirator. This advice is based on current recommendations for health professionals from PHAC.
  • UNA’s position is based on the CFNU position statement on COVID-19, similar minimum PPE recommendations for health care workers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and on the legal opinion released by Osler on March 5, 2020, which emphasizes the legal obligation of health care employers to take all reasonable precautions to protect staff. This opinion highlights the importance of health care employers practicing the precautionary principle, which is adopting the elevated precautionary measure(s) (e.g. recommending use of a N95 mask vs a basic surgical mask) when there is conflicting evidence as to whether a certain precautionary measure is required or not.
  • We strongly encourage you to ensure that you have ready access to PPE in your worksite/program and are trained on how to use and are fit-tested (within the last 2 years) for the N-95 respirator.
  • We also want to emphasize the importance of good hand hygiene and being able to properly don, use, and doff PPE in a manner that prevents self-contamination or contamination of others. These precautions are just as critical as having the right PPE. Your Employer should have policies describing a recommended sequence for safely donning and doffing PPE. Familiarize yourself with those policies and ask your Employer for training and assistance as needed.
  • If you have concerns about this, follow up with your immediate supervisor/manager and/or contact your Local or UNA Provincial Office (Phone 1-866-492-8584; Email: for assistance.


What to do if you feel your safety is at risk?

  • Speak up and discuss the concern with your immediate supervisor/manager in a timely manner.
  • Document the concern through MySafetyNet (for AHS Employees) and on a UNA Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Concern Form. You can fill out a paper OHS Form or you may fill out the OHS Form electronically on the UNA app and online at
  • Contact your Local or UNA Provincial Office (Phone: 1-866-492-8584; Email: and ask to speak to an OHS Advisor for advice.
  • Consider your Right to Refuse dangerous work. There are certain obligations you must meet to exercise this right, which can be reviewed here. UNA will support any member that chooses to exercise their right to refuse dangerous work.


What to do if you feel patient safety is at risk?

  • Speak up and discuss the concern with your immediate supervisor/manager in a timely manner.
  • Document the concern through on a UNA Professional Responsibility Concern (PRC) Form. You can fill out a paper PRC Form or you may fill out the PRC Form electronically on the UNA app and online at:
  • Contact your Local or UNA Provincial Office (Phone: 1-866-492-8584; Email: and ask to speak to an PRC Advisor for advice.


What to do if you recently returned from outside of Canada, think you have been exposed, and/or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Effective March 12, all Albertans currently outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days when they return.
    • Contact your Manager and/or your Employer Workplace Health and Safety department before returning to work to determine next steps.
  • If you have fever or respiratory symptoms, or if you believe you may be at risk for COVID-19 for any reason and are ill with respiratory symptoms or fever:
    • Contact your Manager and/or your Employer Workplace Health and Safety department before returning to work to determine next steps.


More Information on COVID-19:


Any other questions/comments/concerns?

UNA proposes memorandum of agreement with AHS to address all key concerns raised in MacKinnon and Ernst & Young reports

reposted from (original post dated February 21, 2020 11:56)

“United Nurses of Alberta today tabled a comprehensive proposed memorandum of agreement addressing all key concerns identified in bargaining for a new collective agreement with Alberta Health Services.

After negotiating in January and February with little progress toward a new Provincial Collective Agreement, UNA tabled the memorandum of agreement during bargaining today. UNA is awaiting a response from Alberta Health Services.

Starting from the understanding both parties desire to ensure continuation of high-quality, sustainable and transparent public health care in Alberta, UNA’s proposal addresses all major concerns identified by the MacKinnon Report on Alberta’s Finances and the Ernst & Young consulting report on the operations of Alberta Health Services in a way consistent with the government’s bargaining mandate to the employer and fairness to UNA’s members.

The UNA proposal deals with overtime pay, the use of part-time employees, nurse-patient ratios, salaries, and recruitment, retention and vacancy management.

“Lengthy, adversarial negotiations, let alone job actions, are not in the interest of nurses, health care employers, the government or the people of Alberta,” said UNA Labour Relations Director David Harrigan.

“The memorandum of agreement tabled today provides a way to accommodate both the stated concerns of the government and Alberta Health Services and to treat Alberta’s nurses fairly,” he said.”


Related documents:

Summary UNA Memorandum of Agreement with AHS 2020-02-21

Feb. 21 Package Proposal to resolve outstanding Matters

Average Weekly Earnings of Employees, 2018

Calling interested members: join your Local Communication Committee!

Local 196 is seeking a creative, motivated, self-directed member to join our Local Communcation Commitee! Details below!Click here for the Local 196 Communication Committee Roles & Responsibilities Document (Jan.2020)

Local 196 e-newsletter – February edition now available!

Check your (personal) inbox for the

Local 196 February e-Newsletter!

Click the link below to view the February edition of Local 196’s e-newsletter:

Local 196 UNA e-newsletter: February 2020

The Local newsletter was sent via MailChimp with updated member contact information from Provincial UNA Office. It was sent to personal email addresses only. If you did not receive our newsletter, please email to be added to our subscribers list. You don’t want to miss out!