About

Constitution & Bylaws

UNA’s Constitution and bylaws contain the rules by which our union is governed. The UNA Constitution may only be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the delegates present and voting at the union’s Annual General Meeting.

Employment Opportunities

Job opportunities with UNA will be posted when available.

Executive Board

Elected by UNA members, the Provincial Executive Board is the governing voice of the union. The Provincial Executive Board includes twenty-one District Representatives and four provincial Executive Officers, who are chosen at UNA's Annual General Meeting.

UNA: The union for Alberta’s nurses

Working for improvements for nurses, our profession, our patients, our residents and clients, and all Albertans.

United Nurses of Alberta – your workplace representative

United Nurses of Alberta is the union for more than 25,000 Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and allied workers in Alberta.

Since 1977, UNA has been an effective advocate for nurses, the nursing profession and Canada’s fair and efficient public health care system.

UNA represents nurses in bargaining, in their profession, and in disputes with employers and professional licensing bodies.

UNA is deeply committed to member democracy. It is affiliated with the Canadian labour movement through membership in the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, and through CFNU with the Canadian Labour Congress and the Alberta Federation of Labour. Membership in these organizations helps UNA work more effectively on your behalf.

What UNA does for nurses

UNA provides a wide range of services to its members. A key role is negotiating the excellent Collective Agreements that regulate salaries, benefits, schedules and working conditions of members.

UNA also administers its agreements to resolve disputes, improve working conditions and protect nurses’ workplace rights. Members of the union’s professional staff represent members before Labour Relations Board hearings, professional bodies’ disciplinary meetings and other quasi-judicial groups.

How UNA is financed

UNA is financed by all of us, members who benefit from UNA’s collective agreements. Each of us pays 1.3 per cent of our gross monthly income in tax-deductible union dues. Budgets are subject to approval by democratically elected delegates to the Annual General Meeting.

When they start to work at a UNA worksite, most nurses sign a membership card as soon as possible. This gives them power to vote on important matters and influence the direction of their union.

Those who choose not to join still have to pay dues, because the courts in Canada have determined all employees in a unionized workforce benefit from their union’s collective agreements, services and achievements. In return, the union is legally responsible for providing fair representation for everyone in the workforce, members and non-members alike.

UNA’s approach to collective bargaining

Bargaining collective agreements is UNA’s most important job. This is because the agreements we negotiate with employers govern the pay, benefits and working conditions of all UNA members.

A collective agreement is a legally binding contract between a union, negotiating on behalf of a group of employees, and an employer. Typically, collective agreements set out such things as wages, scheduling rules, overtime pay, sick leave, job security, benefits and other employee rights.

Since it was founded, UNA has negotiated collective agreements that have greatly improved salaries, benefits and workplace conditions for all members. UNA has more than quintupled the wages of Alberta nurses since it was founded. In 1977, a new nurse earned only $6.28 an hour!

Members set UNA’s bargaining priorities

Before the expiry date of any UNA collective agreement, affected members can attend “demand setting meetings” at which the locals determine their bargaining proposals.

This is the process through which UNA’s members democratically decide their priorities in bargaining. UNA’s negotiating committees, the people who actually meet with the employer’s representatives at the bargaining table, are made up of working members of the union, elected by their co-workers to represent them.

UNA members vote on their agreements

No UNA agreement takes effect before the members whose working lives it governs have the opportunity to discuss and ratify it in a democratic vote. Province-wide agreements like the contract with Alberta Health Services must be subject to a vote of all affected members, and must be passed by a majority of both members and locals.

Are strikes by nurses legal?

In 1983, the Alberta Legislature passed a law making it illegal for hospital employees, including nurses, to strike. If a dispute couldn’t be settled in bargaining, this law made it compulsory for the parties to resolve their differences through binding arbitration – a process that gives an edge to employers. In response, UNA adopted a policy against this restriction on the collective bargaining rights of its members. “UNA is opposed to any compulsory arbitration legislation,” the policy states. “Regardless of any legislation, UNA members alone and not the government or any other body shall decide when this union will strike and when it will not.”

UNA believes any collective agreement it signs must be voluntarily accepted by members in a democratic vote, not imposed by arbitration, or any law or ruling.

An Introduction to UNA: The union for Alberta’s nurses1.98 MB
UNA History (1977-2002)5.52 MB
The history of United Nurses of Alberta prepared for the union's 25th anniversary in 2002.
CONNECT TO UNA

Constitution & Bylaws

UNA’s Constitution and bylaws contain the rules by which our union is governed. The UNA Constitution may only be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the delegates present and voting at the union’s Annual General Meeting.

Employment Opportunities

Job opportunities with UNA will be posted when available.

Executive Board

Elected by UNA members, the Provincial Executive Board is the governing voice of the union. The Provincial Executive Board includes twenty-one District Representatives and four provincial Executive Officers, who are chosen at UNA's Annual General Meeting.

HOT TOPICS
Vacation approval delayed or pending?
At most UNA sites, the employer must inform the employee of approval or denial of their requests on the vacation planner by April 30.
Video: The truth about Alberta pensions
UNA President Heather Smith explains why Alberta Nurses should be concerned about the PC Government's proposed changes to the Local Authorities Pension Plan.
Supervision of Health Care Aides
UNA members should be aware of rules governing the supervision of Health Care Aides, as explained by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta, and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta.
April 21, 2014
Easter Monday (UNA Offices closed)
April 22, 2014
Central District Meeting
April 23, 2014 09:00-16:30
How to Run a Local Workshop (Administration) ~ Lethbridge